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TVKO, BOWE AND HOLYFIELD CAMPS GET AN EARLY CHRISTMAS
Published November 1, 1995
Following yesterday's announcement that Mike Tyson had broken his thumb and would have to cancel his November 4 fight with Buster Mathis Jr. on Fox, organizers of the Bowe-Holyfield pay-per-view fight "sounded like the winning side of a hard-won surrender," according to Tim Kawakami of the L.A. TIMES. Time Warner Sports President Seth Abraham: "We always thought we were the main event, no we're the only event." Bowe manager Rock Newman: "It's not my thinking, because I always wanted to go up against them, but I would say the general feeling around here is that the good guys won." Holyfield promoter Dan Duva: "I thought we'd do well anyway, but now, Christmas has come early for us." Newman predicted a "stampede" today at the Caesar's box office. Tyson co-manager John Horne said, while the entire Fox card is canceled, it is only a postponement and that Tyson's next fight will be against Mathis -- on Fox (L.A. TIMES, 11/1). Abraham said, while they didn't expect to get the 900,000+ buys of the previous two Bowe-Holyfield bouts, he believes they could now do 750,000 or more. Fox officials -- "obviously stunned and upset" -- said only that they would comment at a later date (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 11/1). QUESTIONS: USA TODAY columnist Bryan Burwell raises the issue of whether Tyson's injury is a fake, considering the poor ticket sales at the MGM Grand. Burwell reports the "whispers" that sales for the 16,000-seat MGM Grand Garden were no better than 1,600 (USA TODAY, 11/1). In covering the Don King trial, NEWSDAY's Greg Logan reports MGM may want to renegotiate their contract with King and Tyson, even if King is acquitted. Logan writes, "If the Tyson-Mathis promotion has been an indication of what business without King would be like, a conviction would be disastrous for the MGM unless it provided a window out of the deal." If Tyson-Mathis had been on PPV, the MGM's crowd could have been closer to 12-15,000. With free TV (a decision King didn't share with MGM until after the Fox deal was done, according to Las Vegas sources), the hotel was forced to give tickets away (NEWSDAY, 11/1). ESPN's Keith Olbermann, on what Fox will cover Saturday night: "I think Tyson is going to host America's Most Wanted" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/31).