Boxing: Angry Tyson `down to last few millions' as King attempts to heal the rift

Whatever happens in the end, the falling-out between Mike Tyson and Don King is consuming the world of boxing.

John Carlin and Ken Jones report on a day of claim and counter-claim.

Mike Tyson, once the richest sportsman in history, is struggling to pay his bills, according to a report in yesterday's New York Post.

The former heavyweight boxing champion owes $7m (pounds 4.3m) in unpaid taxes and is down to only $4m in ready cash, the Post said, adding that one source who has been in close contact with Tyson over the past week claims his liquid assets actually amount to no more than $150,000.

Tyson, who has earned about $110m in the ring since his release from prison three years ago, is reported to blame his financial embarrassments on his boxing promoter of the last 10 years, Don King, and his co-managers, John Horne and Rory Holloway.

According to numerous reports Tyson, feeling cruelly betrayed, wants to break his contracts with King and his co-managers and is seeking to switch his allegiance to the Los Angeles music entrepreneurs Irvine Azof and Jerry Wald, who have links with Michael Jackson. King having apparently failed him in the role of protector and surrogate father, Tyson is said to be seeking to form a partnership with Magic Johnson, the retired basketball star.

Confirming that tensions do indeed exist in Tyson's relationships with his associates, Horne and Holloway issued a joint statement saying, "there is sometimes a frustration and misunderstanding that can occur in the best of friendships and business relationships, and that's how we categorise this."

In a separate statement, Don King said: "I love Mike and he knows it, but there are often outside forces and individuals that will try to capitalise on Mike's frustration that comes from his lay-off as a result of the suspension."

King's enduring love seems generous in the light of the widely reported beating he received from Tyson outside the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday night. According to various sources close to Tyson he is more frustrated with King than he is with the decision of the Nevada State Athletic Commission to ban him from boxing for a year for biting a chunk out of Evander Holyfield's ear in the ring last summer. People who have spent time with Tyson over the past few days say the fighter's moods have range from angry to near inconsolable.

The matter of dumping King is a bit more complicated. Sources say Tyson, while enraged at King, is reluctant to release any information that might jeopardise the promoter's chance at an acquittal when he is retried by the government for mail fraud starting on 17 March.

Instead, Tyson is expected to use the documentation of King's alleged rip-offs as leverage to obtain a release from his promotional deal, which commits Tyson to fight four more times for King. "Mike's totally embarrassed by what Don did to him," a source is quoted as saying. "But he doesn't want to do anything that could make him responsible for Don going to jail."

Tyson is said to have been appalled to discover that King and his co- managers had been creaming off a far larger share of his winnings than is customary in a relationship between a professional boxer and his handlers. A lawyer for a rival boxing promoter, called by Tyson for outside advice, told the Post it was "embarrassing" to learn how little the boxer knew about his financial affairs. The lawyer said he was shocked to learn from Tyson that he took home only $11m before tax from the $30m purse for his re-match against Evander Holyfield in June. King, the lawyer said, took 30 per cent, Horne and Holloway took 20 per cent and then Tyson coughed up the $3.5m fine imposed on him for his bad eating habits by the Nevada Commission.

Tyson's suspension, depriving him as it did of six months' work, cost him his place at the top of Forbes magazine's 1997 list of the world's highest paid athletes. It may be that Tyson fears a repeat of what happened in his "first" career, when he saw a $75m fortune depleted to the point that, while he was still in prison, his managers were forced to cash in a $2m trust to pay Alan Dershowitz, Tyson's appellate lawyer.

The Nevada commission will be deciding this summer whether to reinstate Tyson's boxing licence, but he is now seeking to make his money in the field of entertainment. Tyson is expected to announce today that he will be appearing next month at a professional wrestling bout in Boston. He is due to receive $3.5m for playing the role of "guest referee" at Wrestlemania XIV, a pay-per-view event, on 29 March.

However, even if Tyson is low in cash he does own three lavish homes, including a 70-acre estate in Ohio, the sale of which would go some way to restoring his bank balance to health.

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam