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Mike Tyson can't find venue for Hampshire show
6:00pm Wednesday 1st August 2012 in News
IN his prime he was one of the biggest box office attractions in world sport.
Commanding fees of millions of pounds a time, Mike Tyson’s boxing fights brought in huge global television audiences.
But 30 years on, the controversial heavyweight is struggling to find a location in Hampshire to host him after a second venue pulled out of his £150-a-head An Evening With Mike Tyson show.
Fareham Town Football Club had stepped in to have the event after bosses at Portsmouth Guildhall pulled the plug on his appearance there following comments he made about US politician Sarah Palin.
But now the leader of Fareham Borough Council, Sean Woodward, has stepped in to ask Fareham Town Football Club not to host the former world champion.
Despite the latest setback, organisers refused to be knocked out and have vowed that the show will go on.
The row over the show started when charity Rape Crisis appealed to Guildhall entertainment bosses not to stage the question-andanswer session with 46-year-old Tyson, who was jailed in 1992 for raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant.
They said they feared that treating the boxer as a legend could have a serious effect in silencing victims of sexual assaults.
So the promoters turned to privately- run Fareham Town Football Club, which initially agreed to stage the event.
Councillor Woodward said that as the football club leases its land from Fareham Borough Council he was able to ask them to reconsider their decision.
He said: “I stepped in because of the appalling reputation of Tyson – he just didn’t sound like somebody we needed performing on our land in Fareham.
“I called the owner and he cancelled it straight away, to his credit.
“It wasn’t going to do the football club any good – the organisers will have to find somewhere else and I hope it won’t be Fareham.”
Andy Foreman, of the WCBC, who is organising the event, criticised Councillor Woodward for stepping in, saying: “This is about something which happened years and years ago.
“The council are trying to be dogooders saying they do not want this type of person in Fareham but it is becoming vindictive now.
“The message to people with tickets is that I will fight to get this event on no matter what. It will happen. We are finding another venue and will let the Daily Echo know as soon as we have one.
“I spoke to Mike Tyson’s management and apparently he is very upset and very disappointed about this.
“This is his first trip to the south coast and all he wants to do is to talk about boxing, have something to eat and have some photos taken with fans.”
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