A Saturday press conference is in the works for smack-talkers Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi.
Don King turns 81 on Monday
Promoter Don King, who turns 81 on Aug. 20, invited Pygmies to the "Rumble In The Jungle," claims to be able to communicate with Floyd Mayweather in "ghetto-ese," and once killed a man -- just a few stories from the life of the man who coined the phrase "Only in America."
Legendary promoter Don King, who coined the phrase, "Only in America," turns 81 on Monday, Aug. 20.
A man who once served four years for shooting a thief in the back, killing him, King has had ties with such fighters as Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Julio Cesar Chavez, Mike Tyson, Felix Trinidad, Hasim Rahman, Tim Witherspoon, Lennox Lewis, Chris Byrd and Terry Norris, although some of the relationships resulted in acrimonious lawsuits later in their careers.
"I happen to speak ghetto-ese, because I'm one of them. Because you know what? We understand," said King. "Many people can't speak hieroglyphics, because that's what ghetto-ese is to them. They can't speak it. If you can't communicate, relate and identify, how are you going to make a deal?"
At one point, nearly three years ago, King thought he had nabbed Mayweather prior to the fighter's ending a two-year hiatus from the sport with his unanimous decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in September of 2009.
"The last time that he was here I had $45 million on the table for him. That was the last time when he came to see me at my house. I made arrangements with him and his aide, Tommy Smalls. They brought him to me, and he stayed at my house. And he said, 'Help me out, man.' So I went to work. He wanted $15 million, and then I found a way to supplement him with another $30 million. So we had made a deal, man," said King.
"We had a handshake deal and I had already told Bob Arum that before their guys had nixed it, that we would be getting the sh** on [with Manny Pacquiao]. This was before he fought Juan Manuel Marquez. He would have signed with me and I would have had him. He could have fought anybody he wanted to fight because Floyd Mayweather is the best in the world, man. So Manny Pacquiao would certainly be a part of the pie and would definitely be in there."
King said "I've lost my best friend" when his wife, Henrietta, died at the age of 87 in Dec. of 2010, having cited her as "a confidant that I can talk to," and, "a woman for all seasons and all reasons."
King expressed his thoughts on what it means to be a promoter, while at the same time remaining unrepentend concerning his controversial reputation:
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photos by David Martin Warr, Don King Productions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com