The nation's capital may be the future site for the proposed June 8 pay-per-view heavyweight championship fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, now that the Washington, D.C., athletic commission has granted Tyson a boxing license.
During a morning conference call last Tuesday, the three-member D.C. commission unanimously voted to grant Tyson a license, allowing fight co-promoters Showtime Event Television and Home Box Office PPV to pursue a site deal.
Sources close to SET said Washington is now the lead venue for the event, which was initially scheduled for April 6 in Las Vegas. The Nevada Athletic Commission several weeks ago refused to grant Tyson a boxing license, forcing SET and HBO to seek other options.
Georgia has also granted Tyson a boxing license, and California has expressed an interested in hosting the fight, though Tyson has yet to file an application there.
Only Nevada and Texas have officially said no to a Tyson-Lewis fight.
The Lewis camp — which in recent weeks has teetered on the brink of walking away from the fight, due to Tyson's failure to obtain a license — will now work toward finalizing a deal.
"Now that the District of Columbia has given Mike Tyson a license to box, Main Events will start work on the feasibility of promoting a bout in Washington, D.C.," said Gary Shaw, chief operating officer of Main Events Inc., which promotes Lewis.