Don King: ‘It Feels Good to Be Back, but I Really Never Left’


    don-kingThe WBC Convention of 2014 is being held held in Las Vegas, Nevada between the fourteenth and twentieth of December. The litany of stars and prominent figures from the past and present that attend will be a number too numerous to account for, but some are more recognizable than others.

    Don King’s electrified ‘fro’ is a little frayed as he approaches the halfway point of his eightieth decade and his wrinkled face reminiscent of Benjamin Franklin on a crumpled hundred dollar bill, but he still retains the eloquence and lucidity that made him such a distinguishable figure in the 1970’s and 80’s when he enclosed his powerful grip around the entire sport of boxing.

    A smiling King reminisced over his most seminal moment for the cameras, that which brought him to the forefront of promotion, when he took on of the biggest heavyweight fights in history over to an infant nation in Africa.

    “Well you know the fortieth anniversary of the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ is right here now with Muhammad Ali and George foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire. So this is the fortieth year and now I got the world champion again with Bermane Stiverne, who will now be defending his world title on January 17th here at the MGM in Las, Vegas. So we’re renewing our commitment to bring boxing back to America; Return to Glory. The USA is back in form again with the return of heavyweight championship fights.”

    King once had a virtual monopoly of the sport, but now possesses only a few squares as it is Stiverne alone seeking shelter in his crumbling stable as a top-level performer. Running through the list of fighters happy to speak on King’s repugnant and predatory ways towards fighters bound to him by legal contracts, would probably take more time than I have left on this earth. No wonder King himself did not recount how many times he siphoned money from his fighter’s purses as memorable moments in his career; he hasn’t the time either. Now he is doing his best to bang the drum for his latest title fight between Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder, covering every base he can.

    “We want to get all the people to come out in the groundswell of public opinion and support. We’re going to have everybody there; the Armed Forces and the politicals and everybody, the proletariat, because I’m a promoter of the people, for the people.”

    It’s hard for me to imagine a multi, multi-millionaire wearing a diamond-studded denim jacket adorned with a picture of his own face as part of anything but a preening member of the bourgeoisie, but like I said, he’s covering all bases.

    His parting comments began, “Well it feels good to be back with the people, but you see I never really left,” before loading up and spraying out a seemingly endless fire of well-worn rhetoric. It bewilders me that this man still manages to ensnare fighters within his fraying net but he’s still here. The crown does not lie too heavy on his brow as of yet, it would seem.