An Australian tour by undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather has been cancelled after he was denied a visa for his history of violence against women.
The two-day promotion was to begin at Melbourne’s Crown Casino tonight. Tickets to the event cost from $200 to $1000 a plate or up to $10,000 for a table. Many who had booked were flying interstate, leaving them out of pocket for cancelled flights and accommodation.
The world champion boxer has not offered any personalised statement to his Australian fans but publicist Max Markson, who promoted the event, says full refunds will be issued to those who claim.
Mayweather Fan Connor Reidy told the Newsroom that the cancellation had cost him more than $3000.
“I was due to fly to Sydney tonight and I’ve paid for accommodation. I’m self-employed as well so I’m missing work. I’ve actually gone into debt for the booking of this event.”
Mr Reidy disagreed with the Immigration Department’s decision to deny Mayweather a visa because of his convictions.
“I think it’s a load of rubbish. They let Mike Tyson in two years ago and he was convicted of rape. Mayweather is no danger to Australian society, if anything a high-profile athlete such as himself would benefit our economy by being here.”
Many unhappy customers took to Twitter yesterday to vent their frustrations.
Mr Markson says that Mayweather will appeal against the visa decision in the hope of rescheduling the event.
Mayweather’s original booking for dinner and nightclub appearances in Melbourne and Sydney on January 29 and 30 had already been postponed when doubts first arose about the visit being allowed to proceed.
The boxer’s fight record stands at 47-0 and he is regarded as one of the best boxers of all time. His issues outside the ring included a one-year suspended jail sentence in 2004. – Jessica Ankomah, with additional reporting by Chris Matthews-Darby
Top photo from the promotion poster taken from @maxmarkson’s Twitter feed.