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New Jersey gambling authorities unanimously rejected a petition

November 29, 1995

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ New Jersey gambling authorities unanimously rejected a petition from casino operator Donald Trump that would have allowed Mike Tyson to fight Buster Mathis Jr. in Convention Hall Dec. 16.

Today’s vote was 4-0 by the state Casino Control Commission.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement argued the proposed fight constituted doing indirect business with Tyson’s promoter Don King.

``The interest in staging the fight was outweighted by maintaining the integrity of casino regulations,″ said Bradford Smith, chairman of the control commission.

The control commission banned King last year from doing business with Atlantic City casinos after the promoter was indicated for wire fraud. His recent federal trial ended in a mistrial.

The commission heard arguments from Joseph Frusco, representing Trump, whose three casinos would be involved in the promotion.

Frederick McDonough represented the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

``I have some serious objections to the fight as it was proposed by King and the Trump organization,″ Frank Catania, director of the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, said Tuesday.

Tyson’s co-manager said Tuesday the Tyson-Mathis deal is done.

``The fight is on,″ John Horne told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Tyson, who arrived here Friday to begin training, was seen signing autographs at Trump’s Castle Casino Resort on Tuesday.

Trump asked the commission Tuesday to let King assign the promotional rights to someone else ``for nominal consideration.″

``If they say no, we don’t have a fight,″ Trump said Tuesday.

Trump said his three casinos and two Bally’s properties would be sponsors. But he said the casinos would not be conducting business with Don King Productions.

``DKP will not directly or indirectly participate in any portion of the proceeds from ticket sales to the event,″ Trump’s petition said.

Trump’s petition said King ``or an affiliate″ would sign a deal under which the fight would be seen live on free television on the Fox Network.

Fox executives had no comment.

The fight would be Tyson’s second since he was released from an Indiana prison on March 25 after he served three years on a rape conviction. He beat Peter McNeeley in 89 seconds on Aug. 19 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

He was supposed to fight Mathis on Nov. 4 at the Grand, but the fight was called off after Tyson fractured his right thumb in training.

The former undisputed champion is scheduled to challenge WBC champion Frank Bruno on March 16 at the MGM Grand.

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