Two decades ago he was topping the bill at a packed Hilton hotel in Las Vegas.

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However, tonight - quite surreally - Mike Tyson was the star turn at Gorleston’s Ocean Room more usually known for its Friday Boogie Nights.

Despite the fact his legendary fight nights were in the last millennium, he still proved a big enough draw to pack the seafront venue with fans happy to pay between £100 and £200 for a ticket - not to see him fight but to hear him talk.

The audience was perhaps inevitably dominated by thickset men with cropped hair and there were very few women there for the three-course dinner and entertainment which included a question-and-answer session with the retired heavyweight champion.

Lowestoft’s Olympic medallist Anthony Ogogo, Norwich’s former world boxing champion Jon Thaxton and ex-Canaries footballer Darren Huckerby were among a select group of local sports stars invited.

There were excited cries of “Mike” as he walked in, surrounded by members of Team Tyson, and went over to a cordoned-off area to be photographed with his fans who were patiently queuing around the edge of the room.

Gorleston was one of the final dates in an 11-event British tour organised to promote his new biography, Mike Tyson, written by Reg Gutteridge.

While the days of him earning $30m dollars for a fight have long since gone, it was abundantly clear that Team Tyson is still a successful money-making enterprise.

Promoter Spencer Brown was expecting a scrum of fans eager to snap up signed memorabilia, with photographs of Tyson’s distinctively tattooed face going for £55 and signed belts predicted to sell for up to £5000.

Heartened by the success of the Tyson visit, coming hot on the heels of an appearance by fellow boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, he predicted an exciting new chapter for the Ocean Room, whose main claim to fame up to now has been a concert by Blur in their early days.

He said: “We are bringing Nigel Benn here next month and we are planning to bring retired Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran over in the future.”

4 comments

  • Mike Tyson had been booked to speak at a venue here in New Zealand but after two applications had his visa revoked each time due to his convictions. Bit of a shame as I believe he would have been worth while listening to.

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    AdrianK

    Friday, October 12, 2012

  • Why pay a convicted rapist for his views?

    Report this comment

    wes1975

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Big up for the NZ authorities then...shame on Hucks and Ogogo.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Saturday, October 13, 2012

  • This man is a convicted rapist.Why promote this man?

    Report this comment

    wes1975

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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