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KING THROWS PUNCH AT HBO
Published July 7, 1995
Don King "yesterday ridiculed HBO's proposed heavyweight tournament, calling it a 'warmup' event to find an opponent for champion Mike Tyson," who is under contract with Showtime. King: "I think we all know that it's a joke. Mike Tyson is the uncrowned champ, and everyone else is lining up for a chance to fight him" (AP/N.Y. POST, 7/7). More from King: "As you know, during the last two or three years when Mike Tyson was in jail, I was out of the heavyweight division. Then, HBO was glorifying all of the sanctioning organizations. And now that HBO doesn't have any (champions) in the organizations, they are castigating and vilifying all of the organizations. That, too, shall pass" (W.H. Stickney, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/7). EMPTY RING, NO BELL? In a statement released yesterday afternoon, Evander Holyfield's promoter, Dan Duva, said the reports of the HBO mega-tournament "were misleading." Duva: "There had been some preliminary discussions months ago about a heavyweight tournament. But those discussions went absolutely nowhere" (Main Events Monitor). According to the HOUSTON CHRONICLE's Stickney, Duva said: "No Main Events fighters are going to take part in any heavyweight tournament. I think [HBO Sports President] Seth Abraham may have been eating too many strawberries and cream over there at Wimbledon. There's no truth to any of it" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/7). Duva also represents Michael Moorer and Lennox Lewis, two of the fighters mentioned by HBO as possible participants (THE DAILY). CURIOUS, GEORGE? George Foreman also says the HBO tournament "is highly unlikely." Foreman: "I don't think there's ever going to be one title again. Really, it's better for boxing now. When you've go more than one champion there are more opportunities out there for everybody" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/7). NOT THROUGH, YET: Showtime exec Jay Larkin: "HBO is putting all their forces together to see who is formidable enough to fight Mike. We have no problem with HBO being a farm team for Showtime" (Ron Borges, BOSTON GLOBE, 7/7). NOW A WORD FROM THE SPONSOR: HBO Sports had no additional comments this morning (THE DAILY). IN OTHER BOXING NEWS: "They should threaten to put Mike Tyson back in the joint for grand theft," according to Brian Schmitz in today's ORLANDO SENTINEL. Schmitz reports that "pay- per-view promoters are charging as much as $59.95" for Tyson's August 19 fight against Peter McNeeley. Showtime will offer the fight at $40 to $50 if it is ordered before August 17 (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 7/7).