S.A. boxer nearing made-for-TV deal with Tyson


Published: January 31, 2005

Bill Corrigan, the boxer/promoter/dreamer who has spent the better part of the past year attempting to put together a Mike Tyson fight with himself as the opponent appears close to pulling it off.

Corrigan said Iron Mike, through Tyson’s personal manager, Craig Jones, signed a “memorandum of agreement” last week to fight Corrigan and participate in a reality TV series chronicling the fighters’ training leading up to the bout.

“We pretty much have a done deal here,” Corrigan said. “It’s exciting.”

It’s also a bit hard to believe, but apparently it’s legit.

Corrigan, a local entrepreneur who moved to the Alamo City a couple of years ago from Minnesota, is a former boxer who has gone up against the likes of Vladimir Klitschko, David Izon, Francois Botha, Bruce Seldon, Mike Weaver and David Tua.

But at 41 and a good 80 pounds above his fighting weight, Corrigan hasn’t fought in five years. Plus, his record is a less-than-glittering 11-14-1, with all of the losses coming by knockout.

That apparently did nothing to discourage a California-based television production company, which is prepared to underwrite the series and pay Tyson $2.5 million.

Clinton Walker, CEO of Xess Entertainment Group, confirmed that a deal had been reached with Tyson’s camp and that the company is busy shopping the series to the cable television networks.

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Walker said $100,000 was placed in escrow last week as a “good-faith deposit,” money that will go to Tyson once a TV deal has been worked out.

Corrigan and Walker were in Las Vegas this past week at the National Association of Television Program Executives convention to gauge interest in the series.

“Everyone loves the idea of a Mike Tyson reality show,” Corrigan said.

Walker said filming on the project should start this week in San Antonio, but that several details have changed from the original proposal.

For one, the fight likely will not take place in San Antonio, but in Geneva, Switzerland, this summer, in conjunction with a Janet Jackson concert there.

Also, Tyson will be more involved in the project. Cameras will follow Tyson as he prepares for the fight.

“We want this as raw and uncut as we can get,” Walker said.

With Tyson, that shouldn’t be a problem.

It’s far from a done deal yet, especially with the erratic and combustible Tyson involved. But get ready for Tyson like you’ve never seen him before going up against a San Antonio man in a real-life Rocky story.