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Old 01-16-2012, 05:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: George Foreman's '73-'74 World Tour

Originally Posted by Conn View Post
i don't think Don King even had much power in boxing until Zaire.
and, yes, it was an American satellite broadcasters called Video Techniques Inc. and a british-based film company called Hemdale that did the promotion. King was a front man, he liased with the fighters and he fit the all-black theme of the fight

he may have been involved in Foreman's earlier title fights but only as a peripheral character.
he couldn't have dicatated anything like the countries to stage fights in.
Thanks, so not so much Don but people paying for the fights to be in their countries to put them on the map.

Just found this on Jamaica:

Gate proceeds were $370,000 with another 3 million earned from television coverage. Foreman was guaranteed 20% of the gate and Frazier 42%. When asked about a rematch, Foreman, displaying poise and a sense of celebrity for which he would later become well known, simply stated "I don't know how long I'll be the champion * we only borrow the title you know...." Having been tremendously welcomed by the Jamaican people (who were not happy with Frazier, the man who had defeated Ali) Big George said he'd be happy to defend his title in Jamaica * a statement that must have set the heart of Jamaican businessman and fight promoter extraordinaire Lucien Chen, owner of Track Price Plus, who had guaranteed the promotion of this fight, racing. Chen had hoped to make Kingston into a fight centre. Sadly, this was never realised due to the high cost of financing such events, made even more difficult today by the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar and the skyrocketing purses of title fights. (Lennox Lewis was made something close to US$20 million for his most recent fight in Atlanta).

Today, however, Chen is extremely proud of his efforts at bringing the Frazier-Foreman fight to Jamaica. No stranger to title fight promotion, Chen had promoted a few other title fights prior to the 1973 one. In fact, he was the first to organise the staging of a title fight in the West Indies with the Bunny Grant vs. Percy Hales and Hayles vs. Carlos Fernandez fights, both held in the 1960s. Chen got involved in the Frazier-Foreman project at the urging of then Prime Minister Michael Manley and his brother, Douglas. He negotiated but at a cost. Chen still remembers the tag of US$300,000 as too steep. US$300,000 was higher than had ever been paid for the matchmaking of the fight alone). The enigmatic Chen also recalls with a smile how his odds and those of Vegas differed. Jamaicans seemed to favour the underdog Foreman, whose punches in training alone, Chen said, "sounded like tornadoes" and whose build was larger and heavier than the Champ Frazier. So with Vegas odds at 8-1, Chen gave odds at 4-1, much to the consternation of famed odds-maker Jimmy the Greek. In the end, however, the promoters lost a good deal of money and the fight itself was memorable for being a whirlwind * many who arrived a few minutes late wound up missing the less than two minute title fight
So Chen wanting to make Kingston into a fight centre and then realising it wasn't economically viable.
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