Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson didn't take the stand, but lawyers did stand around. A lot.
Nothing of consequence happened Tuesday at the start of a hearing on Tyson's request for a preliminary injunction against manager Bill Cayton. Lawyers for both sides met with and without Justice David H. Edwards Jr. and agreed to attempt an interim agreement before the hearing continues, probably Thursday.An interim agreement would enable Tyson to defend his title against Frank Bruno at Wembley, England, on Sept. 3. And it would ensure that the $21-million Tyson earned for his 91-second knockout of Michael Spinks June 27 would not disappear before a fall trial on Tyson's attempt to sever his releationship with Cayton.
Tyson did not attend the hearing in New York State Supreme Court, which consisted only of brief statements from Justice Edwards over the next six hours. It ended with an agreement by the lawyers to continue negotiating until Thursday.
"Let the record show that the attorneys for the parties have been in conference with the court this afternoon in an attempt to resolve some of the differences," Edwards said at the end of the session.
Tyson is trying to rid himself of Cayton, who became his sole manager on March 23 when Jim Jacobs died. Tyson's lawyers claim the four-year managing contracts the champion signed Feb. 12 either were induced by fraud or can be terminated at will. Cayton claims they are valid and can't be canceled.
Both sides agreed to attempt no deals for Tyson until court reconvenes Thursday. "The only thing that happened today was that we agreed to preserve the status quo," said Tyson lawyer Peter Parcher.
Thomas Puccio, Cayton's lawyer, agreed that successful negotiations in the next 48 hours could allow the Bruon fight to take place.
"I think it's fair to say that the parties have made it possible for the Bruno fight," Puccio said.
Earlier in the day, Puccio filed a 46-page response to Tyson's order to show cause and 178 pages of affidavits, contracts, letters and news clippings in an attempt to show the court that Tyson considered his contract with Cayton valid until shortly before the Spinks fight June 27.
Puccio cited a June 14 letter from Tyson lawyer Michael Winston to Cayton lawyer Irving Gruber in which Tyson asked for his personal tickets for the Spinks fight. He claimed the letter and statements Tyson made, show the champion believed until shortly before the Spinks fight that the contracts with Cayton were valid.