IN what is sure to be a knockout event, former world heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson is to come to Limerick in October.
‘Iron Mike’ will make a special appearance in Thomond Park to talk to fans about his controversial career.
The former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world will answer questions from fans at the special event, which takes place on October 10.
Thomond Park stadium boss John Cantwell has confirmed to the Limerick Chronicle that contracts have been signed with the organiser of the event, Mike O’Regan of CWH Promotions, for Tyson to appear in the stadium.
The Cork-based promoter said that Tyson will reflect on his career and answer questions from the audience.
“He is actually in the UK doing a tour of seven venues and he is coming to Ireland, so we are having it in Thomond Park,” said Mr O’Regan.
The event will take place in the Thomond Suite, which caters for about 600 people and has played host to Tommy Tiernan on several occasions. The promoters are confident of selling out the event with Tyson, who has reformed his ‘bad-boy’ character in recent years, notably appearing in the smash-hit movie The Hangover.
“We are hoping that either Des Cahill or Jimmy Magee will host it - Jimmy did one with him back in 2006 in Dublin, his last time in Ireland,” said Mr O’Regan.
And the organisers are hoping that newly crowned Olympic champion Katie Taylor will make an appearance, after Tyson requested to meet her.
“We are hoping that Katie Taylor will be there on the night, because we know Mike wants to meet her, if at all possible. He saw her matches on television,” said the promoter.
The Cork man said that Thomond Park was selected to host the event because of its profile as much as the easy accessibility from Shannon.
“It is Mike’s only visit to Ireland. He will fly in and out of Shannon. There is a possibility he might stay in Limerick overnight - depending on flights,” he explained.
“The direct flights from Shannon to the UK were very suitable and it is so close to Thomond Park. It makes things easier and plus Thomond Park has the name. I hope it goes well, because I would like to do it again.
“I think it will be great and it will be good for Limerick,” he added.
Classic Tyson fights will be shown on a big screen at the event, and fans will have the opportunity to meet the retired boxer and have their picture taken with him, for an extra fee.
“We will have a limited number of meet and greet tickets,” explained Mr O’Regan.
“People will meet him and get a personal photograph with him.”
The Cork-based promoter said Tyson was “a changed man” - a reference to his 1992 conviction for rape.
“He is a changed man at this stage. He has just finished on Broadway, he was in a show directed by Spike Lee which was a big success. He is getting into acting and public performances,” explained Mr O’Regan.
Tickets go on sale this Friday from Gleeson’s Sports Scene priced at €35 and €75.