By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Photo: Boxing Bob Newman
Hall Of Famer Mike Tyson’s tour of Australia is set to go ahead despite his New Zealand visa being revoked, his promoters claim. The controversial former heavyweight boxing champion is scheduled to visit five Australian cities in November. A decision about his Australian visa is still to be reached. It was announced yesterday that Tyson would no longer be allowed to visit New Zealand for a motivational speaking event after his special visitor’s visa was cancelled. Trish Maskaric of promoters Markson Sparks said a decision was being sought from the Australian government in the next fortnight to confirm the speaking tour could go ahead.
“We’re waiting patiently and are quietly confident that they will come to a positive decision,” she said. “The good news is we’ve not had a knockback as yet.”
The promoters say they also hope the New Zealand government will reconsider its decision, adding that a new application would be made for a special visitor’s visa. The government reversed the earlier approval after a children’s charity withdrew a letter of support, apparently written by a volunteer trustee.
It is thought Tyson’s 1992 rape conviction could be grounds for denial of an Australian visa. A spokesman for Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship said a decision was still pending on Tyson’s application. He is due to arrive in Brisbane on November 16, before travelling to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. The promoters are selling tickets for between $69 and $300 and will give refunds if Tyson cannot appear.