The snake and the alligator are working together again.
Boxing promoters Bob Arum and Don King -- well-known mortal enemies -- are scheduled to hold a news conference Wednesday in New York to announce a March boxing show they are co-promoting in Las Vegas.
It is a show worthy of the reputation of both legendary controversial promoters, keeping some bodies on life support and digging up several other carcasses to put in the ring to make money.
Miguel Cotto -- managing to hang on as a contender despite the two beatings he took from the hand-plastered Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao -- will face Ricardo Mayorga, he of the chain-smoking, beer drinking-in-the-ring fame who has fought twice in the last four years, including a pummeling from Shane Mosley.
Also on the Showtime pay-per-view broadcast will be female boxer Christy Martin -- back in the news again after being stabbed and shot in November by her husband-- going for her 50th career win. She hasn't fought since September 2005.
Arum, 79, was a former Department of Justice lawyer in the 1960s. He became one of the most powerful figures in boxing, promoting such greats as Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Robert Duran and the comeback of George Foreman, among many others. He remains a force in boxing as Pacquiao's promoter.
King, also 79, is a former bookmaker who killed two men, one shot in a case of justifiable homicide of a man attempting to rob him and the second beating to death a man who reportedly owed him money. King was convicted of manslaughter and served nearly four years before being released on parole in 1972. Eleven years later, King was pardoned for the crime by Ohio Governor James Rhodes.
After King got out of prison, he began working his way into the business. He promoted the Muhammad Ali-Foreman bout known as the "Rumble in the Jungle," and would go on to promote some of the biggest names in boxing, including Mike Tyson and Julio Cesar Chavez.
Both have clashed with each other numerous times over the years. The story goes that King jumped in the ring after the 1987 Leonard-Hagler middleweight title fight to get some attention. Arum supposedly grabbed King and a fight was broken up. But according to the New York Times, Arum said King pointed to his pocket, indicating he had a gun, and told Arum, "See what I got here."
The two co-promoted the Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad 1999 bout, which Trinidad -- King's fighter -- won in a controversial decision. Walking into the post-fight, King bellowed, "The lights are out in Arumville." Arum had to be restrained from going after King and eventually had King's microphone turned off.
King reportedly once told this fable to describe his relationship with Arum. A venomous snake (in King's story, Arum) needed to cross the river and asked the alligator to help him. The alligator didn't trust the snake, believing the snake would bite him. But the snake convinced the alligator to help him. In the middle of the river, the snake bit the alligator, who asked why he did it, since they both would drown. "I'm a snake, I couldn't help myself," the snake answered.
The snake and the alligator are about to cross another river.
Examiner columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of "The Sports Fix" from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and espn980.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.