Mike Tyson abandons London appearances following bar from UK

Tyson will not contest UK entry ban

Mike Tyson has been forced to pull out of promotional appearances in London after being barred from entering the UK because of previous convictions.

The former heavyweight boxing champion, 47, was due to attend events promoting his autobiography Undisputed Truth.

Tyson served three years of a six-year sentence imposed in 1992 for raping a teenage beauty-pageant contestant.

Anyone sentenced to more than four years in prison is not allowed to enter Britain under immigration laws.

Tyson will carry out his promotional obligations in Paris after publisher Harper Collins admitted to being unaware he was barred from the UK.

"There was a change in the UK immigration law in December 2012 of which we were unaware," the publisher said in a statement. "For this reason, Mike had to change location to Paris to salvage his press obligations for the UK."

Tyson, who became the youngest world heavyweight champion, aged 20, when he beat Trevor Berbick in 1986, also has convictions for assault and cocaine possession.

"We would not comment on the details of an individual case," said a Home Office spokeswoman. "We reserve the right to refuse entry to the UK to anyone who is convicted of serious criminal offences.

"In December 2012, we toughened up the rules on entering the UK, replacing the previous discretionary approach with a clearer, stronger framework including mandatory refusals based on the length of, and time since, sentence."

Listen to Mike Costello's interview with Mike Tyson on BBC Radio 5 live on Thursday, 19 December, between 1900 and 2000 GMT.

Top Stories