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Report: Lewis, Tyson to meet twice in 2002

Posted: Sunday January 20, 2002 7:58 PM
Updated: Sunday January 20, 2002 11:33 PM
  Lennox Lewis Lennox Lewis retained the WBC and IBF titles by knocking out Hasim Rahman on Nov. 17. AP

LONDON (Reuters) -- Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson will meet twice in 2002 because of a clause in their world heavyweight title fight contract, the BBC reported on Sunday.

The first clash on April 6 is due to be confirmed on Tuesday, with the second likely to happen in October, the BBC said.

A news conference to announce the details of the fight will be held at noon Tuesday at the Hudson Theater in the Millennium Hotel in downtown Manhattan.

The pay-per-view fight will be a joint venture of Showtime, which has a contract with Tyson, and HBO, which has a deal with Lewis.

Tyson is ranked No. 1 by the WBC, and the fight will be a mandatory defense for Lewis, who retained the WBC and IBF titles by knocking out Hasim Rahman in the fourth round Nov. 17.

The WBC said Monday that if the fight wasn't signed by Jan. 22, it would go to purse bids.

Lewis' American promoter is Main Events of New Jersey.

Tyson was supposed to fight Ray Mercer on Jan. 19, but that match was canceled so negotiation could continue for Tyson-Lewis.

On Oct. 13, Tyson, a former undisputed champion, stopped Brian Nielsen after six rounds in Copenhagen, Denmark. That was Tyson's first fight since Andrew Golota quit after two rounds Oct. 20, 2000, in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Tyson last held a piece of the title was he was WBA champion in 1996. He lost the title when he was stopped in the 11th round by Evander Holyfield on Nov. 9 of that year. In the rematch, Tyson was disqualified after three rounds for biting Holyfield's ears June 28, 1997. That act led to a $3 million fine and revocation of his license for a year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Earlier Friday after it was announced Tyson and his wife are divorcing. Tyson said in a statement, "This is a private situation. It will not be a distraction. I'm 100 percent focused on knocking out Lennox Lewis."

Tyson's second wife filed for divorce Thursday in Rockville, Md., accusing the former heavyweight boxing champion of adultery.

Tyson countered Thursday by suing for divorce in Las Vegas, claiming incompatibility, spokesman Scott Miranda said. There was a divorce case filed under the name Michael Tyson in Las Vegas, and it was ordered sealed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 
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