Morrison undergoing tests for AIDS

Thursday, December 23rd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- The troubles of former heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Morrison are multiplying. Morrison, who facesv arious drug and weapons charges, is now undergoing hospital tests to determine if he has AIDS.

Morrison, formerly of Jay, Okla., was at the Washington Regional Medical Center on Thursday at the urging of his attorney, who said he has noticed a recent change in Morrison's physical and mental conditions. Lawyer John "Rusty" Hudson said he asked Washington County jail officials to have Morrison tested to see if his HIV had developed into AIDS. "I requested it in order to determine if he merely has HIV or has full-blown AIDS, as well as to determine if he's stable, in general, and well enough to be in the jail," Hudson said.

On Tuesday, a judge revoked Morrison's bond and ordered him to jail after a Thanksgiving Day arrest for drug and weapon charges in Madison County. At the time, Morrison was free while awaiting a Washington County trial on previous drug charges. Morrison began taking medication a year ago to treat the virus that causes AIDS, Hudson said. But the lawyer said he has been told that Morrison stopped taking the HIV drugs in the past couple of months.

Morrison looked physically fit during an October arraignment in Washington County on charges of possession of cocaine, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia. But on Tuesday, Morrison "looked gaunt," Hudson said. "Mentally, I don't know how to characterize it, but not well. And physically, not well." Morrison defeated George Foreman to win the World Boxing Organization title in 1993. He had 40 knockouts during his career, the last in 1996 -- just after testing positive for HIV.