Tyson Deemed 'Fit To Fight'

Mike Tyson was very depressed going into his last fight against Evander Holyfield because of personal and financial problems, he told psychiatrists in a report that finds he is "fit to box again."

Tyson said he was feeling betrayed by "people I would have died for" leading up to the title fight in which he bit Holyfield's ears, according to the report released today by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

The former heavyweight champion was stripped of his license for biting Holyfield in June 1997, and the commission last month ordered him to undergo a psychiatric exam as part of his relicensing bid. The commission meets next Monday to consider the request.

Related Links

Report excerpts

Fight schedule


  • Current Boxing Champions
  • World Rankings

    Forum: Should Tyson get his boxing license back?

  • A report byt a team of psychiatrists who examined Tyson portrays him as lacking in self-esteem and depressed to the point that he has been taking antidepressants in the months following the fight.

    "I have no self-esteem, but the biggest ego in the world," Tyson told the psychiatrists.

    The report says Tyson felt embarrassed and humiliated by having to undergo five days of testing last month before doctors in Boston, and was concerned that people would think he was "psycho."

    It also says he has problems dealing with his status as a celebrity.

    "I don't want super stardom," Tyson said.

    But it says Tyson is deeply remorseful for biting Holyfield's ears and is highly motivated not to repeat any such behavior in the ring.

    "We believe that the risk of such a re-offense is low," the report said.

    The report recommends that Tyson undergo psychotherapy and that his problems with depression and self-esteem can be treated without any further medication.

    It concludes by saying there is no way to predict future behavior, but the doctors believe Tyson is fit to box again.

    "It is the opinion of the evaluation team that Mr. Tyson is mentally fit to return to boxing, to comply with the rule and regulations, and to do so without repetition of June 28, 1997," the report said.

    "While we take note of the impulsivity, emotional problems and cognitive problems outlined above, it is our opinion that none of these, alone or in combination, render Mr. Tyson mentally unfit in this regard."

    Mike Tyson
    The Nevada Athletic Commission will meet Monday to determine whether to relicense Mike Tyson. (AP)

    The report was released publicly Tuesday and was given to the Nevada panel just minutes before a late Monday deadline.

    A team of six doctors who examined Tyson last month at Massachusetts General Hospital wrote the report, which was ordered by the commission to evaluate Tyson's application to box again. The examiners included a neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, two neurologists and a doctor-lawyer.

    The commission will meet Monday to determine whether to relicense Tyson. If Tyson is denied a license, he will have to wait another year to be able to return to the ring.

    Tyson's lawyer, Jim Jimmerson, earlier described the reports as positive and said show that Tyson is mentally and physically able to fight. He acknowledged, though, that they contain things Tyson would rather not be seen.

    "It is a hard-hitting report," Jimmerson said. "There are going to be things that talk about his innermost thoughts and innermost feelings."

    Tyson issued a statement saying he didn't want to release the reports but that his main goal is getting back into the ring.

    "On numerous occasions I have apologized for my actions in the ring vs. Evander Holyfield," Tyson said. "I am willing to do whatever the Nevada Athletic Commission wants me to do in order to regain my license to fight."

    The commissioners asked for the psychiatric reports after a six-hour licensing hearing decided nothing last month.

    At issue at Monday's hearing will not only be Tyson's psychological records, but questions about a traffic altercation he was involved in Aug. 31.

    "It will be a very interesting hearing," predicted Marc Ratner, the commission's executive director.

    Jimmerson was upbeat about the reports as he personally delivered them to the commission offices, despite having spent the last two weeks trying to keep them secret.

    "He is sound mentally, he is sound physically, and he is sound neurologically," Jimmerson said.

    The major question asked by the commission was whether the doctors believe Tyson is mentally fit to compete without having another episode like the one in which he bit Holyfield's ears.

    The other questions centered around Tyson's ability to handle stress and his mental diagnosis.

    Earlier Mondy, Tyson lost a fight to keep the records out of public view.

    A divided Nevada Supreme Court refused to block a lower court's order that allows the documents to be made public once they are given to the commission.

    Though the court rejected the motion to keep the records secret, two of the five justices questioned why all the details of Tyson's psychological tests had to be revealed, with one saying the ruling "unfairly and needlessly puts Mr. Tyson in a dilemma."

    Submitting the reports Monday means Tyson will go before state boxing officials once again to try and get back the license they revoked 15 months ago when he bit Holyfield during the third round of their aborted title fight.

    Tyson and his advisers want the hearing as soon as possible because they want Tyson to fight a comeback fight on Dec. 5. if he gets his license back.

    Tyson faces trial in Montgomery County, Md., the same day the commission meets on assault charges filed by two men stemming from the traffic accident outside Washington.

    Tyson's lawyers have been trying to negotiate a settlement with the two men, although prosecutors in Maryland say they plan to go ahead with the case even if a settlement is reached.

    Jimmerson said he thinks the Maryland trial date will be vacated, and said Tyson will answer questions from the commissioners about the traffic scuffle. Commissioners were irritated at Tyson's Sept. 19 hearing when, on legal advice, he refused to discuss what happened.

    "Maryland is still an open issue," Jimmerson said. "There will be a proper response. What Mike has to say about it is still being discussed."

    © 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved