The heavyweight rematch between Donovan "Razor" Ruddock and former champion Mike Tyson, scheduled for June 28 but canceled last week, will take place after all.
Al Braverman, director of boxing operations for Don King Productions, told the Toronto Star Monday night that Ruddock-Tyson II was on again because "we had to make sure Tyson is kept sharp for the match against Holyfield."Promoter Don King had said he paid Ruddock at least $1 million to step aside and allow Tyson a shot at heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield in the next two months.
"What Don forgot to do was set up the fight with us first," Shelly Finkel, Holyfield's manager, told the Toronto Star in a telephone interview from New York. "Holyfield happens to be the champion of the world and he will decide when he is ready to put his belt on the line again.
"Evander will be ready for his next fight in November or December, and it will be against anyone who comes up with the best financial deal. Evander doesn't really care whether it is Tyson or Ruddock. But if it happens to be Tyson, then there's no doubt the purse will top the $100 million mark."
Holyfield's fight against George Foreman earned $75 million from pay-per-view television and the live gate.
Ruddock was paid $2.9 million for the March 18 fight that ended in controversy. Most of that money, however, has been impounded by the courts.
Braverman and Finkel also confirmed that the parties involved - King, Finkel and Lou Duva, Holyfield's promoter - will be meeting this week to announce plans for the Holyfield-Tyson bout.
Meanwhile, Murad Muhammad, Ruddock's co-promoter, met with Mirage Casino owner Steve Wynn in Las Vegas and said the fight will be held there only if the Nevada State Athletic Commission lifts the one-year suspension imposed on him.
Muhammad was also fined $25,000 for kicking Tyson's trainer, Richie Giachetti, after the fight was stopped in the seventh round by referee Richard Steele.
Braverman said he was sure the suspension would be lifted "so as to allow the fight to go on."
Wynn released a statement Monday saying last week's announcement of the Tyson-Ruddock fight being off was "largely a result of the ruling" and that if it is overturned, the fight may be back on.