Fight postponements are becoming almost as common for Mike Tyson as knockouts.
The postponement of his July 13 heavyweight title fight with Bruce Seldon marks the third time in his last five scheduled fights that Tyson has been unable to fight on the agreed-upon date.The latest malady for Tyson is bronchitis, which his doctor said Wednesday would make it impossible for the WBC heavyweight champion to fight Seldon as scheduled for Seldon's WBA heavyweight crown.
"He is recovering, but not fast enough," Dr. Robert Voy said. "In my opinion, he will not be ready for a heavyweight title fight in the next 10 days."
Voy said Tyson had been sick for two to three weeks and was recovering, but would not have enough time to train properly and regain his strength before meeting Seldon for a piece of the heavyweight crown.
Promoter Don King said he will announce next week when the fight will be rescheduled. The prime date reportedly is Sept. 7, which would still allow Tyson to meet former champion Evander Holyfield in November.
Tyson did not appear at the news conference Wednesday at which his manager, John Horne, sat with Voy and King to announce the fight was postponed.
"It's the doctor's decision," King said. "I didn't call it off. He called it off."
King said Tyson was disappointed by the postponement, the latest in a string of Tyson fights that have not gone on as scheduled.
"He wanted to fight," King said. "Up until the minute when the man said, `No,' he was ready to go in there and fight."
Seldon was not at the news conference and could not immediately be reached for comment. But King said Seldon remained the opponent for the fight when it is rescheduled.
Horne said Tyson has not had a full day of training since coming to Las Vegas on June 10 and is not well, despite Tyson's own statement Monday that he was perfectly fine and willing to fight.
Horne said nothing was said about the illness, because Tyson's camp hoped he would get over it in time.
"It was simple, once the doctor confirmed he wasn't 100 percent to train," Horne said. "He would never enter the ring less than 100 percent. It's not healthy for him or anyone."
The postponement was the second for Tyson since he was released from prison in March 1995. He was to have fought Buster Mathis Jr. last November, but the fight was delayed six weeks after Tyson broke a thumb in the week before the bout.
Just before going to prison on a rape charge, Tyson pulled out of a November 1991 fight with Holyfield because of back problems.
King said he believes Tyson is not setting a pattern of pulling out of fights.
"I will continue to take the high road and say that is one of those things that happens to human beings," King said.
Tyson was to have earned some $30 million for the bout against Seldon in what will be his fourth fight of a comeback that began when he got out of prison.