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Old 10-05-2003, 03:26 AM
gradysfalcon gradysfalcon is offline
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Default boxing icon , bill cayton dies

Bill Cayton, who managed Mike Tyson early in his career and owned of one of the biggest collections of old fight films, died Saturday. He was 85.

Cayton died of lung cancer in Larchmont, N.Y., said Luke Lambert, a family friend.

Cayton was a fixture in the fight business for decades, managing world champions including Tyson, Wilfred Benitez and Edwin Rosario. But he was best known for co-managing Tyson with Jim Jacobs when the young heavyweight turned pro in 1984.

Jacobs died a few years later and Tyson sued Cayton to sever their ties around the time Tyson knocked out Michael Spinks in 1988.

Besides managing "Iron" Mike and others, Cayton had a large collection of fight films he began collecting in the 1940s, featuring legendary fighters like Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson and Gene Tunney.

His collection included the famous 1936 fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling at Yankee Stadium.

Cayton sold his film and tape library in 1998 to Disney Corp., which features many of the titles on its ESPN Classic Sports network.

Born in New York City, Cayton earned a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1937 and began a career as a technical writer for DuPont. By 1945, he was running his own advertising agency, Cayton, Inc.

Cayton got involved in boxing four years later when a client, Chesebrough Manufacturing Co., asked for his help in promoting Vaseline hair tonic for men. He decided to use television advertising on sports events, recommending boxing because other larger team sports were not yet suitable for small-screen viewing.

Cayton began managing fighters in the mid-1970s along with Jacobs. After Jacobs died in 1988, he managed Tommy Morrison, Vinny Pazienza, Jeremy Williams and Michael Grant.

"I love boxing. It's the most elemental of all sports, and the most exciting," Cayton said in a 1996 interview.

Cayton, whose wife, Doris, died in 2000, is survived by his son Brian and daughters Trish and Merrie.

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