Blood Season: Mike Tyson and the World of Boxing

By Phil Berger | Go to book overview
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12

All that stood now, in June 1987, between Mike Tyson's chances of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion was a stout man with a bushy mustache who figured it was time to cash in.

His name was Cedric Kushner, and he was the promoter of Tony Tucker. On May 30, Tucker had won the IBF title that was declared vacant when Spinks had insisted on fighting Cooney.

The night Tucker got the IBF tide, Kushner, of Easthampton, Long Island, had good reason to be pleased.

Kushner, who had promoted Tucker since 1982, not only gained a promotional share of a heavyweight champion but also a chance to recoup at least some of the money he had sunk into Tucker's career during harder times. Kushner's investment in Tucker was not a niggling one. The night Tucker beat James (Buster) Douglas for the IBF title, Kushner was down $450,000.

How does a promoter get himself into that sort of a bind?

The story goes back to December 1970, when Kushner, a sixth-grade dropout, left South Africa to make his fortune. He

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