Tyson is "not comfortable" doing interviews with women reporters

Former fighter was in Dubai to promote upcoming boxing academy

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson gives a press conference in Dubai in which he announced the opening of an academy named after him in the UAE. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson gives a press conference in Dubai in which he announced the opening of an academy named after him in the UAE. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Former undisputed world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is “not comfortable” doing one on one interviews with women reporters, says a spokesperson for the Dubai agency that is representing him.

Arabian Business was told on Thursday May 4 that its interview with Tyson, set for Saturday May 6, would be cancelled if a female reporter attended. (AB had originally planned to send two reporters, a man and a woman, to the interview.)

Later that same Thursday, at the press conference at the Atlantis Palm Jumeirah to mark the launch of his boxing academy in Dubai, Tyson was asked by AB about the issue. He said: “Bring your friends. I’ll talk to them.”

Radio presenter Kristan “Kris Fade” Fahd, who was hosting the conference,  jumped in and -- in an attempt to deflect the issue away from Tyson -- claimed the former boxer does interviews with women reporters.

“Well I can answer that," Fade said. "We just had an interview with our female reporter so that’s not actually happening. Mike talked to Priti Malik today. We had a 10-minute interview,” he said, referring to a joint interview Tyson had with Malik and two male presenters including Fade.

At the press conference, however, the issue was brushed aside despite efforts by AB to get a clearer answer from Tyson. The event continued and the issue was not raised again.

AB’s Saturday interview (one male reporter and the former champ) took place without incident. That interview will be published at a later date.

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