The possible return of former heavyweight champion Mike
Tyson to pay-per-view sometime in March or April may have to be pushed back after the
fighter's scheduled January fight hit a major roadblock.
Tyson's scheduled Jan. 26 fight in England against British
fighter Julius Francis was in jeopardy at press time after the country surprisingly banned
Tyson two weeks before the bout because of his controversial past.
According to sources close to the situation, the British
government enforced a long-standing immigration rule that prohibits the entry of
foreigners who have been convicted of crimes that would carry long jail stints in England.
The bizarre ruling left Showtime, which was expected to
carry the event, scrambling last week to try to keep the fight together. It was unclear at
press time whether Showtime and Tyson promoters would attempt to fight the ruling and keep
the bout in England, or seek another international venue.
Showtime representatives wold not comment on the matter.
Tyson promoter Shelly Finkel could not be reached for comment at press time.
If the fight were delayed, it would seriously jeopardize
plans to have Tyson face heavyweight contender Shannon Briggs in a Showtime Event
Television-distributed PPV fight sometime in March or April.
That match would have been Tyson's first fight on PPV since
last January, when he drew 700,000 PPV buys for a bout against journeyman Frans Botha.