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Holyfield: 'I really think he deserves a license'

NEW YORK -- Evander Holyfield believes that Mike Tyson
deserves another chance to fight.

"I really think he deserves a license," said Holyfield, who
had both ears bitten by Tyson in a 1997 fight, an action that led
to a revocation of his license by the Nevada State Athletic
Commission.

Tyson fought twice in Las Vegas in 1999, but his application to
get a license to challenge heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis there
April 6 was denied by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Jan. 29.

Tyson has applied for a license in Texas. He might apply for one
in California, and Michigan promoter Tommy Hears, a former champion
in five weight classes, has expressed interest in holding the
fight.

"He really hasn't done anything not to get licensed,"
Holyfield said Friday in a telephone interview.

Tyson appeared before the Nevada commission one week after a
melee involving him and Lewis at a news conference in New York.

"I think they had their minds made up before the hearing,"
Holyfield said. "I think he was judged on the brawl, but Lewis got
into it, too."

Holyfield noted that Lewis had also been involved in a ruckus
with Hasim Rahman before their rematch, won by Lewis, and that
other fighters have thrown punches and wrestled at news
conferences.

"Don't make a rule just because it's Mike Tyson," Holyfield
said. "It seems there is a rule just for Mike Tyson."

Marc Ratner, the Nevada commission's executive director, has
said the melee wasn't the only reason Tyson was denied a license.
He said the commissioners also were concerned that he was not
taking medication regularly and was not receiving therapy as had
been promised when he got a license to fight in Nevada in 1999.

Holyfield, who won the WBA title from Tyson in 1996 and kept it
in the Bight Fight, said he would fight Tyson again on two
conditions.

"I'd do it if it were for the title or if it was fight that
would get a title shot," said Holyfield, who has held at least a
piece of the title four times.

A bid to become a champion a fifth time failed when John Ruiz
kept the WBA title on a field draw Dec. 15.

Asked how Tyson would fare against the bigger Lewis, who fought
a draw with and outpointed Holyfield in two title fights, Holyfield
said: "It's an interesting fight. Style makes fights. Everybody
Tyson has blown out are like Lewis. They weren't aggressive. They
were laid back like Lewis, waiting to see what he's going to do."