Mike Tyson’s visa was canceled by New Zealand’s Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson. The former heavyweight boxing champion-turned-actor, had his visa canceled after the organization that invited him to New Zealand withdrew its support for his visit.
The cause for concern stems from Tyson’s 1992 rape conviction. He served three years before being released on parole.
The charity, Life Education Trust, originally supported the trip, which Wilkinson said helped tipped the scales in Tyson’s favor to get a visa.
John O’Connell, the charity’s chief executive, had a different take on the situation explaining that they wanted nothing to do with Tyson. O’Connell said a volunteer trustee mistakenly sent a letter to immigration authorities supporting Tyson’s plans.
Wilkinson proceeded to overrule the decision made by the immigration officer. Tyson was scheduled for several events including the talk at the Life Education Trust and a performance of his acclaimed one-man show called Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.
Max Markson who’s promoting a similar show in Australia with Tyson is hoping New Zealand will overturn their decision. His country who typically turn away request from persons with a criminal record insists their decision is still pending. Markson added,
”He’ll only be in the country for 20 hours, I don’t think he’s a danger to anybody, and thousands of people want to see him.’