LAS VEGAS — The last time Mike Tyson asked Nevada boxing regulators for a boxing license, he brought Muhammad Ali and Magic Johnson along to help plead his case.
When he faces the Nevada Athletic Commission on Tuesday, Tyson figures to be the only heavyweight in attendance.
Tyson will have to win commissioners over with his own words if he hopes to get a license that will allow his April 6 fight with Lennox Lewis to take place at the MGM Grand hotel.
He'll not only have to explain his actions at a New York press conference last week, but also a variety of incidents that stretch all the way from England to Cuba.
"We're there to regulate and protect the integrity of boxing," said commissioner John Bailey, a Las Vegas attorney. "I presume we will ask questions about what has happened in the last two or three years since he had a license and try to get a sense of what he's been doing."
Tyson has not fought in Nevada since 1999, when boxing regulators suggested it might be best if he took his show on the road.
Now Tyson wants back in. And that leaves commissioners with a dilemma they wish they didn't have: Give Tyson a license or risk blowing a multimillion-dollar boost to the local economy.
If Tyson wins, he'll fight Lewis on April 6. If he's rejected, the fight could either be called off or moved to a state more friendly to the former heavyweight champion.
"I want the fight to go on," Lewis told The Sun in London. "It will be a big disappointment if it doesn't because the public wants it.
"I think he'll get his licence. That's the biggest fight out there for me right now. I've been waiting for it since the Evander Holyfield fights."
Lewis plans to watch the hearing on television to see if the fight will go on as scheduled.