- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 2, 2002

Nobles: The members of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, for their stunning knockout of boxer Mike Tyson.

With a $100 million purse on the line for Las Vegas, a city that has taken quite a few fiscal punches from the ongoing recession, the safe money was on the commission granting Tyson a boxing license for his championship bout at the MGM Grand against Lennox Lewis this April.

Instead, in a divided decision, the commission pulled the carpet, or at least the canvas, from under Tyson by denying him a boxing license. This was the second time that the commission had done so. In 1997, it suspended Tyson's license for 18 months and fined him $3 million after he bit Evander Holyfield's ear during a fight.

While Tyson is reeling from this unexpected haymaker, his promoters are rolling to find another ringed venue. Odds are they will. While Tyson cannot appeal the commission's decision, other states or nations may be more understanding of Tyson's income potential and emotional problems. Unfortunately, the publicity Tyson generated by allegedly biting Lewis' leg at the press-conference-turned-brawl last week has probably only added to his pay-per-view appeal.

That attractive potential also accentuated the commission's principled decision. As Commissioner Amy Ayoub pointedly remarked, "Do we say living within the rules will be rewarded or do we say that uncontrolled, violent behavior will be rewarded with multimillion-dollar paydays? I want to look at this and say this behavior won't be tolerated in Nevada."

It won't, thanks to her commission's decision to give civilized behavior a fighting chance.

Knaves: The anti-capitalists and anarchists who are protesting this weekend's World Economic Forum in New York.

Calling for an end to capitalism and hierarchy, the anti-globalization movement came to New York from all across the world, eating meals with stolen silverware and buying gas masks with dollars, or better, borrowed credit cards. Perhaps they are not happy that at least some of the world's power elite attending seminars at the Waldorf-Astoria are actually paying for it out of their own pockets.

Yet, if what the protesters are actually opposing isn't completely clear, they are certainly in favor of spectacles and street violence as proved by their smashing success in Seattle previously. In seeming preparation for potential mayhem over the weekend, one of the organizing groups actually put together a series of seminars on chemical weapons and street first aid.

That isn't too surprising. Though many of these groups call for peace, their most common denominator is a call to demonstrations of violence beyond any rings of civilized behavior.

If the gloves come off in New York and the thugs start throwing punches, perhaps it should be dealt with by the members of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

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