Tyson granted New Zealand visa

- Posted in New Zealand by Dominicon 27 September 2012

Mike Tyson will now be allowed to
speak in Auckland in November.

Former boxing champion Mike Tyson has finally been granted a New Zealand visa after his trip to the country was thrown into doubt due to a criminal charge dating back to the early 1990s.

Tyson is due to speak as a motivational speaker at an event in Auckland in November but whether he would be able to attend looked unlikely due to a 1992 charge for rape.

Current New Zealand visa policy stipulates that anyone who has served more than five years in prison excludes them from obtaining a visa; Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison for the 1992 rape of Desiree Washington but he only served three years of his sentence.

Upon his release Tyson went on to capture many of boxing's best records but his career was marred by further incidents, including the infamous biting of Evander Holyfield's ear. The former world heavyweight champion's career came to a disappointing end in 2005, leaving Tyson bankrupt and struggling with drug dependencies.

However, since then the former prize-fighter has turned his life around and now performs a critically acclaimed motivational show which he was hoping to bring to Australia and New Zealand this year.

Tyson's criminal conviction originally placed his trip in doubt but the company promoting Mike Tyson's Day of the Champions at the Vector Arena in November, Markson Sparks, has confirmed Tyson will be granted a New Zealand visa.

"Mike Tyson, youngest ever world heavy weight boxing champion and star of The Hangover movies has been granted a visa to visit New Zealand," read a statement from the promotions company.

- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the New Zealand Visa Bureau.