NEW YORK, JULY 16 -- James "Buster" Douglas and his lone post-Tyson opponent, promoter Don King, finally agreed on something today: They have not settled a lawsuit that would get the heavyweight champion back in the ring.
Douglas's comments to the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch about a done deal in the federal case were premature, said John Johnson, the fighter's manager. Douglas reportedly said Sunday there was an agreement severing his ties with King and permitting a title defense against Evander Holyfield.
Douglas has not fought since his stunning Feb. 11 knockout of then-champion Mike Tyson.
Douglas, a Columbus native, rose from an eighth-round knockdown to defeat Tyson. King protested after the fight, saying Douglas received a long count in the eighth and calling for Tyson to retain his crown.
King testified he did that in an effort to force a Tyson-Douglas rematch. King, who had an exclusive promotional deal with Douglas, serves as Tyson's business manager and has limited power of attorney for Tyson.
"Basically, it's still being talked about. If and when it's settled, it will be something we are happy with," said Johnson. "The one thing to remember is that Don King was wrong, he is wrong, and he always will be wrong in this case."
A spokesman for the promoter said that while there could be negotiations involving King, there was definitely no deal. "The situation remains this: I've talked to our attorneys, and there is no settlement signed. There is no agreement. And we are ready to go back into court," said John Solberg, a spokesman for Don King Productions.
Douglas, Johnson and The Mirage hotel and casino in Las Vegas are suing King in Nevada for breach of contract, asserting King tried to overturn Douglas's defeat of Tyson in Tokyo.
King responded by suing The Mirage for tortious interference for its signing of Douglas to a two-fight contract despite an existing King-Douglas deal. He also sued Douglas and Johnson for breach of contract. The Nevada suit was stayed, pending resolution of the other case.
King's suit is in Manhattan, where Douglas was scheduled to take the stand today as the trial entered its third week, but U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet sent the jurors home, telling them both sides had asked for the recess. That appeared to support the notion of settlement talks. But Johnson said it was likely the trial would resume.
According to the copyright story in the Dispatch, King and hotel-casino owner Donald Trump -- who claimed to have contractual rights through King for Douglas's next fight -- would be paid a total of $7 million.
In return, King will play no part in the Douglas-Holyfield fight, tentatively set Sept. 21 at Steve Wynn's The Mirage hotel-casino in Las Vegas.
King will promote Douglas's rematch with Tyson next year at The Mirage if Douglas defeats Holyfield, but will otherwise have no ties with Douglas, the newspaper said.