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Thursday, July 30, 1998

Biting comments foil Tyson's license bid

Associated Press Writer
TRENTON, N.J., July 30 -- His spiritual advisor called him
charitable. His wife called him a great father and husband.
His manager called him remorseful and repentant.

But actions speak louder than words, and Mike Tyson's showed
that the temper that led him to bite Evander Holyfield has
not disappeared.

Appearing before the New Jersey Athletic Control Board on
Wednesday, Tyson was teary and apologetic one minute, angry
and profane the next.

At the end of a 35-minute appearance, his mood seemed to
sour after being continually questioned about biting
Holyfield's ears in their title fight last year.

His lawyer, Anthony Fusco Jr., said Tyson would read a
closing statement, but the fighter suddenly shook his head.

``I don't want to say it now, because I'm angry,'' he said.

Sensing Tyson's mood, Fusco hurried to finish his closing

``What he did was wrong. How many times does one individual
have to be asked ... `Are you sorry for what you did?'''
Fusco said.

``You know what I mean, man?'' Tyson said, interrupting his
lawyer. ``Why do I got to go through this (inaudible)
f---ing all the time?'' he said, hitting the table with his

``Relax, relax,'' Fusco said, putting his hand on Tyson's
shoulder from one side. Lawyer Raymond Redding did the same
from the other.

Tyson's show of anger came after three hours of testimony
from his supporters, including his wife, that praised the
former heavyweight champion.

Whether Tyson's temper will cost him the thing he needs most
-- a license to resume his career -- is up to the board,
which has 45 days to decide.

It will meet Aug. 6 to consider Tyson's application, but
won't rule then, according to Roger Shatkzin, a spokesman
for state Attorney General Peter Verniero.

Tyson bit both of Holyfield's ears -- taking a chunk out of
the right one -- in the June 28, 1997, fight in Las Vegas.
That prompted Nevada regulators to revoke Tyson's license
and fine him $3 million, leaving him eligible to apply for
reinstatement after one year.

But he reapplied for a license in New Jersey instead, hoping
for a return to the ring in Atlantic City. Fusco and others
say the 32-year-old fighter has paid his penalty, but some
say he should have returned to Nevada to get his license

On Wednesday, Tyson was cheered by office workers as he
arrived for the hearing, wearing a charcoal gray pinstriped
suit and holding the hand of his wife, Monica. There also
were some boos from members of the New Jersey chapter of the
National Organization for Women, who protested his

In the hearing, he got more bouquets from friends, family
members and fighters.

His spiritual adviser, Muhamed Siddeeq, said Tyson was
deeply repentant and that he deserved a second chance. His
new manager, Shelly Finkel, compared the bite to Roberto
Duran's famous 1981 refusal to continue fighting Sugar Ray
Leonard, when he said Duran just snapped.

``He wants redemption. He wants to have the opportunity to
go back in the ring. I believe he's entitled to it,'' Finkel

Tyson had offers to fight -- each worth $10 million --
during the one-year hiatus from Russia, Germany, Scandinavia
and the Middle East, but turned them down because he wanted
to honor the spirit of the Nevada ban, Finkel said.

Psychologist Bert Rotman, who examined Tyson earlier this
month for an hour, said he believed Tyson was trying to turn
his life around.

``He looks back and realizes he's made some serious
mistakes,'' Rotman said.

When it was his turn, Tyson responded in one-word answers to
questions from Assistant Attorney General Michael Haas, most
of them having to do with his 1992 rape conviction in
Indiana and his application for a New Jersey boxing license.

He told Haas he had broken off his relationship with
longtime promoter Don King and that he is no longer under
contract with any promoter. But he got more animated when
Haas asked what happened in the third round of the Holyfield

``I don't even know why I bit Mr. Holyfield. I don't even
know how I did it,'' he said.

He said Holyfield had head-butted him in their first fight
and that he was doing so again in the rematch. The blows
left him disoriented, and he went ``berserk,'' he said.

``I was in a rage. I just snapped. Nothing mattered anymore
at that particular moment,'' he said.

Then, pausing to hold back tears, he said: ``I'm sorry for
what I did. I wish it never happened. It will haunt me for
the rest of my life.''

When Haas asked if it would happen again were New Jersey to
license him, Tyson said: ``I doubt it very seriously.''

Asked what he would do if he were fouled again, he said: ``I
would hope whoever's refereeing the fight would do something
about it.''

He answered in calm, even tones, giving no indication of the
outburst to come.

When the proceeding ended, Tyson's entourage rushed him out
of the hearing room, conferring with him in a conference
room before they emerged and Tyson signed autographs.

``I never lost my cool,'' he insisted. ``I was just
expressing my hurt.''

Seahawks send Watters against Dallas' defense

WICHITA FALLS, July 30 (AP) -- Former Philadelphia Eagle
Ricky Watters will run for the Seattle Seahawks against
Dallas in a preseason game on Friday night.

Cowboys linebacker Randall Godfrey is glad for such a stern

Godfrey, a third-year outside linebacker from Georgia,
admitted the Cowboys were miserable at run defense last

``We've got to stop the run this year,'' he said. ``Last
year we had the best secondary in the league but couldn't
keep teams from moving the ball on the ground. We'll focus
on Ricky Friday night. We want to see how much we have

Godfrey said there will be one big, big reason why the
Cowboys should be a lot better.

``We only had Leon Lett for three games last year,'' Godfrey
said. ``You can see in training camp what a big difference
it means to have him back. We gave up a lot of yards last
year but with Leon in the line that's going to stop.''

Lett missed 13-games for an NFL-mandated drug suspension.

Godfrey, a second-round pick in 1996, said he had an OK
season last year but added, ``I have to get more consistent
in my play. I was kind of on and off last year. I can do
better than that.''

Godfrey worked at middle linebacker in minicamps and early
in training camp here trying for Fred Strickland's job.
However, a season-ending injury to another outside
linebacker, Broderick Thomas, put the experiment on hold.

``I thought I was doing a good job of making plays in the
middle but Thomas got hurt and I was moved back outside,''
Godfrey said. ``That's fine with me. Fred's doing a good job
and I think I'm playing well on the outside.''

Stopping the run will be a big focus for the Cowboys on
Friday night in their debut under Chan Gailey.

Eagles players need to return physicals

PECOS, July 30 -- Incoming players for the Pecos Eagles'
varsity, junior varsity and freshman football and volleyball
teams must have their physical forms filled out and returned
by next Wednesday in order to begin preseason workouts.

Pecos Eagles' volleyball coach Becky Granado said two-a-day
workouts for all high school volleyball players will begin
on Aug. 5, with juniors and seniors practicing from 7:30 to
9:30 a.m. Sophomore volleyball players' workouts will be
from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., while incoming freshmen will
practice from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Pecos' first scrimmages
will be on Aug. 14, and their season gets underway at home
against Alpine and Odessa High on Aug. 18.

Pecos Eagles' football players will also hold their first
two-a-day workouts under new head coach Dan Swaim on
Wednesday morning. Full pad practice will begin at the end
of the week, while the first scrimmage for the Eagles will
be at home on Aug. 21, against Monahans. Pecos scrimmages
Aug. 28 at Midland Greenwood, then opens their 1998 season
on Sept. 4 versus Denver City at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa.

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