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Britain To Allow Mike Tyson In

May 18, 2000

LONDON (AP) _ The British government will allow Mike Tyson into the country next month to fight Lou Savarese in Glasgow, Scotland, despite a poll that shows he is unwanted.

Despite strong opposition from lawmakers and a newspaper poll that showed that nearly two-thirds of Scots don’t want Tyson let in, Home Secretary Jack Straw, whose department covers law and order, said today that the convicted rapist can return to Britain for the fight June 24.

``I am fully aware of the strong opinions which have been expressed on Mr. Tyson’s application, especially in Scotland, as I was when this matter last came before me in January,″ Straw said. ``It is, however, my responsibility to make decisions of this kind as fairly and impartially as I can, and that is what I have sought to do.″

Tyson, who served three years for a rape conviction, was cleared by Straw to enter the country in January despite a law that bars anyone who has served a jail sentence of a year or more.

Tyson knocked out Julius Francis in Manchester, England.

Straw agreed to bend the rules at the time, citing exceptional circumstances, and said the cancellation would have cost small businesses millions. But he also said that the visa might be a one-time occurrence.

Women’s groups are lining up against Tyson, as they did in January.

And a poll of 1,000 Scottish men and women, conducted by the tabloid Daily Record, 62.3 percent wanted Tyson kept out of the country. That compared with 21.1 percent saying he should be allowed in while 16.6 weren’t sure.

Despite the protests from women’s group, Tyson was received enthusiastically in January when he was treated like a rock star and mobbed everywhere he went while training in London and Manchester.

Two sites in Glasgow, are believed to be competing to land the Tyson-Savarese bout: Scotland’s 52,000-seat national soccer stadium, and Celtic’s 60,000-seat stadium.

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