King, Tyson look forward to putting settlement behind


Published: July 11, 2004

Posted 6/29/2004 10:57 PM

Don King quiet? Not usually, but on the topic of Mike Tyson, the verbose promoter is unusually mum.

“When the judge says everything is OK, we can talk,” King said Tuesday.

King does not want to jeopardize impending court approval of the $14 million settlement he and Tyson agreed to last week in exchange for Tyson dropping a $100 million lawsuit. The settlement is part of Tyson’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan.

King has worked tirelessly to settle the suit filed in 1998. Tyson accused King of stealing millions from him, and King went to great lengths to secure a settlement.

In April 2003 he spent about a week with Tyson at a New York hotel trying to work out a settlement. And many of his promotional moves were made with Tyson in mind. If King could sign enough potential Tyson opponents or if he could sign all the titleholders, Tyson would be boxed in and King could force a settlement.

Now that he has it? “I’m just happy,” King said. “I don’t think two brothers should be fighting like this. I’m looking forward to a bright future. I’m very happy that this thing will be behind us.”

The settlement could pave the way for a reunion between King and Tyson, who turns 38 today.

King controls three of the four heavyweight belts plus Tyson nemesis Evander Holyfield. To help him erase a $38 million debt, Tyson needs big fights. A title bout or third Holyfield fight would qualify.

“Working together works,” King said. “Anything is a possibility. I’d be happy to work with Mike.”

Tyson, too, seems willing. Since filing the lawsuit, Tyson insisted that he’d never again fight for him. But a few days before the settlement, he said he had reconsidered.

“I’ve been working on forgiveness. Life is too short to hold grudges. There’s not enough time,” he told the New York Daily News. “Every second I’m closer to my death. I’m trying to do the things to make me the most successful and to manage my life properly, which is something I’ve never done.

“I’m not going to gain anything by holding sour grapes or wanting to hit the guy over the head. I don’t know if I ever will fight for him again. But anything is possible.”

First Tyson must defeat Danny Williams on July 30 in Louisville, where the bout (Showtime PPV) was announced Tuesday. Tyson was relaxed and said he was happy to be fighting for the first time since a first-round knockout of Clifford Etienne on Feb. 22, 2003.

“When I make my mind up, that is when I fight,” Tyson said. “I have been foolish not to fight. I have been a fool for 16 months. I have not done a thing that has benefited me. I have been training for a few months. You guys (the media) will be the judgment on whether I have the eye of the tiger or not.”

By Dan Rafael