Seoul prepares to host likely Lewis-Tyson bout: official
March 13, 2002, 12:00 am TWN
South Korea, the co-host of the 2002 football World Cup, is likely to stage Mike Tyson’s heavyweight showdown with world champion Lennox Lewis, a boxing official said Tuesday.
“It is almost certain that Seoul will be chosen as the venue for the bout between Tyson and Lewis,” said the Korea Boxing Committee.
Four other countries have applied to stage the event — the Bahamas, Greece, Morocco and Mexico, he said on condition of anonymity.
“(South Korean promoters) have already deposited a sum of 50 million dollars in prize money for the bout with a bank,” he said.
Although Tyson still wants to hold the bout in Washington D.C., he is likely to change his mind and the World Boxing Council (WBC) is likely to make a final decision in favor of Seoul by Wednesday, he said.
The District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission is holding a hearing Tuesday night on whether to grant Tyson a license to fight the British champion in the U.S. capital on June 8.
The heavyweight fight was originally planned for April 6 in Las Vegas but a brawl between the fighters at a news conference led to Tyson’s fight license being denied by Nevada officials at a Jan. 29 hearing.
Texas and Georgia officials have rejected applications by Tyson but he has been approved in Tennessee, with Memphis another back-up site if Washington D.C. says no.
Lewis, the WBC and International Boxing Federation champion, reportedly can quit the deal arranged between rival broadcasters Showtime and HBO if plans for the fight are not set by Friday.
South Korea and Japan will co-host the World Cup from May 31 to June 30.