With the rescheduling of the May 20 Mike Tyson-Lou Savarese fight to June 24, operators hoping for a Tyson pay-per-view fight will have to wait until at least the fall.
Sources close to the situation said the fight was rescheduled after Tyson-who last fought in January-needed more time to train. The site for the bout has yet to be determined, although Showtime Networks Inc. executives said the event would take place somewhere in Europe. The Showtime pay TV network will televise the fight.
The fight was originally proposed for March 25. But Showtime's PPV arm, Showtime Event Television, was unable to reach a PPV-distribution agreement with In Demand. The bout was subsequently shifted to Showtime.
Operators were hoping to get at least two Tyson PPV events this year, but a Showtime source said the earliest Tyson would appear in a PPV bout would be early September.
Although it's possible that he could fight again in November or December, the former undisputed heavyweight champion would have to win his fights convincingly and remain injury-free.
If Tyson does fight on PPV in September, it might be only the second PPV-boxing event distributed by SET this year. The company distributed a March 4 Felix Trinidad-David Reid super welterweight championship fight.
Showtime, however, remains an active player in boxing. Along with the Tyson fight, the pay TV service will distribute several championship matches in the next two months, the most notable being a heavyweight-title fight on June 10 between Evander Holyfield and John Ruiz.
If Holyfield wins the vacant World Boxing Association heavyweight-championship belt-Lennox Lewis was stripped of the title after refusing to fight Ruiz-he would become the first fighter ever to win the heavyweight title four different times.
Other Showtime fights include this past Saturday's bout between World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion Johnny Tapia and Javier Torres; a May 20 fight featuring WBA middleweight champion William Joppy; and a July 15 bout between World Boxing Council champion Kostya Tszyu and six-time world champion Julio Cesar Chavez.