Boxer Mike Tyson was granted a license to fight in New Jersey yesterday, some six years after the state's Athletic Control Board rejected his last application. However, Gov. James E. McGreevey limited the locations where Tyson could have a match by barring him from fighting at any facility owned or operated by the state.
McGreevey also said he would ask the board to review the decision. "The governor doesn't think Mr. Tyson has the temperament to engage in good sportsmanship," said Micah Rasmussen, a spokesman for McGreevey.
Tyson, 38, hasn't fought in the state since he beat Carl Williams in 1989 and hasn't fought in a major boxing state since he fought Orlin Norris in Nevada in 1999. His next bout against British heavyweight Danny Williams is supposed to take place in Louisville, Ky.
Larry Hazzard, chairman of the New Jersey commission said "we've always been leaders in boxing in New Jersey. Mike Tyson deserved to be licensed. He met all the criteria to hold a license in the State of New Jersey. It's unfair to hold someone to a different standard."
"Without Larry Hazzard stepping forward I would have been jacked up," Tyson said. "I don't understand. I paid all my dues. I've done everything they've asked me to do. I've stayed out of trouble for a long period of time. And still they don't want to allow me to make a living. ... Where are you going to make a living if you can't go to the casinos?"
He added, "This means I can start getting those $20 to $30 million paydays again." Call us crazy and eat our children, but there's no way Gothamist would pay $50 to watch a Tyson fight on TV. We just hope that we know someone with a hot box.
For more info on Tyson, check out Wikipedia, which has a nice summary of Tyson's career.