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Mike Tyson not welcomed by all in Belfast

Mike Tyson is currently in Belfast for a personal appearance, and though many across the world have seemed to forgive, forget or just ignore some of the former heavyweight champion's past transgressions, this is a reminder that not everyone is willing to do so.

Women's rights groups are loudly protesting Tyson's appearance as Mike is, as we all know, a convicted rapist.

Eileen Calder of the Rape Crisis Centre in Belfast criticised [Barry] McGuigan for agreeing to take part.

"Barry needs to hang his head in shame," she said. "I have always been a huge fan of his, I even considered naming one of my children after him. He has done so much great work for charities and integrated education. I can’t believe he has agreed to take part in this."

Ms Calder said she felt sick when she heard Tyson would be visiting Belfast.

"Believe me, if this was the other way around, he would not even be allowed into the country. The United States does not allow convicted rapists in, they are interested in protecting their citizens. I would appeal to boxing fans to look beyond his boxing to what he has done — he is a convicted rapist."

Recently, Eric Morel had a planned fight with Hozumi Hasegawa canceled for what Ms. Calder is talking about here. Morel was convicted of statutory rape a few years back and Japanese officials wouldn't grant him entrance to the country for the fight.

Annie Campbell, director of the Women’s Aid Federation, Northern Ireland, added: "We are disgusted that this man who is a rapist and has committed domestic violence has been invited to appear at a flagship venue in Belfast. It raises serious questions of credibility for those who are on the city council."

A council spokeswoman had this to say in response:

"The booking is from a private promoter who is hiring the hall. Belfast City Council does not have a policy that would prevent this event taking place, as this could be construed as a form of censorship."

I found this interesting because of the way Tyson is now treated by most American fans at least, which is like I said, with forgiveness or whatever you might want to call it. But Tyson's past is very real and not everyone is going to be so quick to just say, "Aw, he's changed." I agree that Tyson surely isn't going to Belfast to rape or assault anybody, but he's going to meet resistance like this sometimes. It will never go away.