Michael Jackson expects to be there. Ditto for Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Luke Perry, Kelsey Grammer and Jerry Seinfeld.
If you’re into celebrity-watching, tonight’s Mike Tyson-Peter McNeeley heavyweight fight could be an E-ticket experience.
Tyson is expected to draw a full house at the MGM Grand Garden, the 16,700-seat arena that Barbra Streisand opened with her return to the concert stage on New Year’s Eve 1993.
Like Streisand, Tyson will be earning megabucks (eight figures) by spending an evening in the spotlight at the $1 billion resort.
And the fight, like the concert, will draw a host of celebrities.
MGM Grand spokesman Bill Doak said the celebrity list for the Tyson fight should equal the galaxy that appeared for Streisand’s two sold-out concerts.
“We’ll have more than 75 top-name celebrities on property,” Doak said Friday. “It will be perhaps the largest turnout of celebrities I’ve seen at a fight in five years.”
The hotel’s “Expected Celebrity List” includes some of the top names in the music, television and movie industries, along with sports stars.
Among those on the list are Jackson, Carrey, Clooney, Perry, Grammer, Seinfeld, Tim Allen, Louie Anderson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Tilly, Kiefer Sutherland, Meshach Taylor, Steve Martin, and Keenen, Damon, Shawn and Marlon Wayans.
Others include Louis Gossett Jr., Gregory Hines, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Francis Ford Coppola, Christian Slater, David Brenner, Eddie Murphy, Don Johnson, Denzel Washington, Julianne Moore, Larry Holmes and Patrick Ewing.
Jackson was among the guests attending the Streisand concert. He arrived through a side door and was whisked into the packed arena, where he sat several rows back, surrounded by his entourage.
Johnny Gill is scheduled to sing the national anthem at the fight.
Doak said security will be tight.
“We’re prepared,” he said. “With any big sporting event like this, you have to take all precautions to protect your guests.”
Taking a back seat
Bruce Seldon will become the first heavyweight champion to have a title defense serve as a preliminary to a non-title match.
And he’s happy about it.
Seldon will defend the WBA title against Joe Hipp of Yakima in a fight preceding Tyson’s match against Peter McNeeley tonight.
“I think it’s a plus for me because everybody and their mother will be watching because of the world-famous Mike Tyson,” said Seldon, a 3-1 favorite tonight. “It gives me a grand opportunity to shine.”
The two fights and two other title bouts will be part of a pay-per-view television card beginning about 6 p.m. PDT.
The winner of the Seldon-Hipp fight will be in the sweepstakes for a multi-million dollar fight vs. Tyson.
It will be the 28-year-old Seldon’s first defense of the title he won by stopping Tony Tucker in seven rounds on April 8. He has won eight straight fights, all by knockout, dating to a 10-round decision loss to Tony Tubbs Oct. 14, 1992. His record is 32-3 with 28 knockouts.
The 32-year-old Hipp, a left-hander, will go into the bout riding a six-fight winning streak dating to June 27, 1992, when he was stopped in the ninth round despite breaking Tommy Morrison’s jaw.
“I know Joe Hipp is a very durable guy,” Seldon said. “He’s tough and strong. I’ll be ready for a war. I’ve never fought a southpaw. I’ve sparred with five or six southpaws because I knew I’d fight one some day.”
“He has a great jab,” Hipp said of Seldon. “Obviously he’s in great condition and he moves well. I want to take him into the late rounds and get him tired.”
The 6-foot-1-1/2 Seldon weighed in officially Thursday at 234 pounds. The 6-1 Hipp weighed 233 pounds.
Seldon will get $700,000. Hipp will get $180,000.
Tyson weighed in more for this fight than any other except his knockout loss to Buster Douglas in February of 1990, when he weighed 220-1/4.
In his last fight, against Donovan Ruddock in 1991, he weighed 216.
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