King Holds Court • Latino Sports

Boxing

King Holds Court

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NEW YORK – This is going down as one of the most controversial years in recent boxing history. A very shaky decision led to suspensions by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board of judges Al Bennett, Don Givens and Hilton Whitaker after the Paul Williams, Erislandy Lara fight.

Williams was giving the decision in a fight that many thought he lost. The situation got worse after the Floyd Mayweather, Victor Ortiz debacle, where Mayweather knocked out Ortiz after a head butt. Ortiz’ hands were down and he was looking at referee Joe Cortez when Mayweather clocked him with a left, right combination. Then just over two weeks ago, Bernard Hopkins gets thrown to the canvas by Chad Dawson and suffers a dislocated shoulder. When Hopkins is unable to continue, Dawson is awarded a TKO. The WBC’s ruling body reverses the decision and Hopkins regains his title.

With all of this madness going on and opinions coming in from every direction, one huge voice had not been heard of. You would think those incidents would be at the forefront when Don King, the greatest boxing promoter of all time, blew into New York. But like the man who always marches to his own beat, King came to promote his Cruiserweight World Champion fight next week at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida between Guillermo Jones and Mike Marrone. King has also partnered up with WealthTV which will televise the fight to Verizon Fios subscribers.

Carrying 16 flags from various countries, King talked about the linking up with WealthTV and how he hopes to bring a new boxing fan base to the station. “I got a company that has never done a boxing match before,” he started in his typical braggadocio style. “It gives me the opportunity to produce. I will not be dictated to what we can do. We will rise or fall on the merits of what we are doing.”

King was introduced to Charles Herring, President of WealthTV by a mutual friend after negotiations with another cable company fell through. “We have a mutual friend,” Herring started. “The friend called us up and said there’s an opportunity but you need to get in front of Don King immediately. We didn’t hesitate. We were on a plane and we moved very, very quickly and secured the exclusive rights.”

The station was launched as a 24/7 national cable channel in June 2004. According to Herring it was one of the first all HD channels that launched in the United States. Located in San Diego, it will be the first boxing match shown but they have aired other sports in the past. “We’re extremely pleased to be starting out with Don King,” said Herring. There are many cable subscribers in the tri-state area that do have Verizon Fios but they can find the fight by going on the internet website (www.wealthtv.com) or by downloading the appon a i-pad. Their goal is to eventually be part of a major cable system. “We reach out on a regular basis but sometimes getting carriage is a very tough battle,” he said.

Don King was now on his soap box, first talking about the Occupy Wall Street protesters and then shifting to why it’s important for Mayweather and Pacquiao to fight. “I feel their pain,” he began. “Don King was poor, underprivileged, downtrodden and denied. I just refused to accept the mantle of poor and poverty. What they are doing now is the first road of unanimity. Coming in, coming together, working together, praying together. It’s better to do it that way than to do it with hostility.”

King believes that both Mayweather and Pacquiao need to face each other. He believes it will give up and coming fighters hope that they too can become champion one day. “Opening the door is more important than anything else. Opportunity is the highest form of charity,” he concluded.

King, 80-years-old, has taken this opportunity to partner up with a new TV outlet. No one would be surprised if he starts getting the top fighters on WealthTV.      

About Bobby Ciafardini