Yesterday afternoon Boxingtalk.com spoke with Shelly Finkel's Mike Tyson "partner", Ted Watley. As Finkel's "partner", Watley was supposed to be kept in the know on anything and everything relating to the business of their client, former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, "Iron" Mike Tyson. In this exclusive interview that won't be found anywhere else, Watley gives us his take on what he describes as Shelly Finkel's "shakedown to rip Mike Tyson off!"
"Greg, why would Mike pass up a $20M fight for someone as tough as Williams in his first fight in over a year and a half to only get $7.5M?"GL: My guess would be someone advised him to take that fight.
Ted Watley: "Advised by Shelly Finkel. Shelly Finkel, behind his fighter's (Tyson) back, gets a two fight option on the fighter (Danny Williams) goes and gets the Klitschko brothers, and the first fight out of the box is Danny Williams! It sounds like there's a fucking going on doesn't it? The only thing that holds up as an excuse is the fact that Mike Tyson hurt his knee. If he doesn't hurt his knee he probably wins the fight in the second round. But why wouldn't they have a rematch clause in Mike's contract in case he lost? When have you ever heard that they air PPV a fight three times in a row? After it aired live they rebroadcast it two more times as a PPV event. And the guy who put up the money for the fight didn't get any of the money from the other two times!"GL: Are you talking about Chris Webb?
TW: "Chris Webb didn't put up any money, Johnathan Blue put up the money. If you ask Johnathan Blue if he's been paid yet he's going to tell you he hasn't. Shelly Finkel was telling me he was taking care of everything but he wasn't doing shit. I didn't want to be involved in the Louisville fight after he turned down a $20M fight. Why should we turn down a $20M fight for $7M in Louisville?GL: And what fights were turned down where Mike could have made $20M?
TW: "Mike had three options. He could have fought Brewster, the guy who knocked out Roy Jones Jr., Antonio Tarver, and one of the Klitschko's. He could have fought Brewster for $20M if we would have made a deal with Don King, which was a possibility. With those fights available, why fight this motherfucker for $7M when we have nothing to do with the foreign sales, and we don't even know where the foreign sales are going. Shelly Finkel is partners with this guy (Chester) English, him and Gary Shaw ripped the fighter off."GL: And out of the $7M that was Tyson's purse....
TW: (cutting in) "Mike only got $2M dollars."GL: Do you feel that was Shelly's way to keep Mike under control?
TW: "Absolutely! Shelly's philosophy is to keep the nigger broke so he always has to keep coming back. And legally Shelly and I are partners, but let's make this clear you're getting this from me and the reason I'm telling you this is because rumor has it that Ted Watley was involved in the rip-off and the shakedown! Shelly said Tyson wanted this fight, but when I spoke with Tyson he didn't know what was going on. He said he was just doing what Shelly asked him to do. They went into Louisville and Shelly had them bring in Gary Shaw as an advisor, they tried to turn the fight upside down and they shook them people down like they weren't shit. They shook them down. They made the promoter sign the foreign sales over to them, they made the promoter gives all of his rights over to them and they shook him down.
"After we got there we start finding out the bullshit. But we were too far into the promotion and Mike didn't want to pull out, but we should have. Then they replayed the fight on the undercard of that show in Connecticut (Corrales-Freitas) and I asked Shelly, where was that money going? Where is it? He said, 'Ted, there wan't no money made.' I said Shelly you're full of shit!' Where did this money go to? If he's saying Showtime got it, why would Showtime get any money on a PPV for Mike Tyson? Then the last thing he said was, 'Artie Pelullo got it'
"My next question was, how the hell would Pelullo get any money for a fight that he had nothing to do with? Shelly said that he bought out Gary Shaw promotions for the show. But if he bought Gary Shaw out, Shelly are you telling me he bought the rights to a PPV fight that he didn't have a fucking thing to do with and Mike doesn't get any of that money? Shelly is a liar who has mastered the divide and conquer game."
"I'm not letting anybody fuck Mike Tyson and this bastard has fucked Mike Tyson royally. Mike is a guy who doesn't pay attention to business. He never has. You can put something in front Mike Tyson when he's with you and he's going to sign it without even reading it, just like he did with Shelly. Shelly and Gary Shaw fucked Mike Tyson royally. Out of the $5M John Blue put up he's only received $78,000. Showtime still claims Mike Tyson still owes them money. And to be honest with you, Mike Tyson doesn't owe Showtime shit! Shelly Finkel took the Klitschko brothers from HBO to Showtime and he used Mike Tyson as the springboard. GL: And what does Mike have to say about all of this?
TW: "You ever been beat up so many times that you've grown tired of fighting? Have you ever had a girl that everytime you go to her you get fucked? Mike doesn't have much to say at this moment because he doesn't know what to say at this moment.GL: So you and Shelly are still partners with regards to Mike Tyson?
TW: "Shelly and I are still partners and this is the first time I've made any statements about this to anyone, and I mean anyone. You're getting it right from the horse's mouth. To rip off Tyson when he has only one shot in his life, because at this point in time that's all Mike has left is one shot, it takes a greedy, selfish son of a bitch to do something like that and think he has the nerve to get away with it. For the last month people have been calling me asking me why I've been allowing this to happen, and when I question Shelly about it, he starts telling stories like I'm some idiot. And when a guy starts treating you like an idiot that means he has something to hide."GL: How much would you say Mike was screwed out of for this last fight?
TW: "Follow the foreign sales in Europe and follow the two PPV sales that happened in the United States after the fight. When I questioned Shelly about it, he said they do it in wrestling. What the fuck is he talking about, this ain't wrestling! Ask Johnathan Blue how much he's made back of the $5M he put up and ask him how much accounting have they given him so far. Showtime has gotten Shelly Finkel to get Mike to sign away his rights again and that's a travesty. Mike has never had anyone that would tell the truth and defend him like I'm doing. And the only reason I'm able to do it is because Shelly Finkel and I have papers saying that I'm his partner. Legally I could ask for an accounting of everything that they're doing and that's exactly what I'm going to do."
Finkel, Webb, English, Blue and Shaw Deny Watley's Accusations!
By G. Leon
Mike Tyson manager Shelly Finkel denied every accusation Ted Watley made in our exclusive interview and then proceeded to put every one of the named parties with the exception of Showtime on the phone with us immediately. "I have three options on Williams, Shelly has no options on Danny Williams whatsoever," said Chris Webb, whose company Straight Out Promotions promoted Mike Tyson's July 30 bout with Danny Williams at The Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. "No, we've never been partners on foreign sales," said Chester English whose company Media Partners sold some territories for Ed Simons. "Finkel had nothing to do with any of the foreign sales, it's totally crazy, there's no bearing to that at all." Gary Shaw, who was brought in as an advisor by Chris Webb stated, "I have nothing to do with anything that he's talking about. I wasn't involved in any of it. What he's saying is insanity. I was there to help Chris out operationally." Johnathan Blue told Boxingtalk.com we are not the backer of Chris Webb, we were the funding facilitator. To this point we've received $78,000 from the PPV but I've received over seven figures from the venue." Finkel said Watley's accusations are stemming because he needed to borrow some money and he went beserk on some things. Click here to see what else Finkel had to say.
Finkel told Boxingtalk.com that he and Watley are not partners with regards to Mike Tyson. Although he refused to fax the agreement, he told Boxingtalk.com he would read the relevant section of it to us.
"To refute Ted Watley's claim about the two of us being partners, I am reading to you from an agreement between Ted Watley and myself dated August 3, 2004. Number four, miscellaneous.
"This agreement shall be governed by the State of New York applicable to contracts made and wholly performed therein. Nothing in this agreement shall create or constitute a relationship or partnership, joint venture, agency or employment between any party hereto or any other party."GL: What agreement is that from?
Shelly Finkel: "This is from an agreement between Ted Watley and I to pay Ted certain fees for things that he has done for me and for Mike."GL: And what's the reason he brought in to do these things?
SF: "Ted Watley used to work for Don King. He had certain footage he claims would exonerate Mike from the Desiree Washington thing. It's never been done, but I thought as an older gentleman who might be able to relate to Mike on certain levels, I thought he would be like a father figure/big brother to Mike and I thought it was valuable. It's obviously turned out, this is the way it works in the music business and others, you bring someone in and they try to turn against you."GL: So other than serving as father figure, there's no other reason you brought him in.
SF: "No. And he had been borrowing money from me to live. And number two of this says that I have lent him approximately $105,000 as of the date of his contract. He now wanted another $200,000 because he was moving and he didn't have the money and I was reluctant to do that. That's what drove him crazy.
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