Interventionist shareholder Carl Icahn has recruited a highflying cornerman for his upcoming bare-knuckle brawl with Time Warner.

Former Viacom ceo Frank Biondi, himself no mean boardroom pugilist, has joined the Icahn Group as the billionaire investor's 'second' in his proxy battle against TW.

For several months Icahn's hat has been repeatedly cast into TW's ring, accompanied by demands that the media giant's chairman/ceo Richard H Parsons either spin off or sell its America Online unit, and also buy back more stock. The latter has so far rejected Icahn's diktats.

Icahn appears to be in serious training for a showdown, with Biondi set-up to replace Parsons as chairman/ceo if appointed by an Icahn-swayed Time Warner board.

Eulogized Icahn of his second: "He helped make Universal, Viacom and HBO into the successes they are today. We are confident he will do the same for HBO's parent company, Time Warner."

Although the starting bell has yet to toll, the combatants appear set for a long and bloody battler.

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff