Watley's Suit Against Finkel Over The Alleged "Mike Tyson Shakedown!"


Watley's Suit Against Finkel Over The Alleged "Mike Tyson Shakedown!"


FACTUAL BACKGROUND: On or about October 25 2002 Mr. Watley and Mr. Finkel got into a Relationship by phone. Watley was under house arrest and was introduced to Rory Holloway on business deal, as well as working with a company out of Ohio, which was providing financing for start up businesses. In the course of the conversations, Finkel and Watley discovered that with their combined connections there were other possible business opportunities to explore.

Watley and Finkel began exploring these opportunities. At one point, one of Watley’s connections was able to align with one of Finkels connections in a deal that was going to result in a major windfall for Finkel and Watley. Watley and Finkel had numerous phone conversations discussing each other’s background; including Watley’s reason for being on house arrest and the business opportunities that they both felt could be very valuable.

In one of their discussions, Watley mentioned to Finkel that he had been in Indianapolis, Indiana, assisting Don King and helping get Mike Tyson free of the charges that were placed against him. Watley explained to Finkel that he felt Don King did a disservice to Mike Tyson and because of that Mike Tyson ended up in prison.  Watley had gotten permission from King to film behind the scenes and to document various events that occurred before trial.

In March of 1996, the FBI told Watley that Don King had him shot.During this period of time, Mr. Finkel’s relationship with Mike Tyson was on a rocky road.  Finkel had no contract with Mr. Tyson and he felt that either Don King or someone else would wind up replacing him. 

One of the tactics that Finkel used to control Mike Tyson was always using the phrase “Don King is Involved” or part of a transaction in order to scare Mr. Tyson to stay in line rather than to explore anything new.  On several occasions, Finkel spoke to Rory Holloway and Holloway said to Finkel that during Finkel’s tenure as advisor Finkel had not come close to making the money that Team Tyson had made for Mike Tyson.

During that period of time Finkel came up with the idea to use Rory Holloway to bring him closer to Mr. Tyson, but after some discussion Finkel realized that Rory Holloway would not be an ally.  Finkel presented himself to Watley as a person that had Mike Tyson’s best interest at heart. Finkel said he felt that Team Tyson took complete advantage of Mike Tyson. It was this statement that drew Watley closer to Finkel. If any knowledgeable person in boxing wanted to dissect the structure of team Tyson they would have found that Don King solicited the help of John Horne & Rory Holloway, neither of who knew anything about the game of boxing. The only service that they provided to Don King was to hang out with Mike Tyson, to be Don King’s eyes and ears and to try to steer Mike Tyson in the direction that Don King wanted him to go.  For that service each one got 10% of Mike Tyson’s earnings & Don King got 30%.  However, Mike Tyson had to pay taxes, office expenses and other bills out of his 50%.  

One thing that the public does not realize is that Mike Tyson does not read any documents or contracts that are so important to his well being.  He goes solely on his trust of the people that he aligns himself with.  Finkel needed Watley to re-open communications with Mike Tyson and to get Mike Tyson back to a comfort level so he could secure a three-fight contract.   This is why Finkel agreed to pay Watley 50% of all revenue generated by Mr. Tyson that Finkel earned through boxing, endorsements, etc. 

Mr. Finkel painted a convincing picture to Watley that he wanted to protect Mike Tyson and to help Mike re-gain his fame and the world championship. Finkel asked Watley to first help him get back in position as advisor/manager to Mike Tyson and then Finkel and Watley would be able to get Mike Tyson out of debt and in position to become the heavy weight champion of the world.

Finkel had convinced Watley that he was an honest man. They discussed for hours Watley’s life, Watley’s background and the fact that Watley had connections worldwide. Finkel met William Levy, Watley’s attorney and Levy was putting an agreement together between Finkel and Watley on one of their early projects.  Mr. Levy’s opinion of Finkel was far different than Watley’s.  Mr. Levy advised Watley that Finkel’s integrity was not as it appeared.

During one of Tyson and Watley’s conversations, Tyson expressed that he wanted to come and see some of the footage that Watley had from Indianapolis. This is the first time that Watley met Jackie Rowe, who at that time had Power of Attorney over Mike Tyson, and a man called Zip. Finkel informed Watley that Ms. Rowe was on Don King’s payroll and not to trust her at all. Watley took Mr. Tyson, Jackie Rowe and Zip to NFL Films where they viewed the footage and Watley stated at that time that the only way he would use any of the footage was if Mike Tyson was involved. This was a promised that Mr. Watley made to himself from the very beginning. 

Watley then took Tyson to Mr. Levy’s office, and if you were to look at Levy and Finkel you would swear they were brothers. That is when Mike Tyson called Levy a no good Jewish bastard and asked why would Watley bring him to Finkel’s brother. Watley felt bad for Levy, so he took Tyson into a private office and informed him that Finkel and Levy were not related. At that time it became apparent that Tyson did not want anything to do with Finkel. Due to the fact that Watley was under house arrest, Watley had to get permission to go to NFL Films and to Levy’s office. Tyson returned with Watley to his home where Tyson informed Watley he had a boil on his face and needed medical assistance. The outrage and anger that Tyson had towards Finkel was a total surprise to Watley.  Mike and Watley’s relationship became tighter by phone.

Jackie Rowe had convinced Tyson to file bankruptcy. Tyson took full responsibility of that action. Finkel had maneuvered himself to get placed on the debtors committee.  Jeff Wald was also a part of that Committee.  Finkel and Watley had an understanding that they would keep each other informed and for Watley to help Finkel get back in position as Tyson’s manager and advisor. Once Finkel had retained his seat he would share with Watley 50% of the proceeds Finkel earned as being Tyson’s manager and advisor.

Chapter 96-R.I.C.O.

1. Finkel began lying and deceiving in the very beginning at the first fight opportunity. Finkel told Watley that he had informed Tyson of the contract between the two of them (Finkel and Watley). The deception is that Finkel told Tyson that Watley & Finkel had a 50/50 contract representing him.  However, Finkel told Watley that he was earning 3% as his pay from Mr. Tyson.  Finkel defrauded Watley from proceeds from the Louisville fight. 

2. Finkel told Watley that he had nothing what so ever to do with the sale of Tyson merchandise in Louisville, Kentucky. Mike Tyson is the #1 draw in the fight game today.  For his likeness to be sold in the market place and he not get any payment is ridiculous, and for anyone to use Tyson’s likeness and his manager not know about it is also ridiculous.  The record will show that Finkel was not only part of these sales, but orchestrated them.  And Watley nor Mike Tyson had any knowledge of these transactions nor did they benefit from them. 

3. Finkel departmentalizes the way he hides the money he takes from the athletes.  By departmentalizing the funds they show as something totally different than where they come from.  It is a disservice & misrepresentation for Mr. Tyson’s advisor to sell his likeness and he not be compensated. 

4. Finkel purposely sabotaged the opportunity for Tyson to make sixty million dollars ($60,000,000) with a three million dollar ($3,000,000) signing bonus.  The first fight was to be in September 2004, promoted by Murad Mohammed.  Finkel continually sabotaged the opportunity even after Mike Tyson signed the contract the day he got his license in the state of New Jersey.  At one point, Mohammad thought it would be better if he brought in Bob Arum, hoping that this action would get Shelly Finkel to finally agree to close the deal.  Kevin McBride was the fight in Louisville until Finkel pulled a bait & switch.

5. Finkel deceived Watley by not informing him that he had arranged for TYSON to fight  Danny Williams and there was no rematch clause in Tyson’s contract to protect him in case of a loss. 

6. In August 2004, Finkel told Watley he was going to Connecticut to visit a friend.  In fact, Finkel went to a fight in Foxwood, .where the promotion was sold to Banner Promotions. Arthur Peoullo and Finkel were sitting next to Danny Williams, the man who had just fought Tyson in Kentucky and won the match. he arranged for Williams to fight one of the Klitsko brothers. Finkel is now Klitsko’s manager and advisor. 

7. Watley repeatedly asked Finkel to explain to him how a Tyson fight could be pay per viewed under another promoter and Mike Tyson not receive any of the pay per view money. Finkel repeatedly misinformed Watley and Finkel became agitated at Watleys inquiries. He first told Watley that the proceeds went to Showtime.  Then he told Watley that only Showtime non-subscribers had to buy the program. Finkel told Watley that he would get that information from Showtime to prove he was correct. Three days later Finkel told Watley that the promoter, Banner Promotions received the money for the pay per view event, again a deception.

8. Watley inquired from Finkel about the August 1, 2004 pay per view event which was sold for $44.95.  Why was Mike Tyson not receiving any of the money? For the first time in the history of boxing a pay per view event shown on July 30, 2004 is shown again two days later on August 1as a pay per view event for $44.95.  Mike Tyson does did benefit one cent from the two pay per view events and Finkel repeatedly tried to convince Watley that there were no pay per view shows on the dates mentioned.

9. Finkel suggested to Watley that out of the money they would earn from Tyson’s Louisville fight they should pay Jeff Wald part of the proceeds. Watley objected and questioned Finkel as to why Wald should receive any money from Tyson or from Watley.

10. Finkel has filed a frivolous lawsuit in an attempt to cover his dirty deeds. The issue of the amount of money Finkel may have loaned Watley is clear, but Finkel mislead Watley by saying that his contract with Mike Tyson is only for 3% when in fact in one of Finkels statements to the press he said he receives 9.5% and in Tyson’s statement to the press Tyson stated that he pays Finkel 50%.  According to Finkel, he informed Tyson and Monica Turner-Tyson that the contract between Finkel and Watley existed. Tyson and Monica never knew of the contract this was another act of  deception.

11. Finkel attempted to get Watley to agree on purchasing a Range Rover as a gift for Tyson security guard for him being Finkel’s eyes and ears and keeping Finkel informed on every move Tyson made. It is alleged that Finkel knew that  same security guard lied to a plastic surgeon in Phoenix by telling him he would be able to work Tyson’s corner at the fight for doing plastic surgery on the security guards wife. That turned into a major argument just hours before the fight. Watley did not know  anything about this argument . Watley settled the disagreement and confronted Finkel about the unscrupulous actions that had occurred.

12. Dennis Henry, president of Straight Out Promotions, approached Watley right after the first press conference that Watley attended in Kentucky.  Henry wanted to know why he was being forced by Finkel to accept Gary Shaw’s services and if he refused he would lose the fight and he had less than thirty days to promote the fight. If you follow this behavior you will find that Finkel has forced Shaw on many unqualified promoters in the past.  Finkel’s main thrust is to be in total control of every aspect of the promotion.  This is why it is important to obtain Finkel’s taxs returns from 2002 to the present.  There are certain guidelines in boxing that are clear.  In every transaction in Finkel and Tyson’s relationship this is what you are going to find; Finkel receiving funds that far exceed the industry standards in a promotion.  You are also going to find conflict of interest and total disregard for Mike Tyson’s well being. Finkel departmentalizes his deception to give the appearance that his hands are clean.  In the Louisville fight, because of defendant-counter claimant 26 years experience in the boxing industry it is easy to point out the numerous excessive payments, conflict of interest and the total disregard for Tyson’s welfare.

13. Watley questioned Finkel about a one hundred thousand dollar ($100,000) fee that was paid from Danny Williams to and alleged Tyson confidant and Finkel lied to Watley again saying he know  nonething about it at all.

14. Watley questioned Finkel about foreign sales from the main event and the additional pay per view events. Finkel repeatedly gave false statements in every conversation. Watley asked Turner-Tyson Mike’s X wife if she had knowledge of this and she replied no.  The only way that Shelly Finkel could have continued his deception is  if he was also deceiving Monica Turner Tyson who Mike Tyson relied on to read over every contract presented to him.  And for her not to have any knowledge or compensation from these transactions surrounding the fight means she was deceived or unknowingly made part of the deception.

15. If you were to look at the relationship of Finkel representing Mike Tyson you would find that he purposely devalued Mike Tyson in the market place.  By devaluing Mike Tyson it allowed Finkel to stay in total control of Mike Tyson’s business dealings. For example, the Louisville fight of July 30, 2004.  Watley successfully negotiated a $63,000,000 deal involving a 3-fight package.  Tyson would receive $20million per fight with a $3million signing bonus.  The first fight was to be on or about Sept. 6, 2004.  Finkel, Watley & Mohammed had lengthy discussions regarding the promotion.  The #1 concern was the opponent would be able to generate enough revenue to allow the promoter to pay Mike Tyson $20 million.  The three of them agreed on Antonio Tarver to be the first fight and his only claim to fame was that he beat Roy Jones, Jr.  Finkel went behind the back of Watley and Mohammed the promoter and told Tarver that it would be worth $8-10 million to Tarver to fight Mike Tyson. 

16. First of all, this was unethical. It was Mohammed the promoter’s job to approach the fighter to determine the value of a fighter and make an offer, which in this case was $5 million.  Finkel purposely planted the $8-10 million figure in Tarver’s mind before Mohammed approached him and made it hard and impossible for  Tarver to give credibility to the promoter $5 million offer.Mohammed gone as much as $6 million.  Fight 2 was to be Brewster, a Don King fighter.  Here, Finkel’s concern was how Mohammed would effectively get Don King to allow us to fight one of his champions.  That was not Finkel’s or Watley position.  That was Mohammed’s position to figure out how that would be negotiated. Fight 3 was to be Klitsko. I must remind you that Mike Tyson was $30 million in debt and it was Finkel and Watley  job to get Mike Tyson as much money as possible. 

17. Unbeknownst to Watley or Mohammed, Finkel was negotiating to deliver Klitsko to Showtime and become his new advisor.  Not being truthful about what he was earning and the fact that we had a $63Million deal with a $3 million signing bonus that we could have gotten for Tyson shows that Finkel was angling to do three things: one, to deliver the fight to Louisville by telling Tyson he was fighting Kevin McBride.  Instead, he worked out a deal with Frank Warren to fight Danny Williams.  This is called a bait and switch move.  If Danny Williams beats Tyson then Finkel would set up a fight with Klitsko & Williams, the man who beat Tyson. Two Finkel hand the power and control of the pay-per-view that was on for 44.95 on 7/1/2004 never has been done in boxing showing pay per view of the same fight in two day’s for the same money. Three Finkel never told Tyson or Watley about the money from the mertchandise Watley ask Finkel and he told Watley it was to lettel to think about,

18. This would devalue Tyson and raise the stock of Williams.  It also makes Klitsko more of a draw because he is fighting the man who beat Tyson.  Finkel had already convinced Klitsko to leave HBO and had delivered him to Showtime.

19. When we follow the money trail, which is cleverly disguised and departmentalized, it will unveil the conspirators who assisted Finkel in his deception and they all profited from the money that they deceived from Mike Tyson & Watley. Finkel has orchestrated one of the worst rip-offs of an athlete in the history of boxing.  And he has done this while at the same time convincing the athlete that he is working for him in his best interest.  That is the worst that you can do to an athlete and his career. To get him to believe that you have his best interest at heart while the whole time you have both of your hands deep in his pockets with a smile on your face as you are ripping him off.

20. To show you one incident of how low Finkel will go to hurt Mike Tyson, the night Tyson lost he was in great pain, so severe that he could not walk on his on.   Once Watley convinced him to go to the hospital, as soon as he laid on the hospital gurney he passed out.  Befor going to the hospital Finkel brought a document into the room and in spite of all the pain Mike Tyson was in Finkel had him sign the document.  As Finkel’s financial partner, I was entitled to know and see the document and to be told what that document contained.

21. In any business transaction, whether there are two or more partners involved, the following things are standard: First is to provide information as to proceeds in every aspect of that promotion.  Second is to give your associates an accurate accounting of the profit and loss statement pertaining to the transaction.

22. Finkel claimed he loaned Watley $105,000.00, not mentioning that Watley gave him $50,000.00, which reduced that loan to $55,000.00.  Furthermore, by Finkel deceiving Watley about the proper % he was to receive from his contract with Mike Tyson, in reality Finkel loaned Watley his own money.

23. By Finkel deceiving Watley from the very beginning he committed theft by deception. It is fraud that you will find that Finkel has committed in the Louisville transaction.  
If you follow the Aug 1st pay per event as well as the pay per view broadcast for the Peoullo event in Foxwood, you will find that Finkel defrauded Tyson & Watley.  If you look at the actual amount of money in the Finkel/Tyson contract you will find that Finkel deceived Watley and that is called theft by deception.

24. For the indiscretion of theft by deception, Watley is seeking the sum of $30million.

25. For the indiscretion of fraud, Watley is seeking the sum of $50million

26. For slandering Watley in his statements, characterizing Watley as a “con man” and a dishonest person in the business of Mike Tyson, Watley is seeking the sum of $15million

27. Mr. Watley is requesting a jury trial.

28. Furthermore, Watley is requesting full payment with interest in relationship to the Louisville Tyson fight and an accurate accounting of all proceeds of that fight thereof.

29. Due to the nature of Finkel’s ability to hide and deceive Watley is requesting all income taxs records from 2002 to present.

30. Due to Finkel’s ability to deceive many people over the course of many years and to defraud them out of millions of dollars, Watley is requesting the court to freeze all funds related to Shelly Finkel management and Shelly Finkel personally until this trial is adjudicated.

31. I cannot impress upon the court enough as to the depth of Finkel’s deception and the harm that he has caused Mike Tyson & Watley.  Mr. Tyson has one chance left in boxing at the age of 38 and to have been devalued and deceived in this manner is the most disgraceful thing I have ever witnessed in my lengthy career in the game of boxing, which has been 26 years in boxing.

32. It was because of Watley actions that Mike Tyson re-signed with Finkel and I feel responsible for allowing this man to re-enter Mike Tyson’s life. Watley believed in Finkel whole-heartedly after being shot five times in 1996 and fighting a court case for five years need to believe in someone good and was not just out for the money knowing if we do our job we all well make money from it all, only to find out now that I have allowed one of the worst abusers I have ever witnessed in my 26 years in the game to deceive the bouth of us.

33. It is due to my knowledge of the game of boxing that I will be able to prove without a shadow of a doubt that Finkel is guilty of everything that is stated in this complaint.  Under penalty of perjury I make this claim.

34. Watley informed Finkel that he was purchasing a home in Florida and that he needed two hundred thousand dollars to close on the closing date. Finkel was more that willing to assist Watley with the funds if Watley would stop worrying about the questions he was asking and worry about himself Finkel told Watley just look out for yourself. At that point, Watley told Finkel that he did not want his funds, disengaged from the conversation and informed Boxingtalk.net of the fraud and deception. Knowing by informing Boxingtalk it well come out and show everone in boxing that Watley was not taking anything from Tyson and was going to go after Finkel for all he have done to them bouth.

35. If what Watley is saying is true, Finkel is making either 9.5% or 50%, which means he has deceived Watley and Watley will ask the Court to make the charges of Theft by Deception to the charges that Watley is going  presen.  Since this story broke on Boxingtalk.net other fighters have contacted Watley of the dirty deeds Finkel has done to them.  In this complaint Watley is asking the Court to freeze all of Finkel’s assets until this case is thoroughly investigated both foreign and domestically.  If any part of this indictment is found to be true, the numbers are staggering and would be beyond normal comprehension.

36. Finkel has purposely devalued the marketability of Mike Tyson for personal gain by signing one of the Klitsko’s brothers, taking them from HBO to Showtime; by making a fight with Danny Williams, who is associated with Frank Warren, the Don King of London, in association with one of Frank Warren’s employees, who acted as an agent to sell the foreign sales to further fleece Mike Tyson. Finkel has repeatedly mislead and lied to Watley in every aspect of the July 30.2004, fight in Louisville, Kentucky.

37. By Watley being Finkels 50% financial partner, Watley has asked for an accurate account and has not yet received any response, instead Finkel tried to loan Watley his own money as part of Finkel’s shake down.

I respectfully submit my answer to this civil action and that everything in this answer to the civil action is truthful to best of my knowledge.  Everything I am saying is true under the penalty of perjury.

Thaddeus E. Watley
Pro se Attorney