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Decision To Admit Tyson Defended

May 22, 2000

LONDON (AP) _ The decision to allow Mike Tyson into Scotland for his June 24 bout was defended in Parliament on Monday amid charges by actress Glenda Jackson that a visa was granted to a ``proven abuser of women.″

Home Secretary Jack Straw said he based his ruling on the risk posed by the former heavyweight champion and the need to be consistent in such matters.

``It is my responsibility to make these decisions on the law as it exists,″ he told the House of Commons.

``Above all, I had to take account of whether in this particular case Mr. Tyson’s entry would pose a risk to the public. And on the basis of the history of this application and the need for fairness and consistency, I took the decision that I did.″

Straw allowed Tyson, a convicted rapist, to enter Britain to fight Julius Francis in Manchester in January.

Jackson, a member of Parliament, accused Straw of sending the wrong signals with regard to government policy on violence against women.

``You will be aware of the sense of stupefaction felt by many of my constituents at the Home Secretary’s decision to allow into this country for a second time a proven abuser of women,″ Jackson said.

Tyson will fight Lou Savarese at Glasgow’s Hampden Park soccer stadium, a bout promoter Frank Warren said will bring a sellout crowd of 58,000.

The fight will be televised in 180 countries and generate some $21 million to the local economy, Warren said.

At a news conference in Glasgow, Warren said the Tyson card will have at least two world title contests, but the arrangements are incomplete.

``There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this fight and all I can say is people are entitled to their views,″ Warren said.

``We live in a democracy and as long as people express those views peacefully, I don’t have a problem with that.″

He said the women’s groups are entitled to their opinion, but ``there are people who want to see Mike Tyson fight, and their voice must be heard, too.″

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