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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Las Vegas Won't Live Without Tyson

WASHINGTON -- Clip and save: Mike Tyson will fight next year, in October or November, against Evander Holyfield. In Las Vegas. Make your reservations now.


Oh, that's right Mike Tyson was ... dum-da-dum-dum: Banned From Boxing.


His boxing license was revoked.


The five-member Nevada State Athletic Commission threw the book at him.


They gave him the max.


Oh, please.


They gave him one year.


He'll be back in Las Vegas before Liza Minelli will.


The terms under which Tyson's license was revoked allow him to apply for reinstatement in a year. So don't be surprised when Tyson does so next July 8 -- and when, a few weeks later, a Tyson-Holyfield rematch is announced.


And why will that happen, boys and girls?


Because, as a very smart man once told me, "The answer to all of your questions is: money.''


You may have noticed that Nevada is -- hmmm, how shall I put this delicately -- a hellhole. It is mountains and desert. I have driven through it; it's as forbidding as the moon. The lovely patches of green in Las Vegas and Reno are no more natural than the chests on so many of the chorus girls there.


Nevada's single attraction is the "cha-ching'' of easy money through gambling. Nobody would set foot in Nevada if not for gambling. One way to attract gamblers to Nevada is by offering first class entertainment. Mike Tyson is the biggest draw in boxing. And because of his recent notoriety he is bigger than ever.


Tyson's next fight -- against anybody, against Andrew Golota in a steel cage -- will bring many millions of dollars to Nevada. If Nevada had actually banned Tyson, he would have pursued his boxing career in a foreign country, and all that cash money would have crossed America's borders with him.


The five-member Nevada State Athletic Commission voted to keep the money coming.


In political science this is called "voting your self-interest.'' (By the way, did you get a good look at those "Nevada businessmen'' on the commission? My friend Nancy said she thought each one looked like he could wake up with a horse's head in bed next to him tomorrow morning.)


You'll forgive me for snickering at the fire-and-brimstone spin the Nevada State Athletic Commission is putting on its decision. These guys are standing around and puffing out their chests like they just sentenced Tyson to life on Mars. They're making a big deal that they fined him all the law allows. But while $3 million is a lot to you and me (if it's not a lot to you, feel free to donate yours to me) Tyson still has $27 million coming! "This deserves the maximum punishment,'' Elias Ghanem, commission chairman, said gravely.


But Tyson didn't get the maximum. The commission made a show of revoking his license while they winking. "Get outta here, Mike, you beast ... wink-wink. Pssst, you can reapply next July.''








A two-year suspension would have had more bite than this.


Tyson will be back in a year.