FORMER world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson may be prevented from entering New Zealand due to his convictions.
Tyson, known as the “baddest man on the planet”, is due to speak in Auckland in November, but there are suggestions his rape conviction may prevent him from entering the country.
Immigration New Zealand released a statement saying Tyson would have to apply for a visa, and wouldn’t necessarily be granted access to New Zealand.
“Mike Tyson will have to apply for a visa to enter New Zealand and make full disclosure of his previous convictions,” Fairfax NZ reported.
“There is never a guarantee that any visa application will be approved. All visa applications are considered on their individual circumstances.
“The Immigration Act 2009 allows for discretion to be exercised in certain cases,” the statement said.
In recent years Tyson, 46, has turned his life around after battling drug addiction and stints behind bars.
He has become a Hollywood star, featuring in The Hangover movies, and had an Animal Planet series filmed on his love of pigeon racing.
He has become a motivational speaker and will be joined on his tour of Australia and New Zealand by Willey Jolley, Stephen Young and Loral Langmeier.
Immigration rules say a visa will not be granted to anyone who has served a jail term of more than five years.
Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison in 1992 for the rape of Miss Black Rhode Island Desiree Washington, and was paroled after three.
Immigration NZ does have discretion.
At his peak Tyson was one of the world’s most feared boxers.
He won 50 of his 58 bouts, 44 by knockout.
He still holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and TBF heavyweight titles at 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old.
“I’m so excited to be visiting Australia and New Zealand for the first time. I have lots of friends there and look forward to meeting all my fans.” Tyson said in a statement.