Volume 96, Issue 78
Tuesday, February 18, 2003

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Tyson tussle tattooed

LAS VEGAS (CP-AP) – A new tattoo on Mike Tyson's face is one of the reasons his comeback fight with Clifford Etienne in Memphis on Sunday could be cancelled, according to reports.

Trainer Freddie Roach says his fighter may not be fit to step in the ring.

"We had been getting along so well. Everything had been great. Then, all of a sudden, everything stopped," he was quoted in London's Evening Standard. "He got the tattoo on his face and he quit coming to the gym.

"He only trained two days last week and he got the tattoo on his face, which I guess was the first sign that something was up. If he asks me if he should fight, I would advise him not to. If he's not 100 per cent, or close to it, he shouldn't fight because his career's over if he loses to a guy like Etienne."

Roach said the new tattoo is an "African tribal thing" that covers a large area of Tyson's face.

On Sunday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper quoted America's National Institute of Environmental Health Services as explaining that an allergic reaction to pigments in tattoo dye was possible.

The Institute said that someone having a new tattoo was also at risk of bacterial or viral infection.

On Friday, Tyson reportedly went to a doctor for treatment of flulike symptoms, and manager Shelly Finkel said Tyson was still ill over the weekend.

Tyson is making a comeback after taking a beating from Lennox Lewis in their heavyweight title fight last June.

Tyson, 36, already has tattoos of Che Guevara, Mao Tse-tung and Arthur Ashe on his body.

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