Work in Sports
Just hyping the fight
Tyson not serious about biting comments made in article
Posted: Thursday October 21, 1999 12:21 AM
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Mike Tyson's bark sometimes seems worse than his bite.
"I was just talking smack, just hyping the fight," Tyson said when asked about a Los Angeles Times story in which he indicated he wouldn't hesitate to bite an opponent again in certain situations.
"I was just blowing off hot air," the former undisputed heavyweight champion said Wednesday at a news conference for his 10-round fight against Orlin Norris on Saturday night in the MGM Grand.
Tyson was disqualified and had his license revoked for biting Evander Holyfield's ears in the third round June 28, 1998.
"I would do it again under those circumstances. [Referee] Mills Lane wasn't protecting me [from head butts]. He didn't handle the situation appropriately," Tyson said in the Oct. 3 story in the Times.
"I was trying to sell some tickets," Tyson said. "The Nevada State Athletic Commission knew I wasn't serious. They knew the trauma that I went through. I won't do that in the ring."
Marc Ratner, executive director of the commission, said what Tyson said was "what we call newspaper talk. What he does in the ring is the only thing we can judge him on."
Richard Steele of Las Vegas will be the referee Saturday night. The judges, all of Las Vegas, will be Dave Moretti, Dalby Shirley and Art Lurie.
The 34-year-old Norris said he is concentrating on Tyson's punch, not his bite.
"I'm expecting an action kind of fight," said the former WBA cruiserweight champion with a 50-5 record, with 27 knockouts. "I know he's going to hit me and I'll hit him. I just have to avoid the big punch."
"I'm bringing some pain," said the 33-year-old Tyson (46-3, 40 knockouts), who will be fighting for the first time since he knocked out Francois Botha with a right to the jaw in the fifth round Jan. 16. Botha had won the first four rounds on two official cards and won three of four on the third.
"That wasn't a good experience," Tyson said, "but it was a sensational ending."
Following the victory over Botha, Tyson was jailed in Maryland for assaulting two motorists after a fender-bender. He was released from jail May 24 after serving 3 1/2 months.
Tyson made a comeback in 1995 from three years in an Indiana prison on a rape conviction and again this year after being idle in 1998. His license had been revoked because of the Holyfield fight.
"Not too many people could start over as many times as I did," Tyson said.
The fight will be shown live on Showtime, with the telecast to begin at 11 p.m. EDT. Roberto Garcia's IBF junior lightweight title defense against Diego Corrales also will be televised live, and taped highlights of a heavyweight bout between David Tua and Shane Sutcliffe earlier on the card will be shown.
Tyson's fight could be delayed until the first game of the World Series ends, but Jay Larkin of Showtime said the latest the bout will begin is midnight EDT.