Dan Duva, the promoter of Evander Holyfield, yesterday won the International Boxing Federation purse bid for the Holyfield-Mike Tyson heavyweight title fight with an offer of $50,101,000.
By that sum Duva secured the right to stage a Holyfield-Tyson match, but it remains to be seen whether Holyfield and Tyson will fight under the IBF's aegis, or at all.
On Monday Tyson and his promoter, Don King, said they would not participate in the purse offers, a competitive bidding process among promoters, nor would they honor the outcome.
"We don't want the IBF belt," King said. "We don't want the IBF's recognition."
Purse bids are held when a champion and challenger are unable to reach terms on a contract. Traditionally the champion gets 75 percent of the winning bid and the challenger 25 percent. King has pushed for Tyson's share to be 45 percent but the IBF refused to break tradition.
Tyson is scheduled to fight a rematch against Donovan "Razor" Ruddock in Las Vegas, on June 28.
Sy Roseman, a spokesman for the IBF, said King did not submit a bid. The other high bids came from allies of Duva, Bob Arum, who offered $40,100,000 and Cedric Kushner, who offered $39,900,000.
Roseman said that should Ruddock beat Tyson on June 28, he would become the IBF's No. 1 contender.
"And in that case the purse bid would become meaningless," said Roseman. "It only applies to the Holyfield-Tyson fight."