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Defendant Bolts During Tyson Trial

October 6, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ Former heavyweight boxer Mitch Green bolted from the courtroom Monday, yelling ``I’m being sold out again″ and interrupting testimony in his $25 million lawsuit over the beating Mike Tyson gave him in a street fight.

Green, angry that promoter Don King was not in court, returned about 30 minutes later after a shouting match with his lawyers. The judge warned that the suit would be thrown out if Green stayed away.

Although Tyson is the defendant, Green blames King for his career troubles and had called him to testify. The judge told Green that King was expected in court Tuesday.

``Nothing against Mike Tyson,″ said Green, during often rapid, rambling and indistinct testimony. ``Don King ripped me off. Don King messed up my career.″

Much of what Green said, especially about King, seemed irrelevant to his lawsuit, but neither his lawyer Richard Gutierrez nor the judge seemed to be able to direct his testimony.

Tyson, seated in the front of the courtroom, threw knowing glances at the spectators and his friends during the rambling testimony.

The former heavyweight champion and Green fought in front of a Harlem store on Aug. 23, 1988.

Green admits he went looking for Tyson after hearing he was in the area. Green, who was frustrated about losing a 1986 fight against Tyson, said he merely asked for a rematch and that Tyson responded by ``sucker-punching″ him.

Tyson contends he was defending himself after Green ripped his shirt when he tried to walk away.

Tyson broke Green’s nose, cut up his face and knocked him cold, hitting him so hard that he broke his own hand, Green’s lawyers say. Green said he filed assault charges but dropped them after Tyson promised him a rematch.

Green believed he and Tyson were being paid about the same for their 1986 fight, which was promoted by King. But Green learned that Tyson was getting at least $650,000 to his $30,000 and became dispirited, losing the 10-rounder on points, Green’s lawyers say.

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