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Tyson Downs Savarese, Targets Lewis

June 26, 2000

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) _ Only referee John Coyle thought Mike Tyson’s fight against Lou Savarese should have been stopped after 38 seconds.

Tyson, separated from Savarese by Coyle, went around the referee and hit his opponent twice. Coyle fell as he was elbowed aside, but he quickly got up and pushed Tyson away as cornermen charged into the ring.

Boos rained down on the Hampden Park ring Saturday night from 20,000 chilled fans, some of them wet from a hard rain that preceded the bout. Many of them wanted a Tyson-type ending _ but not that fast.

``I thought I was ready to continue, but I don’t question the referee’s judgment,″ said Savarese, who went to a hospital for an injury to his left ankle. The injury probably occurred when he was knocked down by a smashing left hook to the side of the head only 12 seconds into the fight.

The 6-foot-5 Savarese, who will be 35 on July 14, got up at a count of five and was hit by four or five more punches. Coyle stopped the fight, but Tyson’s rage continued to flame.

``He was terrifying,″ said Jay Larkin, in charge of boxing for Showtime. ``It was a terrifying display of power; a display of relentlessness.″

It was Tyson’s third-quickest victory and seventh in less than one minute. He knocked out Marvis Frazier in 30 seconds in 1986 and he beat Robert Colay in 37 seconds in 1985.

``I am the most ruthless, brutal champion ever,″ Tyson said. ``I am Sonny Liston and Jack Dempsey. There is no one who can match me.″

A match with heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis is Tyson’s goal, and his harshest words were saved for the British champion.

``I want your heart,″ he said in comments aimed at Lewis. ``I want to eat your children.″

Tyson said when he does fight Lewis, ``I will rip out his heart and feed it to him.″

But Tyson also said before leaving the ring, ``I am not ready for Lennox Lewis. Of course, he wants me right now. I am not ready yet. I need more training. I am rusty.″

Tyson, who will turn 34 Friday, has a contract with Showtime, which televised the bout on tape delay Saturday night in the United States. Larkin said he hadn’t thought about who Tyson might fight next, but he mentioned Andrew Golota.

Golota twice was disqualified against Riddick Bowe for repeated low blows and he bit Samson Pou’ha on the shoulder. Tyson, of course, was disqualified for biting Evander Holyfield’s ears and his fight against Orlin Norris was declared a no-contest when Norris couldn’t continue after being knocked down after the bell ended the first round.

Tyson appeared at post-fight news conference only because he went through the wrong door. He quickly turned around and returned to his hotel. He left Glasgow on Sunday morning to fly to Phoenix.

Frank Warren, who promoted Saturday night’s fight and Tyson’s second-round stoppage of Julius Francis on Jan. 29 at Manchester, England, indicated he does not want to be involved with Tyson again.

The site of Tyson’s next fight is uncertain.

Las Vegas is not a promising option _ at least not right away. Marc Ratner, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said it would be 30 days before commissioners could convene to consider a request to re-license Tyson.

The fighter’s license to box in Las Vegas expired last Dec. 31, and the commissioners warned Tyson he would have a difficult time being licensed again. They suggested that he fight elsewhere for a while to show that he can learn to obey the rules.

Ratner said Sunday from Las Vegas that he hadn’t seen Tyson’s fight against Savarese.

``We had fights here last night. All I know about it is what I read in the newspaper. We haven’t even been contacted about a fight,″ he said. ``But if we were, then everything that’s happened since his last licensing could be brought up.″

There were reports that Tyson attacked Warren over a dispute concerning who should pay for some jewelry Tyson purchased in London in January. Tyson denied the reports, while Warren would not comment. Warren, absent from Glasgow for most of the week, attended the fight, and there appeared to be a redness around his right eye.

Warren said 40,000 tickets were distributed for the fight, but also said that 20,000 were returned. There had been doubts the fight would happen right up until the day of the match.

There were also questions about Tyson’s mental and physical condition. Tyson said he trained only three weeks, and the training had been interrupted for several days so he could attend the funeral of Darrell Bum, a friend who was murdered in Brooklyn, N.Y.