Lifestyle & Belief

New Zealand withdraws Mike Tyson's visa due to rape conviction


Police said the Twitter threats appeared aimed at the audience attending former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson's one-man show on Broadway.


Ethan Miller

Mike Tyson was barred from entering New Zealand because of his rape conviction.

A New Zealand lawmaker rescinded the visa that Tyson, 46, had been issued, the Associated Press reported.

He was due to stage his one-man show "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth" in Auckland in November, Fairfax media reported.

Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said Tyson's visa was canceled after his sponsor, the Life Education Trust, withdrew its support.

Prime Minister John Key said the original decision to grant Tyson a visa was "marginal call."

An advocacy group, Women's Refuge, pointed out that New Zealanders with rape convictions would not be allowed into the US. 

Tyson, meantime, said he had been looking forward to visiting the country that is home to the Maori, indigenous people who he says inspired his facial tattoo.

"Other than that, I've never heard of Maori people so I'm looking forward to come down there and see them," the AP reported him as saying.

TVNZ cited Max Markson, Tyson's promoter for Australian and New Zealand, as saying the former boxer was "disappointed" by the Government's decision to revoke his visa.

Calling Tyson a "walking ambassador for New Zealand when you look at his Maori tattoo," Markson said Tyson would "love to do things with the [underprivileged] youth of south Auckland."

"His visit was always going to be about raising money, we hope to raise $50,000 to $60,000, and hopefully the Urban Maori Authority will want to be the beneficiary," he said.

Markson told the AP that he would try to get another visa issued for Tyson.

More from GlobalPost: Mike Tyson says he got female prison official pregnant