Rahman, King reach settlement



Baltimore native Hasim Rahman has come to terms on a settlement with Don King for $740,000, a move that will allow King to remain the ex-heavyweight champion's promoter throughout the duration of their contract, which extends until July 2008.

King backed off of his lawsuit, which charged he was entitled to half of the $4.2 million that Rahman will earn for his Nov. 12 title challenge of World Boxing Council champion Vitali Klitschko. Rahman had countered the suit by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, revealing more than $5 million of debt, including $2.1 million in unpaid taxes.

"Under the bankruptcy code, Rahman would have been able to walk away from his promotional contract with King had Rahman won the case," said Judd Burstein, King's attorney. "But Rahman reaffirmed their promotional agreement, and we've tightened up the language with respect to the obligation to promote fights and what constitutes a minimum purse. It's a classic good settlement: Nobody's happy."

King had lost the purse bid to be primary promoter for Klitschko-Rahman, being out-bid by Bob Arum, who has an option on Rahman's next fight should Rahman defeat Klitschko.

Also, trainer Emmanuel Steward yesterday denied being an adviser to Klitschko and called the WBC champion's defense against Rahman "a tossup."

"I don't advise Vitali Klitschko - they wish I did, I guess - but I just train his brother [Wladimir,]" said Steward, whose retired former champion, Lennox Lewis, split bouts with Rahman (41-5-1, 33 knockouts) and defeated Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) when the fight was stopped.

Vitali Klitschko, 34, first called Steward an adviser during a Sept. 24 discussion with reporters and reiterated Steward's role in a conference call Wednesday, during which Klitschko's primary trainer, Fritz Sdunek, said he and Steward reviewed tapes of the 32-year-old Rahman's fights.

Steward said he was in Los Angeles on business two or three weeks ago and visited Klitschko's camp, where Sdunek "asked me what I thought of Vitali."

"I watched a little of what they were doing, and I told them, `you're in for the fight of your life against a very, very dangerous man [Rahman] not to be taken lightly.' That's the extent of my advisement to Vitali."


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