January 15, 2000
Bruno on Boxing
By Joe Bruno--Former Vice President of the Boxing Writers Association and the
International Boxing Writers Association
New Item : Mike Tyson arrives in England for his fight with Julius Francis
"Bring us your worn, your huddled masses. Bring us anyone who can make us
a bloody buck."-- proposed sign at Englandís Heathrow Airport.
Rapiní Mike Tyson arrived in England on a Concorde jet on Sunday, January
16th for his scheduled fight with British heavyweight champion Julius Francis
(Orange Julius?), and anti-rape campaigners immediately said they were ready
to ask the High Court to review the government's decision to let the
convicted rapist into their country.
Justice for Women, a group that campaigns against domestic violence and
sexual assault, was incensed that Home Secretary Jack Straw "exceeded his
powers" in overriding immigration rules. Anyone convicted of a crime that
would carry a 12-month jail sentence in Britain is deemed unfit to enter the
country unless he can show compassionate reasons.
Pat Wilkins, a lawyer for the women's organization, said "It is a blatant
contradiction that this government has a strategy to tackle violence against
women and then the Home Secretary lets a rapist into the country."
Straw, who leads the department that oversees law enforcement, cited
"special circumstances" Thursday in admitting Tyson. He said he was
influenced by small businesses in Manchester that stood to lose money, and by
fight fans hoping to see Tyson's first bout in Europe.
"On the one hand is the abhorrence of his (Tysonís) record," Straw said.
"On the other hand, the inconvenience to members of the public - innocent
members of the public - who by this stage had already gotten their tickets."
Francis, a former jailbird himself, said he stood to loose 100,000 quid
if Tyson were not allowed in England, and as a result, Francis said he would
have to file for bankruptcy, then sue his country.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and the weaker sex in Britain
braced themselves for a big battle.
"I think much of the country is behind us," said Julie Bindel from the
Justice for Women organization. "This is to challenge the decision of the
Home Secretary. This (review) is to look at the extent of his powers and
whether or not he has abused them. It is not a witch hunt against Tyson. It
is actually looking at how the Home Secretary has acted inappropriately, so I
do think we have a good chance. We have the top lawyers in the country
working on this."
British promoter Frank Warren, who proposed this monstrosity-of-a -fight
in the first place, said would lose at least 1 million scones if the
Tyson-Francis fight was canceled. Warren said, "I am pleased to have got to
this stage (Tyson being allowed in England), so now we can get on with the
fight and put all this behind us."
No spit Sherlock.
Tyson, who stands to make a bloody good $12 million for his fight
against Francis (The Talking Mule?), once said he admired famed British
killer Reggie Kray, and that Kray, who is still in British prison after a
1969 murder conviction, wrote to Tyson while Rapiní Mike was in a United
Tyson was quoted in the British Daily Mail as saying: "Reggie Kray knew
what I was going through. He came from the people, and even though he was a
killer, people still loved him and his brothers."
Yeah, just like us Yanks love John Gotti. Give me a bloominí break.
The guys wearing the powdered wigs in the British courts, and the whole
of Scotland Yard, should investigate this
talking-out-of-the-side-of-his-mouth Straw-man post haste. The way English
law reads is that Tyson had to show those at immigration at Heathrow Airports
there were "strong compassionate reasons" why the ex-rapist should enter
England's cloudy shores, not "strong monetary reason." As a bit of added
advice, Mr. Straw better not even think about buying himself a new luxury car
with cash. At least not for the next month or so.
The bottom line in this whole Tyson situation is this: money talks,
bullcrap walks. Even in a snooty country with supposed high standards of
morality like England.
Warm beer is the least of our "Mother Countryís" predicaments for sure.