Talks between ex-heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman and Don King ended in anger Wednesday when Rahman stormed from the promoter's Las Vegas home.
Feeling slighted by the amount of money being offered for an April 30 bout with World Boxing Council champion Vitali Klitschko, the Baltimore native rejected King's offer, according to Rahman's business manager, Steve Nelson.
One source close to the negotiations said King is offering "nearly $3 million" to Rahman, a little less than half of what Klitschko would make.
"If either fighter turns down the kind of money they're being offered," the source said, "then they don't want the fight."
Rahman, 32, took further action yesterday by filing a written request that the WBC order a purse bid if their differences are not resolved during the organization's 30-day free negotiation period. It's not clear when that period began.
Under a purse-bid scenario, King and WBC-registered promoters propose an overall dollar amount to be divided between the fighters. In such a case, the money would be divided 75 percent to 25 percent in favor of Klitschko, 33.
The source said Rahman "would do worse financially" if a purse bid is used.
Neither Rahman nor King could be reached to comment.
"It's not the first time Rock has rejected the offer, but it's the first time the two of them were actually face to face when Rock has rejected the offer," Nelson said. "Once you resolve the money, the other issues fall into place. Talks are ongoing."
The fight between Rahman (40-5-1, 33 knockouts) and Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) is scheduled to be aired by HBO from New York's Madison Square Garden, where a news conference had been scheduled for next week.
"We've been contacted, had preliminary discussions," said Eric Gelfan, vice president of public relations for Madison Square Garden.