Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is "disappointed" after he was denied entry to New Zealand, reports TVNZ. The erstwhile fighter was due to speak at a special event in Auckland on November 15 2012.
"He's clean, he sober, he's a vegan, he's coming with his wife, his two children under four and his mother-in-law, he can't possibly do anything wrong in 20 hours, even the Prime Minister said he's only here for 20 hours," said Max Markson, the promoter for Mike Tyson's visits to Australia and New Zealand. "And in addition to that he is very much giving a social and economic benefit to the New Zealand economy." All was looking well for Tyson, as he'd previously been granted entry to the country despite his rape conviction, but that all changed this morning (October 3rd) when Associate Immigration Minister, Kate Wilkinson, said a children's charity had withdrawn its support for his visit. "Yesterday evening the Life Education Trust contacted my office and asked for that letter to be withdrawn, making it clear that the Trust no longer wants to have any involvement with Mr Tyson's visit," Wilkinson explained in a statement.
New Zealand immigration law states that a visa will not be granted to a person who has been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for five years or more; Tyson served six years in jail for the rape of an 18-year-old beauty queen in 1991. "He is quite down about it," Markson said.