Past his prime or not, Mike Tyson, the aging brawler and former heavyweight champion of the world, seemed no less a star on Thursday in Brooklyn Criminal Court than he has been in the boxing ring over the past two decades. \nSmall armies of television cameramen and photographers lined up three deep to catch him strolling with an entourage out of court, where he pleaded not guilty to state charges in the beating of two men in a Brooklyn hotel lobby last month. \nArmed and nervous, state court officers escorted the famous prize fighter out of the building. Reporters surrounded Tyson, walking in baby steps as a single organic mass, jamming microphones and tape recorders in his face, some asking for a comment, others keeping oddly quiet, as if cowed by his reputation for violently losing his cool. \nFrom the balcony of the court building's sweaty lobby, a crowd of employees and passers-by waved and shouted, "Mike Tyson!" as the boxer, the court officers and the media mob passed underneath. Tyson, calm and silent during his 20 minutes in the spotlight, looked up, smiled and waved to his fans, who cheered even louder. \n"He's friendly and engaging with members of the public," said Mel Sachs, one of Tyson's lawyers. \nThat may not be evident to the two men Samuel Velez and Nestor Alvarez-Ramos, whose beating at the hands of Tyson on June 21 led Brooklyn prosecutors to charge him with seven misdemeanor counts that include assault, harassment and disorderly conduct. \nThe two men said they approached Tyson in a Marriott hotel in Brooklyn around 5:30am, after spending most of the previous night out on the town. \nVelez and Alvarez-Ramos told the police they had only asked Tyson, 37, for an autograph, and that Tyson reacted by pounding Velez in the head and body and knocking Alvarez-Ramos into a reception stand. \nThursday in court, Sachs told Judge John Carter that Tyson had been provoked and, considering the circumstances, had been justified. "They told him, `You got fists. We got guns,"' Sachs said, with his client beside him and nine state court and city police officers hovering nearby. \nLater, outside the court building, Sachs told reporters: "Mike Tyson exercised restraint. This a bad, weak case." \nIn an interview on Thursday afternoon, Sachs, who also represented Yankees pitcher David Wells after a man punched him in a Manhattan diner last September, said Velez had reached toward his waist after threatening Tyson. \n"Mike Tyson had every reason to believe that he had a gun," Sachs said. \nVelez and Alvarez-Ramos deny having made threats. In fact, five days after the brawl, Velez, 31, of Reading, Philadelphia, told The Daily News in an interview from a Rikers Island jail that he had approached Tyson "out of love, out of respect." \nBoth men were charged with menacing and harassment and are scheduled to make their own appearance in Brooklyn Criminal Court next week, officials said. \nThursday, Carter ordered the Brooklyn assistant district attorney prosecuting Tyson, John O'Hara, to hand over hospital records detailing injuries to Velez and Alvarez-Ramos, as well as a hotel security tape documenting the melee. \nThe videotape shows Tyson assaulting the two men, pausing to remove his jacket, then resuming the attack, the authorities said. At one point, he chased one of the men around the check-in desk. The tape also shows one of the men picking up a stanchion and thrusting it toward Tyson. \nTyson is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 30. Tyson, who was knocked out in the eighth round by Lennox Lewis in his most recent bid for the heavyweight title, would face up to a year in prison if convicted. \nHe has already gone to prison twice in the last 11 years: for three years after a 1992 conviction for raping a woman in an Indianapolis hotel room, and briefly in 1999 for assaulting two people in a car that had rear-ended his vehicle. \nTyson's most notorious act inside a boxing ring was biting off a portion of Evander Holyfield's ear during a 1997 title fight that, by most expert accounts, he was losing.
Taiwan national team manager Henry Vom on Sunday had a successful debut in charge of Taichung Futuro, winning 3-2 against league leaders Taipower with a goal deep in stoppage-time, which combined with the results from the other matches saw the gaps close at the top of the Taiwan Football Premier League table. Besides the big win for Futuro, Hang Yuan edged Taitung 1-0, Taiwan Steel dominated National Taiwan University of Sport 4-1 and the Red Lions held Ming Chuan University to a 1-1 draw. Vom took over Futuro after previous coach Toshiaki Imai returned home to Japan. Imai, who also managed the national
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational