Was boxing promoter Don King really as unscrupulous as he was portrayed in the film Rocky V?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mark ant, Jan 9, 2019.



  1. mark ant

    mark ant Boxing Junkie Full Member

    7,962
    2,506
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    May 4, 2017
    Funny question, but the promoter in Rocky 5 was clearly based on King, I know King was really poor in his treatment of fighters, but some have defended him, is he targeted because of race though and are there white promoters that were just as bad?
     
  2. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    84,645
    9,485
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 2, 2006
    No, he was worse!
     
  3. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    26,850
    15,067
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Aug 21, 2012
    Google "worst boxing promoter in history" and see what pops up.
     
    mark ant likes this.
  4. Saad54

    Saad54 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    7,858
    2,079
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Dec 10, 2014
  5. mark ant

    mark ant Boxing Junkie Full Member

    7,962
    2,506
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    May 4, 2017
    This content is protected
     
  6. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    84,645
    9,485
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 2, 2006
    Great promoter ,**** human being.
     
    steve21, Jackstraw and Smokin Bert like this.
  7. red cobra

    red cobra Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    36,241
    3,618
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jul 28, 2004
    Ol' Don gets dumped on a lot,...personally, I think he was a snazzy dresser.
     
  8. Colonel Sanders

    Colonel Sanders NSB defector Full Member

    5,285
    1,165
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Sep 13, 2012
    Don King was the supreme gentleman. He was the target of a racist campaign against powerful black american men which culminated in his caricatural portrayal in Rookie 5. Don King did nothing wrong.
     
  9. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    26,850
    15,067
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Aug 21, 2012
    :lol: Love the deadpan delivery.
     
    Colonel Sanders likes this.
  10. Smokin Bert

    Smokin Bert Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,717
    1,422
    Sportsbook:
    837
    Sep 8, 2013
    That isn't a fair statement. Don King may have been one of the most unscrupulous promoters, but he was clearly one of the BEST boxing promoters in history. And, for the record, Bob Arum is every bit as much of a scumbag as Don King. But, unlike King, he puts pure garbage on the undercards.
     
    Bronze Tiger and Jackstraw like this.
  11. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    26,850
    15,067
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Aug 21, 2012
    Many of his fighters got screwed royally by him. He's the last guy I'd have promoting me if I boxed.
     
    PhillyPhan69 and Nighttrain like this.
  12. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Boxing Junkie Full Member

    11,763
    2,779
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 25, 2014
    I never watched Rocky V. I've seen all the others. It never interested me enough to watch.

    That said, people always bring up Don King shorting Tim Witherspoon, or Don King only paying Ali $7 million for the Holmes fight instead of $8 million, but Don King made 100 boxers millionaires.

    No other promoter up to and including King's era (which basically ended about 15 years ago) came close.

    There were major corporations that didn't have 100 millionaires on their payrolls in the 20th Century, and King made 100 boxers, beginning with George Foreman (getting Foreman $5 million for the Rumble in the Jungle all the way up to less than stellar guys like Devon Alexander) millionaires.

    Whatever Don King saw in Tim Witherspoon that made him want to just totally rob him, that's not for me to defend. He ended up settling with Witherspoon, and Witherspoon blew all that money about as fast as he got it.

    All I know is King helped the careers of far more fighters than those whose careers he hurt.

    Al Haymon might be catching up to King at this point. He's paid quite a few fighters on his roster some pretty significant paydays. But I don't think he's close to making 100 boxers millionaires.

    Bob Arum may have finally caught up to King, too, but he was in the business a full decade before King arrived and is still going strong a full decade or more after King slowly went away.

    I'll always consider King the greatest boxing promoter ever. It would take someone pretty spectacular to unseat him.

    Eddie Hearn has potential. But he has to do what he's done for Carl Froch and Anthony Joshua with A LOT more guys.

    All the other nonsense with King, like complaining he was the "manager" of the same guys he promoted, or installing his son as a puppet manager to people he promoted, and complaining that was a conflict of interest - which sent so many writers like Jack Newfield over the edge -- seems almost comical today, considering guys like Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins were often the promoter and manager of their own careers and promoted fights they actually fought in, including the opponent they faced.

    Or people complaining that King paid $1,000 or $3,000 to the editor of the Ring to rank boxers for his U.S. Boxing Tournament in 1977, when we've seen Bob Arum admit he paid $300,000 to get guys like Axel Shulz ranked so he could fight Foreman or Oscar just BUY RING and have guys he promotes appear on its cover and its rankings. By comparison, King's "high crimes" in boxing are incredibly easy to dismiss today.

    He came out of the Cleveland numbers racket (watch some docs on the gangster Irish Danny Greene) and the car bombings in Cleveland in the 1960s and 1970s. King is basically the only guy who ran with those guys from that era who wasn't murdered. King used to work for Shondor Birns, who Greene blew up. King's own home was bombed in the 1950s, that's where the famous photo of him reading a newspaper before entering court came from. He was brought to court to testify against the bombers, and he spent the whole time pontificating on the stand (like he did at press events) to the point that the judge just dismissed him. He managed to get out of the grip of the Cleveland underworld and thrive. His business partner was blown up, and King married his partner's wife (who was like 10 years older than him) and adopted his partner's son, Carl. He took care of them for the rest of their lives. When King's wife died several years ago, King never really bounced back.

    Like I said, he helped more fighters than he ever hurt. He paid MORE boxers BIGGER Paydays than the sport had ever seen to that time. He rubbed elbows with world leaders and U.S. presidents. The denim jacket he wears was given to him by U.S. soldiers stationed in the Middle East when he brought boxers there on a tour of military bases, and he's worn it ever since. And he reserved a section at all his promotions in the 21st century for service men and women and handed out free tickets to any who came to the fights in uniform.

    He was a truly colorful character who elevated the sport, made its participants millionaires. One of the best promoters ever.

    The good he did for the sport and its participants far outweighed the bad.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  13. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    84,645
    9,485
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 2, 2006
    Scum Bag
     
    Nighttrain likes this.
  14. Longhhorn71

    Longhhorn71 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    12,477
    2,695
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jan 6, 2007
    The USA Public Broadcasting System's report on the infamous Don King:

     
    Nighttrain and Bulldog24 like this.
  15. Pat M

    Pat M Member Full Member

    498
    873
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 20, 2017
    Good post, what you've written is similar to what I've been told by a former world champion who was affiliated with King. The former champion said that King treated him well and as far as he knew, treated everybody well. He said the same thing you did about King getting everybody more money and he also said that King was generous in other ways. This guy had no reason to lie, he had been through all of his money and wasn't doing well at the time, but he didn't blame King for his problems.
     

Share This Page