Wellington, Oct 12(ANI): New Zealand Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson has once again denied former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson a visa to visit the country despite the backing of urban Maori authority chairman Willie Jackson.
Tyson was set to visit Australia and New Zealand next month as part of his one-man show, which details how he turned his life around after drug addiction and spells in prison.
The controversial boxer was initially granted a visa under a special direction, but Wilkinson reversed that after charity Life Education Trust pulled a letter of support that had been written by a trust volunteer.
Tyson then filed another visa application after he received backing from Jackson, but Wilkinson was unmoved, and she once again denied visa to the American boxer due to his criminal past.
“The original decision in respect of Mr Tyson was a finely balanced call based on the letter of support from a board member of the Life Education Trust,” Stuff.co.nz quoted Wilkinson, as saying.
“When the Trust withdrew its support I received another application from Mr Tyson’s representatives with the support of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority,” she added.
“This new application was not enough to get the application over the line and as such, I have declined to grant Mr Tyson a new visa under the Immigration Act 2009,’ she said.
Tyson, who won 50 of his 58 fights, 44 of them by knockout, was convicted of raping 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington, and he served three years in jail for this crime. (ANI)