SBD/13/Sports Media

UNABLE TO SECURE TYSON, HBO TO REPORTEDLY INK SWEETPEA

     HBO "is close to signing multi-million-dollar deal" with WBO
welterweight champion Pernell "Sweetpea" Whitaker, according to
John Phillips in this morning's VARIETY.  Phillips reports that
HBO head Seth Abraham said the deal would be for six-to-eight
fights, but would not disclose terms.  Phillips writes that
sources say Whitaker     "could make at least" $20M and
"considerably more" if he were to fight Julio Caesar Chavez,
Felix Trinidad or Oscar de La Hoya (REUTERS/VARIETY, 10/13).
Whitaker, at a news conference promoting his November 18 fight,
"was caught off guard" by the deal with HBO.  Promoter Dan Duva
called the deal "one of the largest contracts outside of the
heavyweight division" (AP/WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/13).
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