"CHESTER, W.Va. (AP) -- Former World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison said Thursday a positive HIV test that ended his career more than a decade ago was inaccurate and he is staging a comeback to take care of some unfinished business.
Morrison, 38, will appear in a four-round fight Thursday at Mountaineer Racetrack and Gaming Resort.
I'm negative and I've always been negative and that should be the end of it," Morrison said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
"The rug was yanked out from under my feet by a misdiagnosis," he said. "All I want to do is fight ... It's unfinished business."
State Athletic Commissioner Steve Allred said Tuesday he approved Morrison's participation in Thursday's fight after reviewing medical records and consulting with the Association of Boxing Commissions' medical review committee. Confidentiality laws prevent Allred from discussing Morrison's medical history or the records he reviewed, he said.
West Virginia does not have mandatory blood testing for boxers.
"I assure you that West Virginia is doing due diligence to make sure everyone who steps into the ring is healthy," Allred said.
Morrison won the WBO title in 1993 after beating George Foreman on points. He lost it later that year. Morrison, who was featured in the movie "Rocky V," also served a couple of years in an Arkansas prison on drug and weapons charges.
He announced he had human immunodeficiency virus in February 1996 and his last fight occurred that November in Japan when he knocked out Marcus Rhode in the first round. After that fight he said he was trying to erase the fear of AIDS.
Morrison said Tuesday that he has taken several tests while preparing for his comeback and all have been negative for the virus.
He has signed a contract with boxing promoter Top Rank for at least eight fights this year.
"I have no doubt I'll be a better fighter than I ever was before," he said. "I am more relaxed. Something that comes along with age causes you to simmer a bit."
Morrison, who is 46-3-1, will face John Castle of Indianapolis in the four-round match, which is one of seven scheduled at Mountaineer. Castle's record is 4-2.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed."