By James Blears
Fabled promoter Don King says he wants Bermane Stiverne's first defense to be in Mexico if he can find the money men with the dollars and the pesos!
On October 30th, it'll be the fortieth anniversary of when Don King audaciously staged the incredible "Rumble in the Jungle," which resulted in a megafight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Now, Don King is back, promoting Bermane Stiverne. He's planning Bermane's first defence for... or close to that date. Astute, yet as effervescently enthusiastic as ever Mr King declared:
"The chances of Bermane's first defence being in Mexico are excellent, provided we can find the backers. I'm calling on Carlos Slim, who I love, Emilio Azcarraga, TV Azteca and anyone who has the will, then let them come. The spirit is here and I'm here for several days, so come along, because we want to come to Mexico. We don't care who the opponent will be, we want to know where the site for the fight will be.
"All the countries around the world are calling me. But I have a bias and that is for Mexico. Mi casa is su casa! I've got my arena in Texcoco. We could do a great job. So it's up to Mexico and those who are the standout heros of finance and business, to give back to the community from which they come."
Considering and reflecting upon his promotional heavyweight achievment forty years on, Mr King enthused: "The key part is that God has blessed me to have a heavyweight championship forty years ago, and then to come back and forty years later...I've got it again! We want to bring heavyweight boxing to the fore as the most excellent, proficient and effective way of bringing people together. We want to demonstrate this can be done and there's not a better place on the globe than Mexico! I'm a promoter of the people, by the people, for the people and my magic lies in my people ties. I never worry about what anyone says or does. I focus on what I have to do and what my commitment is and my faith in God to see me through."
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman is also very hopeful that Bermane Stiverne's first defence will be in Mexico. He pointed out: "I say the chances are big because Don King is very familiary with Mexico. He has promoted in many of Mexico's States. It's a great possibility and it would be wonderful to see him here."
Describing the feeling for the first WBC heavyweight championship in his Presidency, Mauricio poignantly stated: "It means the world for me. I have mixed feelings. I miss my Father tremendously. I've been in these events for many years looking over how my Father and Don King crowned great champions. Now this was the first time I have to do it and it was an honor for me. I got tremendous motivation from my Father, and it's very special. Bermane Stiverne is a real champion and he's going to be a champion for a long time."
Bermane himself explained: "My focus is to defend my title and to succeed when I defend my title. So if it's Mexico I'd me more than happy."
Stiverne's mandatory challenger is dangerous puncher Deontay Wilder (31-0, 31KOs).