Get-together over Bowe-Lewis bout ends with the two sides farther apart Talks break off with no agreement

February 11, 1993|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

The managers of heavyweight champions Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis moved further apart -- literally and figuratively -- on their negotiations for a title showdown this summer.

Rock Newman, who handles Bowe, the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation champion, yesterday flew with Bowe to Los Angeles, where the boxer will make a guest appearance in "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," a television show.

Frank Maloney, manager of Lewis, who owns the World Boxing Council belt, returned with Lewis to their native England last night after a meeting Tuesday night with Newman, representatives of Time Warner and Dan Duva, president of Main Events Inc., failed to produce a signed contract.

Maloney was holding firm for a $10 million guarantee, a figure Newman told the New York media he had offered. But it is Duva's role as middleman in the negotiations that muddies the water.

When Duva controlled undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, he agreed to give a title shot to Bowe last November with the stipulation that, if Bowe won, Duva would receive 28 percent of his future title earnings.

Newman agreed, but in negotiating with Maloney, he was trying to cut Duva out of his share, and thus the $10 million figure was misrepresented.

"What Newman is asking Dan to do is to give up his options," said Kathy Duva, Dan's wife and media director for Main Events. "But Dan told Rock, 'I'm not paying your bills.' "

Duva also has promotional ties to Lewis.

In trying to resolve this stalemate, Newman offered several options to the Lewis camp. He proposed a winner-take-all contract, with the loser guaranteed $1 million to cover expenses.

Maloney countered with a $20 million and $6 million winner-loser split, but Newman balked, and the talks ended.

Seth Abraham, president of Time Warner, which wants a major pay-per-view fight for cable subsidiary TVKO in June, would like Bowe and Lewis to reach a settlement in the next month.

But time becomes an issue, with Bowe leaving Wednesday on an international goodwill tour that includes a visit to Somalia, a meeting with Nelson Mandela in South Africa and an audience with the Pope in Rome.

Meanwhile, Lewis appears close to setting up a title match with Tony Tucker, the WBC's No. 1 contender, for May 8 in Las Vegas.

Contracts with promoter Don King are unsigned, but Kathy Duva said a major issue was resolved when King agreed to the WBC stipulation that Lewis will receive $9.7 million of the $12.160 million purse.

If Lewis-Tucker becomes a reality, Newman then would have to renew talks with Holyfield, who is viewed as the only other opponent for Bowe suitable for a pay-per-view event.

Holyfield's new manager, rap star Hammer, opened negotiations by asking for $15 million. Newman quickly ended the discussion.

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