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Memphis Considered for Tyson - Lewis Match - 2002-03-19

Representatives for American Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis of Britain have visited Memphis, Tennessee to discuss a possible heavyweight title fight between the two men in June.

Tyson adviser Shelly Finkel and Gary Shaw of Main Events, Lewis' New Jersey-based promoter, met with officials of the 20,500 arena called the Pyramid, which is leaving June eighth open for a possible Tyson-Lewis bout for Lewis' World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titles.

The meeting keeps Memphis as a legitimate contender to host the fight. Washington D.C. appeared to be the frontrunner when the city's boxing commission voted to grant Tyson a boxing license last week.

Tennessee had already granted Tyson a license, and local promoter Brian Young has been working on a deal to have two casinos in Mississippi, sponsor the fight. The nation's capital has no casinos or similar-type business that can put up the multimillion dollar venue fee usually associated with a heavyweight title bout of this magnitude.

The Tyson-Lewis bout was originally scheduled for Las Vegas. But Nevada refused to license Tyson after a melee at a news conference that was supposed to promote the fight, and also because of Tyson's past behavior. Many states and countries have since expressed an interest in the fight. Some states, such as Georgia, Texas and Colorado, have made it clear that Tyson would not be welcome to fight there.