Presumably, if you buy a ticket for something called "Mike Tyson's Day of the Champions," you might be expecting (a) Mike Tyson and (b) some champions, especially if you're shelling out between $70 and $300 (US) to attend. For weeks, residents of Australia and New Zealand have been doing just that, hoping to catch another stop of the on-going, never-to-end Mike Tyson Global Domination Tour. There was The Hangover. There was the barbecue sauce and the Broadway show. There was Holyfield's T-shirt.
What there won't be, however, is the international motivational speaking tour. Seems that New Zealand has pulled the visa that it was prepared to grant, since the charity that was to benefit from Tyson's appearances has pulled its own support of the troubled ex-champion. And it seems that despite the on-going promotions from the marketing agency behind the tour, Tyson hasn't actually secured a visa from Australia, despite advertisements (like the above video, which is still on YouTube) to the contrary.
From the AP:
Tyson's 1992 rape conviction would normally prevent his entry in New Zealand and could be grounds for denial in Australia as well. He had been granted an exemption for New Zealand before that visa was cancelled Wednesday, days after the prime minister spoke out against the visit.
Tyson was to speak at a November event in Auckland, the "Day of the Champions," which is being promoted by Sydney agency Markson Sparks!
New Zealand's Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said she'd initially granted entry because a children's health charity would get some of the proceeds from Tyson's speech. She said in a statement her decision was "a finely balanced call" but that the charity that would have benefited, the Life Education Trust, withdrew its support Tuesday.
"Given that the trust is no longer supporting the event, on balance, I have made the decision to cancel his visa," Wilkinson wrote in her statement.
The charity's chief executive, John O'Connell, however, said the charity long ago decided not to accept any money from the event due to its concerns over Tyson's character, but that a volunteer trustee had mistakenly sent a letter to immigration authorities supporting Tyson's plans.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship said "I can tell you that a decision is still pending" on Tyson's application for an Australian visa.
In addition to the promo video, the event's website remains unchanged, still touting Tyson's appearance and participation as if it's a sure thing. The marketing agency says it will give customers a full refund should the shows be canceled, but then ticket-holders would miss an opportunity to see Loral Langemeier, "one of only a handful of women in the world today who can claim the title of 'expert' when it comes to financial matters and the making of millionaires" and Stephen J. Young, who "can enhance the quality of your life in a powerful and exceptional way right now!" Would be a shame to miss out on all those champions.