Mike Tyson’s checkered past appears to be catching up with him, at least in the Southern Hemisphere. New Zealand officials last week denied the former heavyweight boxing champion an entry visa over the 1992 rape conviction for which he served three years in prison. Australia, however, is still apparently open to a Tyson visit — although his short antipodean stay will come with a warning attached.
Tyson is hoping to launch a five-city motivational speaking tour in Australia titled “Day of the Champions,” with a (hopeful) stop in Auckland, New Zealand as well. A youth-related charity trust helped push through approval of Tyson’s visit to New Zealand, despite a law banning visas for those convicted of violent crimes. The group later rescinded its request following an outcry over the visit. Tyson’s promoters haven’t given up hope, however, and have lined up another community group to back his New Zealand application.
The boxer—who infamously bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a 1997 fight that earned him a suspension from boxing and later filed for bankruptcy in 2003—didn’t have as much trouble getting a temporary visa to Australia, even if Cian Manton, spokeswoman for Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship, told the Associated Press that her office had to weigh the pros and cons of his visit.
Immigration officials have warned Tyson that any unlawful behavior would result in the revocation of his entertainment visa. ”Given the purpose of his visit and the short duration, we considered the risk of him reoffending to be very low,” Manton told the AP.
This will be Tyson’s first visit to Australia and comes on the heels of his one-man Broadway show earlier this year, “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.”