Mike Tyson suffered a cut in a sparring accident yesterday afternoon in Atlantic City that required 48 stitches to close, forcing a postponement of the former heavyweight champion's bout with Alex Stewart Sept. 22.

Tyson, according to his promoter, Don King, had just hit sparring partner Greg Page with two punches in a spirited exchange when Page fell forward, his head striking Tyson's head and cutting his right eye.

Both boxers were wearing headgear, and no one seemed sure how Tyson was cut, whether by the edge of Page's headgear or his forehead.

"It was partly Greg's head coming forward and Mike bobbing and weaving . . . and their heads just came together," King said.

Plastic surgeon Ira Trocki treated Tyson at a hospital. "Mike Tyson suffered a laceration over his right eye, which extended down to his upper eyelid and went through to the bone," Trocki said. "He received his 48 stitches like a champ."

Tyson will resume training in a week, but Trocki said sparring would be restricted at least three weeks. King said he would meet with Donald Trump and HBO executives to find an October or November date for the rescheduled fight.

This is the second postponement of a Tyson fight in less than a year. He was to have fought Razor Ruddock in Edmonton in November 1989, but became ill. That fight never was rescheduled.