Promoter Arum deals for Rahman-Toney bout



Boxing promoter Bob Arum said yesterday that he avoided a purse bid for Hasim Rahman's upcoming World Boxing Council title bout with James Toney, instead reaching a deal with rival Don King that allows Arum to control the promotion of a title defense likely to take place in Atlantic City, N.J., or Baltimore.

Arum said the 33-year-old Rahman (41-5-1, 33 knockouts) could meet Toney (69-4-2, 43 KOs) on March 18. Toney, 37, also is promoted by Dan Goosen.

"We offered Toney's people [King and Goosen] some money for themselves as promoters, and then they would pay James Toney and we would promote the fight," Arum said on the phone from Las Vegas.

Todd duBoef of Arum's Top Rank Inc. was the man who was actually on site in Cancun, Mexico, to cut the deal with Goosen and King "15 minutes before the purse bid was to happen."

"We made a deal to give them $2.8 million and that we will run the promotion," said duBoef. "We have bought out the Toney side, and now we're in line to make the most money for Rahman."

He said that although Atlantic City is the front-runner, Baltimore isn't out of the picture.

"This is about money. The best deal on the table is the best place for us to go," duBoef said. "If we all work together in this, it's going to be great for Hasim Rahman."

Arum said the fight would be televised on HBO rather than pay per view "to get the biggest possible audience and to build Rahman up so people can see him and love him."

Rahman was awarded the WBC heavyweight title when Vitali Klitschko retired because of an injury before their scheduled Nov. 12 bout. Rahman had stood to make at least $4.2 million against Klitschko.

Yesterday's scheduled purse bid was to favor Rahman in a 60-40 split. But Arum said Rahman's purse for the Toney bout "will be better than the 60-40 split, more in the same ballpark [as for the Klitschko fight], if everything breaks right. Rahman will be very well compensated."

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