Former boxing champion Mike Tyson has lost his bid for a New Zealand visa.
Officials at the New Zealand Immigration Service have reversed their decision to grant Tyson entry into the country, where he had hoped to stage his one-man show for charity next month (Nov12).
The decision came after a benefactor at New Zealand's Life Education Trust charity withdrew a letter of support for Tyson.
Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson explains, "Yesterday evening the Life Education Trust contacted my office and asked for that letter to be withdrawn, making it clear that the Trust no longer wants to have any involvement with Mr.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.
"Given that the Trust is no longer supporting the event, on balance, I have made the decision to cancel his visa to enter New Zealand."
Max Markson, the promoter for Tyson's planned one-off performance in Auckland, is wading into the controversy to help The Hangover star secure clearance, insisting authorities should overlook his 1992 rape conviction.
He tells the New Zealand Herald, "It would be a tragedy if Mike Tyson could not come to New Zealand to do his show. We'll see if we can get a visa issued again... He's a vegan, he's sober, he's a great role model about how man can turn his life around and I'm sure there's worse people walking the streets in New Zealand today than Mike Tyson will be in the 20 hours he is here, hopefully, with his wife, his children."