SBD/1/Sports Media

TVKO, BOWE AND HOLYFIELD CAMPS GET AN EARLY CHRISTMAS

     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).
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