01/30/2002 at 01:00 AM EST
Even though he admitted to them that "I'm no Mother Teresa, (but) I'm not Charles Manson, either," the Nevada Athletic Commission knocked out Mike Tyson on Tuesday before heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis got the chance, reports the Associated Press and other sources. The five-member panel appointed by Gov. Kenny Guinn voted 4-1 against giving Tyson, 35, a boxing license at a commission meeting in Las Vegas. "I believe you have tarnished the sport," Commissioner John Bailey told Tyson during the 2 1/2-hour hearing in which panel members verbally insulted Tyson for his past behavior. (Tyson, evidently having heard enough, left the hearing before it concluded.) Most importantly, their decision means that Tyson cannot challenge Lewis, 36, on April 6 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, as originally planned. However, the vote does not necessarily kill the fight altogether. Tyson can be licensed for rings in another state or country. (Reportedly there is interest in Detroit, London and Denmark.) Asked if he thought there would be a fight somewhere April 6, Tyson said, "No, it doesn't look like there'll be a fight. I don't know. I think Lennox is a coward. I'm going to fight him any time I see him in the streets." The vote came one week after Tyson incited a melee at a New York press conference to announce the fight.