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Manager Sees a $120-Million Bowe-Tyson Purse

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Mike Tyson got canceled out, Riddick Bowe almost got knocked out. Does that mean the two Brooklyn contemporaries are now closer than ever to fighting each other?

Despite the political and personal obstacles, Rock Newman, Bowe’s voluble manager, says there are about 120 million reasons to hope so.

The morning after Bowe crawled up from a serious knockdown and scored an eighth-round knockout victory over Evander Holyfield, Newman put in a call to Don King, Tyson’s promoter, and the two agreed to have a meeting in New York this week to discuss a possible mega-fight.

“With what happened in last night’s fight, with Tyson’s fight being canceled, all of that meshes to make Bowe-Tyson bigger than it was before, and it was pretty big before,” Newman said. “It’s so ripe now.”

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Even if the business complications--Bowe is signed with Time Warner, Tyson with Showtime and the MGM Grand--can be worked out, there are other problems.

Why would King, currently on trial in New York federal court on wire-fraud charges, want to match Tyson, who has only 89 seconds of ring action since returning from a four-year absence, against Bowe as early as next spring?

“I’d say one pretty good inducement would be a $60-million pay day,” said Newman, who added he’d hope to get Bowe $60 million, also.

Tyson pulled of his fight with Buster Mathis Jr., scheduled to go head-to-head with Bowe-Holyfield for Saturday, because of a fractured thumb, and, speculated Newman, might be seeking a splashy opponent to raise his credibility.

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Pointing to the drama of Bowe gutting out the sixth round, when Holyfield knocked him down and almost out, Newman speculated that the Tyson camp might be tempted to test Tyson’s power against Bowe’s apparent vulnerability.

But Bowe’s trainer, Eddie Futch, said he’d love the match.

“Even before his incarceration, Tyson had trouble with tall men, he had trouble with tall men with good mobility,” Futch said, referring to Bowe’s six-inch height advantage over Tyson. “I think he’d be an ideal match-up for Bowe.”


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