Mike Tyson's proposed fight against David Izon in September is off, and the former heavyweight champion appears headed for an October match against Andrew Golota, The Associated Press learned Thursday.
"September is out," a source close to negotiations said of a bout between Tyson and Izon proposed for Sept. 8 at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich.
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the plan is to match Tyson against Golota on SET, the pay-per-view arm of Showtime, Oct. 20, in the Silverdome at Pontiac, Mich.
Should this happen, the source said, Tyson then could fight Izon in January in Malaysia on Showtime.
Shelly Finkel, Tyson's manager, denied Thursday to the Detroit News that Izon would be bypassed.
"That's not correct," Finkel told the newspaper.
Rose Chu, chief executive of Promote Classic Sdn Bhd, was quoted by a Malaysian news agency as saying in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 6 that Tyson would fight there Jan. 20.
The last fight of note internationally in Malaysia was Muhammad Ali's dull 15-round decision over Joe Bugner on July 2, 1975.
Tyson said after his 38-second victory over Lou Savarese June 24 at Glasgow, Scotland, that he wanted two or three more fights before challenging heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.
A Tyson-Golota fight is a much bigger attraction than a Tyson-Izon match simply because of their reputations for breaking the rules.
Tyson, of course, is known for biting Evander Holyfield's ears in 1997, which led to a third-round disqualification and the revocation of his license in Nevada, which he did not get back for a year.
He also knocked down Orlin Norris after the bell ended the first round last Oct. 23 at Las Vegas. When Norris twisted a knee while falling and could not continue, the fight was declared a no-contest. The Nevada commission let it be known that it didn't want to see Tyson fight in that state anytime soon.
When Tyson's fight against Savarese was stopped, he tried to get at Savarese again, throwing two or three punches and elbowing referee John Coyle to a knee.
The British Boxing Board of Control is investigating the aftermath of the fight, including an interview in which Tyson said that when he fights Lewis he would rip out the champion's heart and feed it to him.
A hearing scheduled for Wednesday was postponed indefinitely at the request of lawyers for Tyson, who is not expected to fight in Britain again.
Golota, who was stopped by Lewis in the first round of a title bid in 1997, was disqualified for throwing several low blows against Riddick Bowe in two fights in 1996. He also bit Samson Po'uha on a shoulder in 1995 and butted Danell Nicholson in 1996, but won both fights.
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