Promoter Don King already has announced that if Fort Washington heavyweight Riddick Bowe wins his next fight, he will face the winner of the March 18 bout between former champion Mike Tyson and Donovan "Razor" Ruddock, but Bowe's manager Rock Newman says he is not so sure.
Newman said yesterday no final decision will be made concerning a potential Tyson-Bowe matchup at The Mirage in Las Vegas in early June until negotiations conclude between Bowe's camp and HBO Sports for a multi-fight deal involving the 1988 Olympic silver medalist.
"We're still in negotiations with Mr. King," Newman said from Las Vegas. "During the press conference involving Simon Brown, Don looked at Riddick and said, 'Mr. Bowe, you're next.' We haven't made a final decision."
Brown, the International Boxing Federation welterweight champion, will face World Boxing Council title holder and Germantown neighbor Maurice Blocker on the undercard of the Tyson-Ruddock bout.
Newman said he was in "constant communication with Seth Abraham," president and chief executive officer of Time Warner Sports. Home Box Office is a subsidiary of Time Warner.
"We are in the process of trying to craft a deal," Abraham said from New York. "The proverbial ball is in my court and in a week or so we'll try to get something back to Rock."
A deal involving Bowe would begin this summer and would include fights televised by HBO Sports as well as Time Warner's new pay-per-view subsidiary, TVKO. While Newman did not indicate a contingency for a television deal to be closed for Bowe to face Tyson, he said the camp would prefer to await the outcome of the negotiations with Abraham.
"I don't see myself completing a deal with King before seeing any attractive offer from HBO," Newman said. "It's a very substantive proposal that could be worth several million dollars to Bowe."
Abraham also said he held conversations with the camps of heavyweight contenders Ray Mercer and Tommy Morrison concerning a possible contract.
Late last year Bowe signed a two-fight contract with ABC Sports for a bout March 2 and another in mid-April. Bowe will face 1984 Olympic gold medalist Tyrell Biggs March 2 at Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City.