Vol. 5 Num 923 Sun. December 31, 2006  

Tyson in trouble again

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was arrested Friday on charges of driving under the influence and possession of drugs after nearly crashing into a police car, justice authorities said.

The notorious 40-year-old former boxer once known as the "baddest man on the planet" was stopped by police soon after leaving a nightclub in Scottsdale, Arizona at around 1:47 am, Buckeye Police Department officer Jim Garber said.

"He came out of the nightclub and almost collided with officers patrolling in a squad car outside. He was followed and stopped and arrested for DUI and possession of drugs," Garber told AFP.

Tyson, who was travelling alone, was booked at Maricopa County's Fourth Street jail and appeared in court Friday. He was released but ordered to report for drug and alcohol checks pending a further court appearance on January 16.

A police report of the arrest submitted to the court said tests had shown Tyson was under the influence of a cocktail of drugs including depressants, stimulants and cannabis. No alcohol was found in his system.

Three bags of white powder believed to be cocaine were found after officers carried out a search and Tyson admitted he was "an addict and had a problem," according to the police statement.

The two-time heavyweight champion announced his retirement from boxing after he lost to unheralded Irishman Kevin McBride on June 11, 2005.

Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) squandered an estimated 300 million dollars in earnings and declared bankruptcy in 2003, and recently fought in a series of exhibition bouts in order to improve his finances.

Friday's arrest is the latest in a series of brushes with the law that Tyson has had since he exploded onto the boxing scene in the mid-1980s, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history in 1986, at the age of 20.

Considered unbeatable for the rest of the decade, Tyson's career went off the rails when he suffered a shock upset to James "Buster" Douglas in 1990.

In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping a beauty queen at a pageant in Indianapolis, Indiana and was sentenced to six years in prison.

He was released in 1995, and although he regained two of his world titles in 1996, he was never to recapture the aura of invincibility he had once enjoyed.

He was knocked out by Evander Holyfield in 1996, and the following year was banned from boxing after he bit a chunk out of Holyfield's ear during their rematch in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tyson was jailed again in 1999 for assaulting two people following a traffic accident.

After his release, he sought a money-spinning bout with British heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, which was delayed after a January 2002 press conference where Tyson sparked a mass brawl in which he sank his teeth into Lewis's leg.

He was comprehensively beaten by Lewis when their fight eventually took place and subsequently suffered a string of defeats against journeymen which prompted him to retire last year.