Australian authorities in charge of granting visas into the country have denied an application from pound-for-pound boxing king Floyd Mayweather reportedly due to his history of domestic violence.
Mayweather had been originally scheduled to appear in Melbourne this week for promotional appearances, per Annika Smethurst of the Herald Sun. It appears the Australian government banned Mayweather in part as a response to ongoing concerns from citizens about his history of violence, particularly against women.
"The Government takes very seriously its role in protecting the Australian community from the risk of harm by non-citizens who engage in criminal conduct and/or conduct that is of serious concern," Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash told Smethurst. "Visa applicants must demonstrate they are of good character, as required under the character test in the Migration Act 1958, before they are granted a visa."
Mayweather has been arrested three times for domestic violence crimes since 2002. Most recently, a judge sentenced him to 90 days in jail after Mayweather pleaded guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Josie Harris. He served two months of the three-month sentence. Mayweather was also arrested in 2002 and 2004 on separate domestic violence incidents but was given suspended jail sentences.
"He is a thug, a wife basher, a brute and a bully," popular radio host Neil Mitchell said, per Chris Vedelago of The Sydney Morning Herald. "This bloke should not be in the country, and if he is he should be ignored."
Vedelago's report suggests the Australian government was swayed by the public outcry. He notes boxer Mike Tyson, who spent time in jail for sexual assault and has a long list of previous outbursts, was granted a visa in the past. However, Australian has been increasingly stringent in its visa allowances—even for temporary visitors.
Publicist Max Markson, who's been spearheading Mayweather's Australian efforts, said he plans to appeal the decision. There is no word when an appeal may be heard. There is no indication on whether the events with Mayweather will be postponed or canceled pending the appeal.
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