King files lawsuit against Rahman



Promoter Don King has filed a federal lawsuit against Baltimore native Hasim Rahman, charging that he is entitled to half of the $4.2 million purse the ex-champion will earn for fighting World Boxing Council heavyweight Vitali Klitschko in November.

The suit, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court's Southern District in Manhattan, charges the money is owed King in accordance with a contractual agreement granted in the event that King lost the purse bid to be the primary promoter for Rahman's title bout. The amount "is King's reward for driving up the bid," said Judd Burstein, King's attorney. King lost the purse bid to promoter Bob Arum, who bid $12 million to King's $11.1 million, but Burstein said Rahman still is under contract with King until July 2008.

Burstein said Rahman's refusal to agree to a payment stems from Rahman's financial trouble, and the fact that the Las Vegas resident "has a 2.1 million IRS tax lien against him."

The suit was filed, Burstein said, "because Rahman feels that if the IRS and Don King get their payments, then he's fighting Klitschko for nothing."

Sun researcher Paul McCardell contributed to this article.

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