Is Don King the devil of boxing?
For years the boxing community has witnessed Don King’s stealing from boxers. Countless lawsuit settlements against King and hundreds more accusations have proven the case. Yet even at age 81, the controversial promoter appears up to his old tricks hustling boxers and causing trouble.
King has spent the past week threatening promoters, Showtime and the WBO, trying to stop his former fighter Ryan Coyne from fighting for the WBO World Light Heavyweight title on November 10th against Nathan Cleverly. King hasn’t paid a single penny in income to Coyne in 16-months and their three-year contract expired September 17th.
King claims the contract was automatically extended for one-year, while Coyne citing numerous breaches and promotional incompetence says three-years lost in the Don King prison is enough.
“I signed a deal with the devil with Don but even bad contracts have limits. Three-years in hell is up. He hasn’t performed even to the most pathetic standards. It’s like I sold him my car, then he thinks that gives him claim to my house and my first born kid,” Coyne said. “He’s put nothing into my career, no money, no effort, not a single example of getting me a quality fight.
"I realize Don is on his last leg, and desperate people resort to desperate measures. I held up my end of the deal for three wasted years. I labored away, agreed to take fights that most wouldn't take for short money and actually did the promoting while he did nothing and refused to provide even a pitiable performance effort. It's not my fault that he's hung himself and no one wants to deal with him. He's got himself 86’d from every venue and TV network in America.
“Real promoters put fighters in the ring, not keep them out of it. Real promoters put on fight cards and communicate with fighters they claim to represent. He is incapable or unwilling to do that. Either way I served my time in the Don King lockup and cannot and will not stay around to suffer anymore from his impotence. King is no longer a promoter. He has diluted himself into scornful zealot. Boxers can never get back the time and opportunities lost. These moments of our lives cannot be relived. This is pure sadism on King‘s part.”
Boxing fans often look to BoxRec to determine an unknown boxer’s talent and potential. But the analysis can miss critical factors known only to the boxer and his people. The unbeaten yet untested Coyne (21-0, 9 KOs) has been stuck for three-years in the Don King dungeon, a sad, miserable place where the skeletons of many a boxer’s career lay wasted.
“I will fight anyone, all I want is the opportunity. This is what I do, every boxer wants his chance to prove himself in big fights, on television, but if your promoter is too weak or incompetent like King. He’s a pathetic despicable person. He thinks smiling and talking game will make people overlook the real Don. He has some kinda sickness. He has millions of dollars and he still robs every fighter on every deal,” Coyne said. “He’s always been a money grubbing pig. But now when he has no power and can’t promote, he still wants to take everything, money, career, opportunity, every ounce of blood from innocent fighters.
“I've given my life to this thing. Invested my heart and soul into my craft. I can't expect King to understand that because he has neither. People will judge me and say I haven’t fought anyone but they don’t see how many times I’ve begged King for fights. But this is the last straw, if he stops this title shot then I have no choice but to fight back. I am not and will not be Don King’s indentured servant.
“King only wins when he’s allowed to slither in the shadows, pulling his underhanded act far from the public eye. We need to hang a lantern on his evil. He has screwed hundreds of fighters, ruined countless careers. Don King’s deplorable acts were the inspiration for the Ali Law that he’s still breaking years after it was written. But I can assure him this: I’m Irish, I’m not stupid and most importantly I’m not a pussy. I’m not like some of his former fighters who don’t want to speak up or battle back.”
Coyne is now managed by long-time King adversary Tom Moran, who managed former heavyweight world champion Tim Witherspoon thru his long and successful lawsuit against King. Moran additionally now manages former bantamweight world champion Joseph Agbeko, who is locked in his own legal battle with King,. Moran thinks King’s actions cause even bigger problems for boxing in general.
“Everyone knows we need new fans in boxing and the Irish love boxing. But unlike the Mexican and Puerto Rican audiences, the Irish don’t have many world level boxers right now. Ryan is one of the few. He‘s a very charismatic, marketable, hard-nosed boxer. The sport needs him fighting,” Moran said. “We plan to rally the Irish community to stand with Ryan and demand his freedom. We know we’re right and legally free and King is wrong, but King thinks his deeper pockets, big lawyers, slow legal process threats will work to screw poor boxers.
“I implore the media to take a deeper look at King. His greed knows no limit. He is still ripping off fighters, ruining careers. Still scheming just like the old days. Don doesn’t get old he gets more guilty. The way he screwed generations of American heavyweights out of money, motivation and careers has permanently damaged boxing. Ever wonder what happened to great American heavyweights, just blame King, who wants to win a world title just to get robbed by him?”
The DKP operation appears to have mostly packed up shop in the United States and now is about to embark on a twisted new plot working with the kingpin of anti-Americanism worldwide Hugo Chavez, the leader of Venezuela.
“King is a complete fake. He’s a traitor to the American people. All those years waving our flag, saying Only in America. Now he wants to work with America’s arch enemy in Chavez, a man who supports Castro, the Iranian government, North Korea,” Moran said. “King is the same hypocrite who took a million dollar payoff from the racist Sun City Casino nearly 30-years ago in apartheid era South Africa, selling out black Africans. Now he’s selling out America, just because he can’t get any promotional deal here. What boxer could possibly trust King in Venezuela outside the protection of our courts and law.
“When does the boxing industry just say enough is enough? How many more boxers does King need to cheat and ruin? Apparently he just can’t stop. Somebody, boxers, regulators, investigators, journalists, all need to shine a light on King’s misdeeds. My old friend and mentor Jack Newfield gave me the best advice in fighting King, be Joe Frazier, relentless, straight ahead attacking, confident that truth and justice will prevail.”