The following is a letter sent by Mr. Bobby Goodman, an executive for Don King Productions, late last night to selected media members only in regard to the Antonio Tarver vs. Glen Johnson world championship fight at Staples Center on December 18 and to be televised by HBO:
WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? -- HBO SENT SOMEONE TO PHUKET, THAILAND (JOE DE GUARDIA) WITH A DATE (DEC. 18) AND A DEAL IN HIS BACK POCKET TO WIN A PURSE BID FOR THE TARVER vs BRIGGS MANDATORY -- BECAUSE HE DID NOT WIN THE BID AND IT WAS WON BY DON KING -- HBO DID NOT WANT TO LET KING PROMOTE THE FIGHT -- AND TALKED BOTH FIGHTERS INTO GIVING UP THEIR HARD-EARNED BELTS THAT THEY WON LEGITIMATELY TO FIGHT EACHOTHER. BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T LIKE THE GAME -- THEY TOOK THEIR BATS AND BALLS AND WENT HOME. IT'S A TRAVESTY AND A GREAT DISRESPECT FOR THE SPORT. WHY COULDN'T BOTH BOXERS COMPLIED WITH THEIR MANDATORY OBLIGATIONS AND THE WINNERS COULD HAVE THEN MET FOR THE UNIFICATION?
HBO AND THEIR AGENTS HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO RESPECT FOR THE SPORT -- IF THEY CAN'T CONTROL IT -- THEY DON'T WANT TO DO IT! LET'S TELL IT LIKE IT REALLY IS! IT'S JUST ANOTHER CASE OF HBO THROWING THE ROCK AND HIDING THEIR HAND. THE REAL TRUTH IS THAT DON KING HAD AN OPTION ON TARVER FROM THE ROY JONES FIGHT WHERE HE BID 8.5 MILLION DOLLARS AT TARVER'S URGING AND TARVER SIGNED BOTH OPTION CONTRACTS WITH DON KING AND THE WBC. THERE SHOULDN'T HAVE EVEN BEEN A PURSE BID -- BUT SO BE IT.
The following is Goossen Tutor's response to the subject letter sent by Don King Productions (above):
First and foremost, I'm terribly disturbed and insulted that anyone would accuse me or my company of being talked into anything by anyone, especially when the King of 'talking into' is doing the finger pointing.
Secondly, the Tarver-Johnson bout absolutely shows the respect to the sport and fans by matching the two best lightheavyweights against each other.
The off target accusations and whining just goes to show the compelling matchup the respective promoters, managers and fighters have made.
In closing, it would be more appropriate that the complainers should be working for Mondavi Wineries with all the WHINING going on. We will continue to focus on putting together the best matchups for the fans.
If you can't make it to Staples Center on December 18, check 'Gentlemen' Glen Johnson out on HBO when he turns into the Road Warrior against the 'Magic Man' Antonio Tarver.