WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Australia granted Mike Tyson a visa Wednesday, one week after New Zealand barred the former heavyweight boxing champion from entering that country due to his 1992 rape conviction.
Officials carefully weighed the pros and cons of his visit and of his character given his criminal past before making the decision, said Cian Manton, a spokeswoman for Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
She said it was the first time Tyson had applied for a visa to Australia and he was warned the privilege could be revoked if he broke any laws.
"Given the purpose of his visit and the short duration, we considered the risk of him reoffending to be very low," Manton said.
The entertainment visa he was granted covers the duration of Tyson's five-city Australian tour starting next month.
He was scheduled to visit both countries on the "Day of the Champions" tour to give inspirational talks about overcoming adversity in his life. New Zealand immigration authorities initially granted him a visa before a charity withdrew its support and officials reversed their decision.
Tyson served three years in prison for rape.