Tyson takes first step in applying for California license

Friday, February 1st 2002, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Mike Tyson has taken the first step in applying for a license in California, where he hopes to fight heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

Rob Lynch, executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, said Friday a fax was received from attorneys for Tyson requesting consideration for a license.

Tyson's adviser, Shelly Finkel, has said the Staples Center in Los Angeles has expressed interest in holding the fight.

Tyson lost his bid to fight Lewis in Las Vegas on April 6 when the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted 4-1 Tuesday to deny him a boxing license.

``First, we're going to have to gather a lot of information from Nevada,'' Lynch said from his Sacramento office. ``That's going to take some consent release forms to get the information we need. And then the commission, in concert with our attorneys, will decide when they want to hear it.''

Lynch said a hearing probably would be held late this month, and ``certainly before the proposed fight date.''

Lynch said the matter definitely wouldn't be on the agenda Feb. 9 when the commission has its next scheduled meeting in El Segundo.

To receive a license in California, Tyson would need four affirmative votes from the six commissioners.

Staples Center president Tim Leiweke, who wasn't immediately available for comment Friday, has stated interest in a Tyson-Lewis matchup.

Leiweke said if Staples Center is occupied on the date requested, the Great Western Forum in nearby Inglewood is another option. The Los Angeles Kings play host to the Edmonton Oilers in an NHL game at Staples Center the night of April 6.

Lewis addressed the situation Thursday night on CNN's ``Larry King Live.''

``First of all, you have to realize that Mike Tyson needs some help,'' Lewis said. ``I think he should get the proper help first before he thinks about boxing.

``You have to ask Mike Tyson if he wants to fight me, because basically, he doesn't show that he wants to fight me. He attacked at a press conference the other day and then takes a bite out of my leg. ... It doesn't seem like he wants to fight at the moment, so he's doing everything to stop it.''

Lewis said he had a tetanus shot and was taking antibiotics as a precaution following the biting.

``You know, that's what I say, Lennox Lewis is fighter and Mike Tyson is a biter,'' Lewis said.

A number of countries have expressed interest in holding the bout, including South Africa, the Netherlands and Germany.

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