Nagging back pain has caused promoter Don King to scuttle plans to fly to Turkey for Saturday night’s rematch between unbeaten RING No. 10-rated Selcuk Aydin and Jo Jo Dan at Spor Salonu in Ayden’s hometown of Trabzon, Turkey.
“My back slides out on me from time to time, and my doctor thought it would be best for me not to board an international flight today,” said King, who turned 80 in August, from his home in South Florida.
Aydin (22-0, 17 KOs) earned a split-decision victory over Dan (29-1, 16 KOs) in June of last year.
King co-promotes Aydin with Ahmet Oner, who is Turkish and announced that he will contribute 25 percent of the event’s proceeds to help victims of the recent earthquakes in eastern Turkey.
“Ahmet Oner and Selcuk Aydin are Turks who will give back to their home country tomorrow night. I wanted to be there to support them and help draw attention to the especially hard-hit city of Van,” said King.
“I want Ahmet and Selcuk to know I will be there in spirit, and I wish them the best with their fundraising effort at the fight. Two big earthquakes in just over two weeks have left the survivors in need of help, and I want the people of Turkey to know my thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Oner addressed the situation in Turkey.
“We want to show the people that we care for them. The people in Van have suffered badly from the tragedies,” said Oner.
“It is important to let the world know that these people need help. We can only do our little part, but we hope that more people follow our lead.”
Meanwhile, 39-year-old RING No. 10 rated WBA cruiserweight beltholder Guillermo Jones (38-3-2, 30 KOs), of Panama, told BoxingScene.com that he is traveling to Florida to meet with King regarding a potential unification bout with 27-year-old RING No. 1-rated WBO counterpart Marco Huck (34-1, 25 KOs).
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com