Bankrupt Tyson needs win over King to KO debt

NEW YORK: Mike Tyson could knock out more than US$27 million in debt that left him in bankruptcy by winning a court decision over ex-promoter Don King in a US$100 million lawsuit set for a September trial. 

The lawsuit is listed as a “litigation asset” in Chapter 11 bankruptcy papers filed here with the US Bankruptcy Court. Tyson claims King duped him into signing a deal while in prison for rape and wrongly took millions. 

Tyson, who rejected a US$20 million settlement offer from King, detailed a lifestyle of excess that saw his US$400 million in boxing income over the past 20 years spent on lavish luxuries. 

The 37-year-old former heavyweight champion, who once commanded US$30 million for pay-per-view boxing spectacles, had his debts detailed in court papers by The New York Times, which found he spent US$400,000 a month. 

“I have been in financial distress since 1998,” Tyson said in an affidavit. “Since that time, although my fight income, various asset sales and litigation recoveries have enabled me to pay a lot of my debt, I am still unable to pay my bills.” 

Future fight earnings and money from the sale of a mansion in Connecticut will help pay off a US$9 million divorce settlement to ex-wife Monica Turner, who has a lien on his Las Vegas estate. 

Remaining assets for Tyson are valued between US$10 million and US$50 million and include cars and two Las Vegas homes. 

From 1995 to 1997, according to divorce case documents, Tyson spent US$9 million on legal fees, US$410,000 on a birthday bash and US$230,000 for cellular telephones and pagers. 

Just 14 months agop, Tyson owed US$8,100 to care for his US$100,000 tiger and US$65,000 for limosuine fees. 

Among Tyson's debts are almost US$52,000 in child support to a woman who gave birth to his daughter in 1991. – AFP 

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