Published: October 4, 2004
By G. Leon
In a recent interview with this reporter, Ted Watley, Shelly Finkel’s financial equal with regards to Mike Tyson, detailed more than one instance where Mike Tyson could have made more than $20M instead of settling for the $7.2M he made on July 30. Among the names Watley mentioned were New Jersey based promoter Murad Muhammad. Boxingtalk.com spoke with Murad yesterday to get his take on this ongoing story.
GL: Did you and Bob Arum have $20,000,000 on the table for a Mike Tyson fight around the time of his July 30 fight in Louisville, Kentucky?
Murad Muhammad: “I had $20M on the table prior to Mike Tyson fighting in Louisville. Then one week later I brought in Bob Arum, but that is accurate, $20M was on the table. That deal was definitely on the table!
GL: If you had $20M on the table why would Watley say “Arum and Muhammad”? Did the two of you have some sort of partnership?
MM: “I called in Bob Arum. I thought it would be the right thing to do. I wanted to go into Vegas and Arum and I have worked very well together in the past. We’ve been knowing each other since he was promoting Muhammad Ali. We have a good working relationship and I thought it would be very fruitful to bring Arum in so we could get the maximum dollars in Vegas with the two of us putting our expertise together we couldn’t go wrong.”
GL: According to the deal that you and Arum had on the table, could Tyson have walked on the Louisville fight and made $20M in his next fight?
MM: “Yes. I also had a clause that if in fact the $20M couldn’t be produced, $15M would be the minimum.”
GL: In your opinion, why didn’t Tyson scratch the Louisville fight to make $20M plus $3M more to sign?
MM: “I have no idea.”
GL: Murad you’ve been in the game for a while, why would they walk away from $20M to make $7.2M? What would be the motive behind that?
MM: “I can only tell you what Shelly said to me, ‘Mike wanted the Louisville fight.’ I asked Shelly that question and that was his answer.”