Mike Tyson's tentatively scheduled Dec. 17 heavyweight title defense against Frank Bruno can only be moved from England to the United States if the challenger agrees, British promoter Jarvis Astaire said.
Astaire, who has booked Wembley Stadium in London for the Dec. 17 bout, met in New York with Tyson's manager Bill Cayton, promoter Don King and representatives from HBO Thursday and Friday to discuss moving the fight to the United States, upon Tyson's request. Tyson, who filed suit seeking an annulment of his marriage to actress Robin Givens Friday, has said he does not want to travel to London.Astaire says he has a contract signed by Tyson and Bruno to meet in London, and Bruno would prefer fighting in his home country.
"We are committed to Frank Bruno to provide him a fight in London," Astaire said. "Frank Bruno thinks he can beat Mike Tyson in England. He thinks he can be the heavyweight champion, and he has a contractual commitment."
Bruno is ranked No. 1 by the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association, and the fight is a mandatory defense for Tyson.
Astaire said he will listen to financial offers from U.S. casinos interested in staging the bout - Trump's Plaza in Atlantic City, N.J., and the Las Vegas (Nev.) Hilton want the fight - but doubted an agreement can be reached to move the fight.
"Frank Bruno thinks fighting in England improvek his chances of winning the heavyweight c(ampionship. How much more money is that worth?" Astaire said.
Bruno will earn $1.8 million for the Dec. 17 fight. Tyson can make over $5 million.
Astaire said he was more concerned about Tyson's right hand, which he fractured in an Aug. 23 street fight against Mitch Green. A new cast was placed on the hand last week because the hairline fracture has yet to heal properly.
"We're really waiting to find out Tyson's availability. We're ready to go as soon as they get medical clearance for Tyson," Astaire said. "If we can get clearance in the next week or so, there would be no difficulty in going ahead on Dec. 17."
Tyson was scheduled to return from Cleveland to have his hand examined by Dr. David Chiu in New York Friday, but Chiu's office said there was no examination.
Tyson has stayed at King's farm in Ohio since Givens filed for divorce Oct. 7 in California.
Astaire said a 25,000-seat indoor arena will be built inside Wembley Stadium to host the Tyson-Bruno bout. But time is running out on the promoters and HBO, which will televise the bout and would like to know where it will be held.
"Obviously, we have more talking to do," said Seth Abraham, head of HBO's sports programming.