A Brooding Tyson Strolls in London

Wednesday, June 21st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LONDON (AP) — Mike Tyson is in top physical condition for his bout with Lou Savarese in Scotland. His psychological condition could be another story.

The former heavyweight champion unexpectedly closed a workout Tuesday, deciding instead to lead about 100 reporters and photographers on a 30-minute stroll down Park Lane across from Hyde Park.

Tyson looked troubled and subdued. He arrived in London on Sunday, four days later than planned to attend the funeral of a friend shot to death in New York.

``Of course, it makes him vulnerable,'' Tyson trainer Tommy Brooks said. ``But we're talking about Mike Tyson, a fighting machine. ... He likes to crack heads for fun.''
Brooks, who led Tyson through a 45-minute closed workout, said the fighter was ``in great shape.'' He said Tyson would fight at 225 pounds and predicted a fourth-round victory in Saturday's fight in Glasgow.

``I like Lou, Mike likes him,'' Brooks said. ``So we're going to get it over with so he don't take no beating.''

But Brooks admitted Tyson could use a few more weeks to prepare. He suggested Tyson wasn't quite ready mentally, which might work to Savarese's advantage.

``He had a close friend that died,'' Brooks said. ``He's human and the guy was close to him. It's like having a brother or a sister, or a mom or a dad go away. It's hard to deal with. He's here to do his business. He's here to honor his contract.''

Police say Darryl Baum, 34, was shot in the head by an unidentified assailant while standing on a Brooklyn street corner June 11.

Brooks said the decision to close Tuesday's workout was made at the last minute ``to get in some hard training.''

``We made a team decision that we wanted to keep everything under wraps,'' Brooks said. ``We got a special little surprise for Mr. Savarese.''

Afterward, Tyson spoke in the lobby of the Grosvenor House Hotel with boxing adviser Shelly Finkel. Tyson declined interviews.

``Nothing today,'' Finkel said.

Wearing Scotland's blue national soccer jersey and matching shorts, Tyson went for a walk along Park Lane, just as he did repeatedly in January before stopping Britain's Julius Francis in the second round in Manchester, England.

Tyson stopped to peer through car showroom windows at the six-figure Jaguars and Mercedes, shook a few hands and posed for several young women taking his photograph.

When the driver of a double-decker bus stopped and shouted ``good luck, Mike,'' Tyson's scowl turned to a smile as he touched his hands to his chest and bowed.

Escorted by a half-dozen body guards, Tyson walked most of the way with his left arm wrapped around the right arm of Finkel.

On Monday evening, Tyson dropped into a bar for a drink. This time he was dressed in a white England soccer jersey and sneakers and mingled with patrons of the Lavenden Dives wine bar in Lavender Hill.

Women's groups sought to have Tyson, who served a three-year sentence for a rape conviction, banned from entering the country again. But British Home Secretary Jack Straw cited ``special circumstances'' in exempting Tyson from a law banning anyone who has served a sentence of a year or more.