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In Boxing News: King And Arum Bury Hatchet, Romero Dwi, Rip Kevin Payne

BY Robert Ecksel ON March 22, 2006
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In Boxing News: King and Arum let bygones be bygones

It’s been a crazy week that started even before Hasim Rahman and James Toney threw a punch, before there was a single word written about what it means to boxing when its premier division is down in the dumps.

Don King and Bob Arum, both 74 years old, are still the alpha and omega of boxing promoters, but their decades-long enmity is legendary, going all the way back to the time King swiped Ali from Arum in the early 1970s. But time mellows all men, and Mssrs. King and Arum have come to an agreement and decided to bury the hatchet, as it were, and not between each other’s shoulder blades. According to Bernard Fernandez, who was in A.C. for the big fight, a press release blared “Sworn Enemies!� and advised media members that King and Arum would hold a “‘once-in-a-lifetime’ joint forum Saturday afternoon at Bally's Atlantic City.� Fernandez, who refers to King and Arum as the “Odd Couple,� writes that the summit between promoters evoked “grainy, black-and-white images of Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta, of Khrushchev banging his shoe against his desk at the United Nations and shouting ‘We will bury you!’� But instead of a burial there was a rebirth, a dawning of a new day, where sworn former enemies let bygones be bygones, where all is forgiven and forgotten. “If you were making a chart from zero to a hundred, Bob Arum –- Harvard graduate, Kennedy raider, Jewish ethnic, got the complexion for the connection – would be most likely to succeed," King said. "Don King – African-American, ex-convict, served time in jail – on [a scale of] zero to 100, it would be 100 to zero for Bob Arum. But in reality, it hasn't been that way because I've been extraordinary at what I do. Us playing off each other has been a blessing more than anything. At the end of the day, only the two of us are left standing. Collectively, the rest can't tie our shoestrings.� Fernandez writes “‘The rest’ – Arum's and King's Nixonian enemies list – includes fighters-turned-promoters such as De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins and, in a biting of the hands that so often have fed them, HBO executives. As the rants-in-stereo continued, HBO publicist Ray Stallone angrily stalked off, incredulous that his company had, in essence, offered itself up as the pig-on-a-spit for an impromptu Friar's Club Roast.� Peace on earth, goodwill to men, every man for himself and God against everybody. What a wonderful world it will be … In addition to King and Arum joining hands and promotional efforts to stave off the young guns looming on the horizon comes an article in London’s Evening Standard called “Mike Tyson’s apology for violence.� Tyson has been in England to referee the World Cage Fighting Championships at the Manchester Evening News Arena, followed by a “dinner chat show tour� along with, on Friday night, Mike’s former foe and beloved Brit Frank Bruno. That event was originally scheduled to take place at the Brighton Centre but opposition from women's rights campaigners, city council members and MPs changed all that. The clamorers claim that Tyson is “not a suitable role model,� whatever that means in this day and age, based on his 1992 rape conviction. Mike hears their plays and wants to chill. “I'm just enjoying my life and I don't want to offend anyone. I'm sorry if my past actions have offended anyone but I'm not that person any more. I'm just Mike and I am happy to be around. I'm not much of a boxing man anymore. I am just existing in this world and trying to put boxing behind me. But I am a human being and a person so if I can help anyone, then I love to.� As usual, can’t tell if it’s the same old con or if there’s some hope yet for Mike Tyson … The Associated Press reports out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, that former IBF junior bantamweight champion Danny Romero, 31, was arrested Monday after “failing field sobriety tests and blowing above 0.16 percent in a breath-alcohol test – twice New Mexico's legal limit for presumed intoxication.� He was found vomiting near his 1999 Caddy, which was parked in the middle of a street. That was bad enough. But Romero told the cops that Gov. Bill Richardson would “take care of� his arrest on aggravated drunken driving charges, according to a police report. Asked where he had been drinking, the report says Romero said he was “partying with Bill,� referring to the governor, at the Governor's Mansion in Santa Fe. A spokesman for the governor called Romero's claims “absolutely not true.� He said Richardson returned from a weekend trip to New Hampshire and Washington, D.C., about 7:40 p.m. Monday, then had a quiet dinner with his wife. There was no party or other function at the mansion Monday night, Shipley said. Romero must have been mistaken … News out of Indiana about the death of boxer Kevin Payne is not good. Payne suffered a broken neck and likely died from “subdural bleeding� cause by blows to the head. He was pronounced dead on Sunday following surgery to relieve pressure on his brain at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, his hometown. The Indiana Boxing Commission, which sanctioned the fight, and whose pre-fight testing is a joke, will “review tapes to decide if any rules were broken.� The commission plans a full review Thursday in Indianapolis.

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