By Josh Truba
Don King once said "the man with no creativity stands on the earth, he has no wings, he cannot flyI am soaring!" This statement has never been truer than it is today. King is on top of the world.
Saturday night saw King orchestrate one of his finest schemes yet. According to virtually every boxing expert in the business, Lennox Lewis soundly beat Evander Holyfield in their 12round heavyweight title unification bout. They say it wasn’t even a close fight.
"It’s a disgrace," fumed promoter Lou Duva. "How the hell does a judge even sign his name to that?"
"This is almost beyond a stench. I’m ashamed as a boxing fan," exclaimed respected boxing announcer Larry Merchant. Yet, the three officials seated ringside concluded the match was a draw.
So what’s the deal? How do three of boxing’s most competent and supposedly elite officials show such an epic flaw of judgement in such a crucial fight? Anyone struggling to come up with an answer better give their head a shake. Bust out your colouring books and do the math.
The fix was in, courtesy King!
After the fight, Lennox Lewis was obviously a bitter man. But as upset as Lewis was, he seemed to be expecting the raw deal. "I knew they wouldn’t let me leave with all three belts without some funny business. I knew it was a King promotion."
Roy Jones Jr., arguably the best poundforpound fighter in the world, agrees: "It’s totally unfair. But that’s what happens when King is involved."
And who stands to benefit most from this whole debaclenone other than Don King. With the rematch already in the works, King will be the real winner in the second showdown, regardless of who wins.
As alluded to by Jones, Lewis, and a host of other boxing gurus, King is notorious for getting his own way. King has been pulling scams like this for years, and he is good at what he does. Say what you want about King, but King does whatever he wants in the world of boxing. He likes the dollar bills, and he knows how to get them. Everyone has a favourite colour, and King’s just happens to be green.
Having said all this about King, I still love the guy. When I take away all the ethical and moral implications from what King does, when I stop feeling sorry for Lewis, I realize how unbelievably classy King truly is. Besides, we all know what he’s up to. It’s not as if this is the first time he’s done this. We’ve all come to expect it, and I’ve grown to luxuriate in King’s selfserving technique.
As far as I am concerned, King embodies all that is right with boxing; he is the sport’s true draw. I watch boxing to be entertained by vivid characters like King. His colourful and illuminating persona is larger than life. He’s the show time and the sizzle behind the sport, the dynamic and creative influence guiding it into the 20th century. Would anyone even be talking about this rather dull fight if it weren’t for King? He knows what he is doing in this business. He holds my interest as a fan. He is intelligent and he makes things happen. No one can deny that when King is on television, we sit back and watch in anticipation of what preposterous, yet poetic, gems may come from his mouth. He fascinates me with his flashy and intellectual use of the English language. He is bold and never at a loss for words in sticky situations.
During a recent interview, King was asked about his sordid past. His response was as creative, compelling and humorous as I’ve come to expect.
"Think how far I’ve come from wearing a loincloth, running around the jungle with only a toothpick in my hand, digging a 10foot ditch. I could run through the jungle fighting wild lions with nothing but a switch," replied the everexuberant King.
Further, I wish I could do what King does, and get away with it. The guy has skills I only wish I had. I want to be able to sport this century’s most ludicrous hairdo and still be taken seriously. I want to be the one pulling the strings and making the deals. Visions of King rolling around in limousines, eating caviar, sipping champagne, and wheeling some sexy broad while negotiating million dollar deals on his cell phone are things I can only dream of. It all adds to his mystique.
I also respect the ingenuity of King. His ragstoriches story inspires me. Rising up from the mean streets of New York to become the most influential man in boxing is admirable. His vision and belief of self are undeniable, as is his ability to perform and succeed over his competition. He has proven that he can get on top and stay there for as long as he wants. He calls all the shots, and is cool under pressure. People come and go in the boxing world, but Don King will never be gone. He has made an indelible mark on boxing. A mark that I will always find entertaining and charming.
Don King is a classy man.