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Mike Tyson sues promoter Don King for $100 million

HDN | 3/7/1998 12:00:00 AM |

Ex-champ alleges the promoter cheated him out of millions of dollars over more than a decade New York- Reuters Mike Tyson sued his longtime promoter Don King for $100 million, charging that King fraudulently siphoned off millions of dollars from his boxing winnings. The suit against King and his company Don King Productions Inc. was filed in U.S. federal court in Manhattan and also seeks a court order rescinding the 1994 contract Tyson signed with King while the former world heavyweight champion was

  • Ex-champ alleges the promoter cheated him out of millions of dollars over more than a decade

    New York- Reuters

    Mike Tyson sued his longtime promoter Don King for $100 million, charging that King fraudulently siphoned off millions of dollars from his boxing winnings. The suit against King and his company Don King Productions Inc. was filed in U.S. federal court in Manhattan and also seeks a court order rescinding the 1994 contract Tyson signed with King while the former world heavyweight champion was serving time in Indiana State Prison on his 1992 rape conviction. King issued a statement early on Friday denying the allegations and saying Tyson was being "used" by others. "As the evidence will show, there is absolutely no merit to this lawsuit," the statement said. "The facts don't support the allegations. What saddens me most is the way Mike Tyson is being manipulated by certain people who have their own agendas. Mike knows the truth. He knows that I treated him fairly." King alleged the lawsuit was an attempt to influence the jury in an upcoming retrial of an insurance fraud case against him, and concluded: "I know the truth will prevail. I feel badly for Mike Tyson. He is being used." Tyson is currently suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for biting heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield's ears in their rematch last June. He can apply for reinstatement of his boxing licence no sooner than July 9. "From the start, King and DKP (Don King Productions) betrayed the trust and confidence Tyson placed in them," the suit charges. "Once King and DKP controlled every facet of Tyson's monies, purses, accounts, books, and records, they wrongfully took monies from Tyson for their own benefit."

    The suit claims King secretly reduced Tyson's share in the profits, manipulated accounts and made improper deductions "year after year" including the years he was in prison. King began to promote Tyson in 1988. According to the filing, he also acted as Tyson's "de facto manager," giving the appearance that Tyson had independent advisors but essentially controlling all aspects of his career.

    The suit charges that King coerced Tyson into signing contracts while he was in prison, without benefit of independent counsel or advice. Those contracts included an exclusive deal to broadcast Tyson's fights on Showtime Networks Inc pay-per-view channel and an exclusive deal with MGM Grand Hotel for six Tyson fights. In the Showtime deal alone, the suit alleges, King and DKP "wrongfully" took from Tyson $45 million in purse money from 1995 to 1997.

    Tyson was released from prison in 1995 after serving three years for rape. He subsequently regained his world heavyweight title but lost it to Holyfield in 1996 and then was disqualified in their rematch last year.

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