Mike Tyson's calendar has been finalized for the rest of the year. Now he needs to line up a few opponents for his latest comeback.
Tyson will return to the ring Oct. 2 in Las Vegas for his first fight since stopping Francois Botha in the fifth round Jan. 17, his manager said Wednesday.
If all goes well in that bout, manager Shelly Finkel told The Associated Press that Tyson would fight again Dec. 11 on a pay-per-view card. Both fights would be held at the MGM Grand hotel-casino in Las Vegas.
No opponents have been selected for either fight, but possible opponents for Oct. 2 include Zeljko Mavrovic of Croatia or Axel Schulz of Germany.
A spokesman for the MGM Grand confirmed that the Oct. 2 date was "the next available date we have."
The first fight would be televised on the Showtime cable network. It would be Tyson's first non pay-per-view fight since he stopped Buster Mathis Jr. on the Fox network on Dec. 16, 1995.
Assuming Tyson wins, he is scheduled to fight a pay-per-view fight Dec. 11, with an upgraded opponent along the lines of Andrew Golota or Shannon Briggs.
The 33-year-old former heavyweight champion has fought only once against Botha since his infamous biting of Evander Holyfield's ears ended their fight in the third round June 28, 1997.
The most feared heavyweight of his time in the late 1980s, Tyson has fought only 12 times in the last decade. He is 9-3 in those fights.
Tyson has been in Phoenix since last month, shedding pounds to get ready for the boxing portion of his training that will begin sometime in the next two weeks.
Tyson weighed the heaviest of his career when he fought Botha, 223 pounds, and reportedly weighed 275 pounds when he was released from a Maryland prison May 24 after his latest jailing for attacking two men following a traffic altercation.
Meanwhile, Finkel said Tyson will continue to be promoted by Denver-based America Presents, which promoted his comeback fight against Botha.
Tyson, who split with promoter Don King after accusing him of taking more than $100 million in his earnings, had a two-fight deal with America Presents that was signed after he got his boxing license back in Nevada.
Finkel said a new contract expected to be signed this week ties the former champion to America Presents for another four fights.
©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
© 1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.