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Only In America

Being completely surprised would be an understatement to my reaction upon hearing that not only was the Din Thomas/Ricardo Mayorga fight cancelled, but that the entire Shine Fights card was canned along with it. Apparently the commission was not trust-worthy of Shine’s money, despite the fighters being confident in Shine. Most of the fighters got 25 percent of their money, while others got less than that.

I was not surprised however, that Don King decided to try and stop the card about a week before the event went down. Trying to stop the event when the fight was announced wouldn’t have yielded the type of attention Don King craves for.

If you asked a random person on the street to name a boxing promoter, I bet most people would name Don King, and maybe Oscar De La Hoya due to the Mayweather fight. It’s certainly not because of the fighters he managed, but for the extravagant look and his famous “Only in America” mantra. King fought and killed his way to the top of the boxing world thanks to the blood, and sweat of fighters like Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr., Muhammad Ali, and George Foreman left in boxing rings all over the world.

King is long past his prime in the boxing world and only gets attention from the media when he introduces some new fighter, usually a freakishly different fighter. He’ll get the three minute segment on ESPN News during the day as the reporter tried to keep a straight face hearing King trying to sell people on this new find being a legitimate contender.

King’s legendary rivalry with Bob Arum is now a thing of the past as Arum manages fighters like Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto while King was banking on Nikolai Valuev to bring him back to greatness a few years ago. When was the last time that Don King Promotions had a heavily hyped event? What was the last Don King promoted event drew well on PPV? When was the last time Don King worked with HBO? A look at the site from Don King Promotions and you’ll notice some names Shannon Briggs (Now self-managed) Valuev, Felix Trinidad (Retired) and Ricardo Mayorga (Who sued King) on the site.

A Don King Promotions event is like that one restaurant your grandfather still goes to do. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that sort of place with the faded carpeting, the autographed photo of Old Blue Eyes (Sinatra for your kids) and former political powerhouses are near the register. The food is over-priced and the veal is overcooked. Your grandfather still goes there because the people there know him and he always gives the waiter a big tip at the end of the night.

King has famously cheated fighters like Tyson, Ali, Larry Holmes, and Chris Byrd who have successfully sued to get their money back. Tyson 100 million dollar lawsuit alleged that King had withheld millions from Tyson over his career. Most of the suits are settled out of court with the boxers getting a fraction of what they sued for. Tyson once famously summed King up:

(King is) a wretched, slimy, reptilian motherf–. This is supposed to be my ‘black brother’ right? He’s just a bad man, a real bad man. He would kill his own mother for a dollar. He’s ruthless, he’s deplorable, and he doesn’t know how to love anybody.

My question to you, the readers of this site: Would King have tried this if Mayorga was fighting for the UFC or Strikeforce? No, those promotions have the money and attorneys to properly counter any sort of litigation by King. King went after a small, regional promotion that he knew that he could easily bulldoze without much trouble. While Shine is optimistic about returning, I’m guessing it won’t be much longer until we hear that they are closing up shop. Shine was looking at making some sort of impact in the tough area of promoting MMA by at-least breaking even on PPV. In the end, Don King can’t sleep well at night knowing he accomplished two out of three things he is most famous for: Preventing a professional fighter to do what they do best, and take money away from them

Only in America, right?

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