Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has been granted a visa to enter Australia for a series of motivational talks next month.
"We are thrilled and grateful to the Australian government for granting Mike Tyson a visa and allowing him to visit Australia for the first time," Max Markson, CEO of tour promoter Markson Sparks, said on Wednesday.
Tyson's speaking engagements in Australia were supposed to include a similar visit to New Zealand, but his visa was revoked by that country's associate immigration minister, Kate Wilkinson, after it had been approved.
“Iron Mike” Tyson, who served three years of a six-year jail sentence for rape, needed dispensation under New Zealand immigration laws because of his conviction.
However, a youth-related charity trust that originally backed his visit to appear at the Auckland event, billed as "Day of the Champions", said it no longer wanted to have anything to do with Tyson's visit because of his conviction.
Tyson's promoters applied for a new visa for New Zealand after a second community group said it would support his application in exchange for him talking to at-risk youth.
"We hope we will also receive good news about Tyson's visit to New Zealand and are now patiently waiting on their response," Markson said.
Tyson, 46, was undisputed world heavyweight champion in the 1980s but he was convicted in 1992 of raping teenage beauty queen Desiree Washington and served three years in prison.
He added to his notoriety when he bit rival Evander Holyfield on both ears in a 1997 bout, for which he was disqualified and temporarily suspended.
Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003 and retired from professional boxing three years later.
Last month, Tyson spoke at a financiers' conference in Hong Kong about his life before and after boxing, his family and his acting career, which includes a recent one-man show on Broadway. Tags: Mike Tyson