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Mike Tyson eyes entertainment



Published: Tue, October 17, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The former champion says bouts against female fighters are possible.

STRONGSVILLE (AP) -- Mike Tyson, kicking off an exhibition tour this week, said Monday that fans should not expect much of a fight when he steps back into the ring.

But the former heavyweight champ promised an entertaining show Friday night when he launches "Mike Tyson's World Tour" in Youngstown at the Chevrolet Centre.

At a press conference at an Italian restaurant, Tyson said he would likely go just four rounds and that future stops on the tour might include bouts with women, possibly professional boxer Ann Wolfe.

Wolfe, from Waco, Texas, is 21-1 with 15 knockouts.

"She's such a prominent, dominant woman in the boxing field," Tyson said.

When asked if he was joking about fighting women, Tyson said, "I'm very serious."

No way

Russ Young, a promoter for Wolfe, said such a bout will never happen.

"That's the first we've heard of it," Young said. "No state would sanction that. She would be outweighed by 60 to 70 pounds. Ann would never entertain the idea."

Tyson said that the exhibition tour was meant to be fun and raise money for charity.

"It's all fun. I'm not Mike Tyson," he said, referring to the fierce boxer whose career was upended by a prison term. "I'm not 20 years old. I'm not going to smash anybody. I'm not going to talk about smashing anybody's brains. You're not going to see that guy no more."

At the press conference, Tyson posed for photos with fans, signed autographs and campaigned for Maryland U.S. Senate candidate Michael Steele.

Tyson, wearing a white and blue Steele for U.S. Senate T-shirt, said he used to believe black Republicans were "sellouts." But Tyson said he changed his mind after researching the Maryland lieutenant governor.

"We have to open our eyes more," Tyson said, as he pointed to his T-shirt.

Recent years

His recent years have been marked by embarrassing fights -- inside and out of the ring -- and staggering debt. Tyson last fought in June 2005, losing to the unheralded Kevin McBride.

He will returns to the ring Friday at the 6,000-seat Chevrolet Centre in Youngstown for a pay-per-view event against former sparring partner Corey "T-Rex" Sanders.

The 40-year-old Tyson had said he was finished with boxing after his bout with McBride, which he quit after six rounds.

The man who vowed to eat Lennox Lewis' children and bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear has said he's in no mood for a comeback.

He recently trained in a makeshift ring at a Las Vegas hotel.

Tyson shot to fame by knocking out Trevor Berbick in 1986 to become the youngest heavyweight champion in history at age 20. He was knocked out by James "Buster" Douglas in 1990 and lost his world heavyweight title. He later served prison time for rape, returned to fighting and infamously bit Holyfield's ear in a 1997 fight.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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