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Tyson Has To Vacate Title To Win Title

July 2, 1996

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Mike Tyson will have to wait a little longer before trying to unify boxing’s three heavyweight titles. And he’s not happy about it.

Tyson says he doesn’t understand why he has to vacate the WBC title just as he appears on the verge of winning the WBA version of the crown from Bruce Seldon in their July 13 fight at the MGM Grand hotel-casino.

``No one cares when Mike Tyson is involved,″ Tyson said during a Monday conference call. ``No one wants to get involved.″

Under a deal made by promoter Don King with Lennox Lewis, Tyson either had to fight Lewis or vacate the WBC title he won in March from Frank Bruno.

Lewis agreed to take $4 million to step aside and let Tyson fight Seldon under the provision that he fight next for the title. Rather than fight Lewis under Lewis’ terms, Tyson will vacate the WBC title.

``It will be tough for me, because my purpose for coming out of prison was to unify the championship,″ Tyson said. ``Now there’s a possibility it might not be able to happen. We should be able to unify the title the right way.″

``We have to relinquish the title if Lennox Lewis says he doesn’t want to fight Tyson next after he beats Seldon,″ King said. ``Lennox Lewis opted to take $4 million and run like a thief in the night.″

Tyson is a 12-1 favorite to beat Seldon, a little-known fighter who won his share of the heavyweight title April 8, 1995, when he stopped Tony Tucker for the crown that became vacant when the WBA stripped George Foreman of his title.

Seldon has said he dreams of the fight and sees both fighters being knocked down and the bout going into the 12th round when he wakes up.

Tyson said he also dreams of his fights. He says he always gets knocked out.

``That tells you that it’s only a dream,″ said Tyson.

Tyson is not paying much attention to his dreams or those of Seldon as he prepares to fight for a portion of the heavyweight title for the second time since his release from prison.

Tyson scoffed at Seldon’s dreams of getting knocked down, then knocking Tyson down in their fight. In Seldon’s dream, he wakes up as the bell rings to open the 12th round, not knowing who won.

``I can’t imagine that happening,″ Tyson said. ``I’m just here to win, and I’m looking to do well in this fight.″

Should Tyson beat Seldon, he is expected to fight in the fall, possibly against former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.

In the meantime, Lewis and the WBC’s No. 1 ranked contender, Oliver McCall, will fight for that vacant title, and newly crowned IBF champion Michael Moorer will defend against Francois Botha of South Africa.

``I’m certain the winner of Botha-Moorer will be willing to unify the title and fight Mike Tyson,″ King said. ``In the meantime, Lewis gets knocked out again by Oliver McCall and McCall will fight Tyson. Then it will be the undisputed championship again.″

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