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Boxing: Boxing: King Takes Jabs at Lewis, Holyfield, Hopkins

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posted on Jul, 8 2003 @ 03:01 PM
Daily News, New York - July 8, 2003

NEW YORK - After months of harsh, and failed, negotiations with some of his high-profile clients and former clients, boxing promoter Don King broke his silence and came out verbally swinging on Thursday.

In a wide-ranging interview, King took shots at Lennox Lewis and the heavyweight champ's lawyer, Judd Burstein, former heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield and his lawyer, Jim Thomas, and middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins.

Holyfield and Hopkins have backed away from multimillion-dollar fight deals that King was trying to negotiate for them, leaving the promoter steaming mad and his business hurting.

Lewis is suing King and Mike Tyson, alleging breach of contract and improper interference and seeking $365 million in damages. Lewis obtained a temporary injunction that stopped King from negotiating with Tyson to settle their $100 million lawsuits against each other.

King has filed a $50 million countersuit against Lewis, whom he recently worked with on two fights with Holyfield and Lewis' rematch with Hasim Rahman. King claims Lewis' lawsuit has kept him from collecting lucrative license fees from HBO on boxing matches he has already delivered - and in effect seeks to drive him out of business.

"What they (Lewis and Burstein) have done is despicable and reprehensible," King said. "It has interfered with my settlement talks with Tyson. I have never mentioned any other fights at all in those settlement talks, as they have claimed.

"I'm hurt and humiliated that Lewis would prostitute his name with that shyster lawyer. Everything Burstein has claimed has been fabricated.

"I've helped Lennox make $60 million, gave him $1 million and a Range Rover and he doesn't have the decency to call me and ask me if anything his lawyer has claimed is true."

Despite the dueling lawsuits, King and Lewis will have to deal with each other if Lewis decides to meet WBA heavyweight champ Roy Jones Jr. on Dec. 6. King is Jones' co-promoter.

King is equally upset with Holyfield and Thomas for backing out of a proposed fight with Jones. While announcing last week that he will fight IBF cruiserweight champ James Toney, Holyfield said he backed out of the deal to fight Jones because King had asked him to sign a new promotional agreement and he didn't want to be taken advantage of.

"In the years that I worked with Evander Holyfield he made $126.8 million, an average of $11.5 million a fight," King said. "Does that sound like someone who was being taken advantage of?

"I don't know what he's talking about. I didn't ask him to sign a new contract. That's not true. He's a 41-year-old former champion at the end of his career.

"Here's a man who is four-time world champion because of me. What does he gain by fighting James Toney? If he beats him, so what? If he loses, then his career is over."

Thomas, in an open letter to the media earlier this week, said King still owed Holyfield $2 million from his fight against Chris Byrd last year and was trying to fold that money into the purse for Jones. King said he paid a $1 million promissory note on the $2 million and was still negotiating for the Jones fight when Thomas halted the talks two weeks ago.

"If he had taken the Roy Jones fight we would have put that $2 million on top of $10 million, given him $15 million minimum for the return fight and then another $10 million for his next fight," King said. "That's $37 million for three fights. Where is he going to get that now?"

In his letter, Thomas said the promoters stood to split $20 million, giving them more than they offered Holyfield. King responded that Thomas had based his calculations on fictitious numbers.


posted on Jul, 8 2003 @ 03:05 PM
Don King is a a$$ if he dont get his own way he starts crying like a baby....

posted on Jul, 13 2003 @ 03:14 PM
Don King is somebody the planet is definitely better without. Can`t stand him in the slightest. I know what I`d do to him if I were a boxer..

posted on Jul, 14 2003 @ 12:32 AM
well king is no dount the best promoter in the world..I mean if you dont see him crying about something then u dont get out much lol...he does his job, even if he is a sleazeball


posted on Jul, 14 2003 @ 04:55 PM
King only got to where he is now by corruption and other means,the man is a bum and someone should give him a slap..

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