Tuesday, February 12
Updated: February 13, 11:54 PM ET
Governor joins chorus of dissent

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- The political pressure against Mike Tyson is mounting.

Tyson registered properly
Mike Tyson properly registered as a sex offender with San Antonio police when he trained there briefly last year, his lawyer and local authorities said Tuesday.

The former heavyweight champion's name, however, doesn't appear on the state registry of sex offenders and one state lawmaker has questioned whether Tyson filled out the proper paperwork or if local authorities mishandled it.

Tyson has applied for a license to box in Texas in order to fight Lennox Lewis. State law requires people convicted of sex crimes living in Texas or just visiting to register with authorities. Tyson was convicted in Indiana in 1992 of one count of rape and two counts of deviate sexual conduct.

Tyson attorney Darrow Soll of Phoenix said he went with Tyson to register with San Antonio police on March 30.

"I can only tell you that any assertion that Mike didn't register is ridiculous," Soll said. "Mike always registers. Mike always tries to fulfill his obligations."

Police spokesman Gabriel Trevino confirmed Tyson registered with local authorities and notified them when he left about two weeks later

"As far as the San Antonio Police Department is concerned, he complied with the law," Trevino said. "Whether or not there was an administrative breakdown, that's not Mike Tyson's fault."

Tyson's paperwork was supposed to be sent to the state Department of Public Safety. Agency spokesman Tom Vinger said DPS never received Tyson's information and that state police requested it on Tuesday.

San Antonio police did not immediately release Tyson's registration paperwork despite a request from The Associated Press under state public records laws.

Questions about Tyson's registration status started last week when Rep. Ray Allen, R-Grand Prairie, said Tyson would be subject to arrest if he returned to Texas without being properly registered.

-- Associated Press

Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday urged state officials to reject Tyson's application to fight in Texas because of the boxer's "bad behavior and unresolved criminal charges."

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is reviewing Tyson's application. Agency officials say the decision rests with Executive Director Bill Kuntz.

Tyson is a convicted rapist and Las Vegas police earlier this month recommended he be charged with sexual assault in two cases there.

Perry said a Tyson fight in Texas would be bad for the state's image. The governor made no such objection when convicted rapist Tony Ayala Jr. was allowed to fight Santos Cardona in a high-profile middleweight bout last summer in San Antonio while awaiting trial on felony burglary charges.

"We were never asked about Tony Ayala," said Perry spokesman Gene Acuna. "We were asked about Mike Tyson."

Perry made his feelings about Tyson known in a letter to William Fowler, chairman of the board which oversees the licensing agency.

"Since Mr. Tyson has criminal charges pending against him for violence against women, recently sparked a brawl at a pre-fight news conference, has refused to submit to required drug tests in other states and has had boxing licenses revoked and refused in the past, I ask that his request to fight in Texas be denied," Perry wrote.

Texas supports athletics on all levels and is seeking to host to 2012 Summer Olympics, Perry said.

"However, given Mr. Tyson's bad behavior and unresolved criminal charges, it would be best not to subject Texas families, fans and venues to a Mike Tyson fight," he wrote.

Hector Uribe, Tyson's Austin attorney, urged state officials not to bow to political pressure.

Uribe said only a criminal conviction directly related to boxing _ such as taking a bribe to fix a fight _ would prevent Tyson getting a license.

"I always expect the state agency to follow the law. If it will refuse to bow to political pressure it will grant him a license," Uribe said.

"I don't think anyone would suggest having good character is a requirement to obtain a boxing license. Some would say it's not even a requirement for public office."

Promoters have been searching for a place to stage a heavyweight title bout between Tyson and Lennox Lewis.

The fighters were scheduled to meet April 6 in Las Vegas but the Nevada State Athletic Commission rejected Tyson's license application a week after a melee at a news conference in New York.

If Tyson is granted a Texas license, the Houston Astrodome, the Alamodome in San Antonio and the new American Airlines Center in Dallas are considered likely options to host the fight.

Georgia officials, meanwhile, have already granted his application to fight there.

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