Tyson urged to empower women

02:46, Sep 28 2012
Mike Tyson
READY TO RUMBLE: Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is coming to Auckland.

Mike Tyson is being urged to speak out in opposition to violence against women during his visit to this country.

There had been uncertainty about whether Tyson would be granted a visa to come to New Zealand, following a conviction for rape in 1992 for which he served three years of a six-year sentence.

Last night his promoters announced he would be allowed in but Immigration New Zealand said no visa application had been lodged and so no decision had been made.

Tyson is bringing his motivational speaking show to this country and Australia. In it he details how he turned his life around after drug dependency and spells in prison.

Rape Prevention Education executive director Dr Kim McGregor said it was disappointing the decision had been made to allow Tyson to visit.

"Why is it different for someone who has a high profile?" she asked.

Given that he was coming, it would be beneficial if he would speak out against violence against women, McGregor said.

"He could use his high profile status to do a power of good for the women of the world ... That would be something that could help the situation."

Her organisation was under funded and did not have the capacity to pursue the issue of Tyson's visa, she said.

Tyson will speak at Mike Tyson's Day of the Champions on November 15 at Auckland's Vector Arena.

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Fairfax Media