Fight promoter Don King was operating on two fronts yesterday, trying to revive the Mike Tyson-Donovan "Razor" Ruddock bout scheduled for Las Vegas June 28, while opening negotiations with representatives of heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield for a title match with Tyson in late October or early November.
According to King spokesman Al Braverman, the promoter met at the office of his New York attorney, Bob Hirth, with Holyfield's promoter, Dan Duva, and the boxer's financial adviser, Shelly Finkel, and his attorney, Pat English.
This was the opening round of talks for what King and Duva are predicting could be the richest fight in history, eclipsing the reported $60 million produced by pay-per-view for Holyfield's 12-round victory over George Foreman in Atlantic City, N.J., last month.
It was King's eagerness to get the Tyson-Holyfield negotiations started that led to last week's announced cancellation of Tyson's rematch with Ruddock at The Mirage next month.
Meanwhile, Ruddock, who reportedly was offered a $1 million buyout by King, has complained about the suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission of his manager, Murad Muhammad, for kicking Tyson's trainer, Richie Giachetti, in a post-fight brawl after the Tyson-Ruddock bout.
The New York Post reported Muhammad will offer a temporary insanity plea -- based on a sleeping disorder for which he requires medication -- when the commission holds a special hearing in Las Vegas Tuesday.
Ruddock has continued to train for the Tyson fight in Fort Lauderdale, while Tyson is awaiting word at his condo home in Westwood, Calif.
Meanwhile, King lost one round in court in his battle to control welterweight champion Simon Brown of Germantown. New York Circuit Court Judge Beverly Cohen has ruled that Brown's contract with estranged manager Al Balboin will remain in force until September 1992, allowing Balboin to collect 20 percent of his future purses.
Last year, Brown sued Balboin and matchmaker Don Elbaum, claiming several checks for past fights had bounced. Brown then signed a promotional agreement with King, who promoted his March unification bout with Maurice Blocker when Brown added the World Boxing Council crown to his International Boxing Federation title.
NOTES: Baltimore boxer Vincent Pettway, who has spent most of his professional career campaigning as a welterweight, is ranked No. 10 by the International Boxing Federation in the junior-middleweight division and is eyeing a title match with IBF champion Gianfranco Rosi of Italy. Pettway, who moved up in weight to knock out city rival Eddie Van Kirk in his most recent bout, and his manager-trainer Mack Lewis, will attend the IBF convention in New Orleans next week.