Tyson Says He Only Occasionally Stayed At Home In Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Boxer Mike Tyson, who wants the state to return $5.8 million in income taxes, testified on Thursday that he only occasionally stayed at his estate in northeast Ohio.

"I didn't want to live in Ohio," Tyson (pictured, above) told an Ohio Board of Tax Appeals examiner, who will recommend whether the state should return the taxes he paid in 1995 and 1996. "I had a great time here. People in Cleveland are great. It's a great state, but I never intended to live here."

The examiner is holding a two-day hearing on whether Tyson should have paid the taxes for those years, when he owned a 62-acre estate about 40 miles southeast of Cleveland. Tyson said his primary residence was in Nevada.

He sold his Ohio property in 1999.

Assistant Attorney General Robert Maier said there is a paper trail that proves Tyson was an Ohio resident in 1995 and 1996 and that he owed the taxes.

Earlier this month, Tax Commissioner Thomas Zaino denied Tyson's request to have the money returned. A decision by the appeals board is expected in about two months. The ruling can be appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Tyson, 36, who became the youngest heavyweight champion at age 20, lost his bid to regain his title in June when he was beaten by Lennox Lewis. He dominated the heavyweight ranks in the 1980s and then returned from serving three years in prison for rape to win the heavyweight title again.

He was disqualified from a match in 1997 for biting Evander Holyfield's ears.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)