Published: October 4, 2004
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson won court approval of
a plan to exit bankruptcy and pay back creditors almost $37 million.
Tyson, who’s earned more than $200 million during two decades in the
ring, will give half his fight earnings over the next four years to
creditors owed more than $44 million. Promoter Don King will pay $14
million to Tyson’s creditors to resolve litigation with the fighter,
according to the plan confirmed by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan L.
Gropper in New York.
Tyson, 38, was down to just $5,553 in cash as of Dec. 31, according to
court papers. He lost his most recent fight when he was knocked out by
Danny Williams in July.
The plan gives the boxer “a fresh start, allows Tyson to
continue his fruitful boxing career for the benefit of all,” his
lawyers said in court papers.
Under the plan, Tyson will repay about $36.6 million to creditors owed $44.1 million, giving them about 83 cents on the dollar.
The payments include the $14 million from King. Tyson sued King in 1998
for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. King denied any
wrongdoing in the settlement, according to court papers.
In addition to handing over half his fight earnings, Tyson will also
repay creditors with proceeds from the sale of personal property,
including two homes in Las Vegas. Tyson sold his home in Connecticut
for $4.1 million last year.
Tyson, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August 2003,
has a 50-5-2 career record with 43 knockouts. He became the youngest
heavyweight champion when he beat Trevor Berbick in 1986 at age 20. He
lost his undisputed title to James “Buster” Douglas in 1990 and spent
three years in prison after a 1992 rape conviction.
Tyson regained the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association
titles in 1996 with victories over Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon.