By Ryan Coyne
The past week has been the most difficult of my boxing career, and probably more accurately a microcosm of the frustrations I have endured over the past year and a half of my career. It is with great regret that I can confirm that my title challenge for the WBO Light heavyweight championship against Nathan Cleverly will not happen on Nov. 10th due to circumstances out of my control.
First and foremost I want to apologize to the fans and acknowledge the hard work of the parties involved. Frank Warren and matchmaker Dean Powell were great to work with throughout all of this. They presented my management with a once in a lifetime unique opportunity to fight Nathan Cleverly, who is a classy champion, on Showtime in America. Working with them was a breath of fresh air. A true professional outfit. My managers worked very hard to get me fighting while my former promoter left my career to die on the vine. When I was offered the chance to fight Nathan for the title I jumped at the chance. This was going to be a great fight between two young undefeated fighters and it is shameful that it has imploded in this fashion.
Unfortunately, the so called promoter, who sees fit to thwart fights rather than make them, reemerged to do what he does best these days. I trained diligently for this challenge while Don King who falsely claims to be my promoter, or a promoter at all for that matter, hasn't contacted me in months. He hasn't put me in a fight in nearly a year and a half saw fit to step in the fold and make legal threats to the parties involved ultimately leading to a scheduled court hearing to be held Nov.1st.
With too much uncertainty leading into a fight of this magnitude, the powers that be erred on the side of caution and pulled the plug on the fight. It's a business decision and while unfortunate I understand why it was made. We welcomed the chance for our case to be heard before the court as we have full confidence that the court will see that my agreement was not only treated with complete fiduciary disregard and breached on multiple occasions, but also expired by it's own terms. However, with no fight there is no emergency hearing. But make no mistake I have several legal and political recourses here and I am in the process of pursuing them all. Throughout this entire endeavor we have been 100% ready for any battle in the ring or court room and nothing has changed.
King's claims to any stake in my career are as pathetic has his continued existence in boxing. I served my time in his wretched hell hole. He didn't deliver on lucrative or relevant fights, didn't bring me any promised television exposure, didn't move me to a title, couldn't even meet my contracted fights. I'm one of the easiest going types in this business. I've never had outrageous financial demands or unrealistic requests. I did everything asked of me and more. I trained to the peek of my ability while he failed to deliver on fight after fight. I agreed to fight his garbage champion for short money when no one else would in a fight that was nothing more than a ploy for him to sell tickets. I promoted myself while he refused to work with us. I went month after month begging for fights while phone calls and e-mails were never returned.
The facts are clear as day. DKP hasn't promoted a fight for me in 16 months. After months of refusing to communicate with my team they allowed my contract to expire by it's own terms on Sept 17th. I moved on with my career, and in less a month free of the stench of the crown we were able to secure a lucrative title fight that they explicitly told us couldn't be made. Promoters that don't have agreements with fighters don't communicate with them. This is nothing more than a revenge tactic veiled in legal maneuvers. DKP was unwilling or unable to deliver on what we always knew was possible and they resort to these measures that do nothing but harm the sport. It's a blight on the sport from it's biggest villain who's evil ways haven't wained one iota in decades.
It's no secret in the boxing world that Don King is a washed up hack who has black listed himself and his joke of a company out of the business. The world abroad needs to know it as well. This is not a promotional company. Promotional companies conduct business, put on shows, communicate with the fighters they claim to represent. Look at the facts.. they have done none of that. Whether or not he chooses to acknowledge it is his business. What is not his business any longer is my career that I cannot and will not allow to fall into the doldrums while he keeps company with Hugo Chavez and the last few entities on this planet still willing to be affiliated with him.
While this is a major speed bump in my career, I will get past this. I can't believe the outpouring of support I've had through all of this and I am very grateful to everyone who has reached out to me. As King fades further into obscurity I will continue on to the opportunities that I have worked so hard to achieve. This is wrong and there is no reason for it. Boxing doesn't need more stories like this and I'm capable of doing great things in this sport in and out of the ring. I'm not a hapless idiot lost in this world who doesn't know when he's being pissed on and told it's raining. King preys on those unable or unwilling to stand up for themselves and I'm not one of those people. I'll be fighting for a world title in 9 months while he'll be consorting with Iran or whatever undesirable element remaining that he will lower himself to working with.