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Only In America

Being completely surprised would be an understatement to my reaction upon hearing that not only was the Din Thomas/Ricardo Mayorga fight cancelled, but that the entire Shine Fights card was canned along with it. Apparently the commission was not trust-worthy of Shine’s money, despite the fighters being confident in Shine. Most of the fighters got 25 percent of their money, while others got less than that.

I was not surprised however, that Don King decided to try and stop the card about a week before the event went down. Trying to stop the event when the fight was announced wouldn’t have yielded the type of attention Don King craves for.

If you asked a random person on the street to name a boxing promoter, I bet most people would name Don King, and maybe Oscar De La Hoya due to the Mayweather fight. It’s certainly not because of the fighters he managed, but for the extravagant look and his famous “Only in America” mantra. King fought and killed his way to the top of the boxing world thanks to the blood, and sweat of fighters like Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr., Muhammad Ali, and George Foreman left in boxing rings all over the world.

King is long past his prime in the boxing world and only gets attention from the media when he introduces some new fighter, usually a freakishly different fighter. He’ll get the three minute segment on ESPN News during the day as the reporter tried to keep a straight face hearing King trying to sell people on this new find being a legitimate contender.

King’s legendary rivalry with Bob Arum is now a thing of the past as Arum manages fighters like Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto while King was banking on Nikolai Valuev to bring him back to greatness a few years ago. When was the last time that Don King Promotions had a heavily hyped event? What was the last Don King promoted event drew well on PPV? When was the last time Don King worked with HBO? A look at the site from Don King Promotions and you’ll notice some names Shannon Briggs (Now self-managed) Valuev, Felix Trinidad (Retired) and Ricardo Mayorga (Who sued King) on the site.

A Don King Promotions event is like that one restaurant your grandfather still goes to do. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that sort of place with the faded carpeting, the autographed photo of Old Blue Eyes (Sinatra for your kids) and former political powerhouses are near the register. The food is over-priced and the veal is overcooked. Your grandfather still goes there because the people there know him and he always gives the waiter a big tip at the end of the night.

King has famously cheated fighters like Tyson, Ali, Larry Holmes, and Chris Byrd who have successfully sued to get their money back. Tyson 100 million dollar lawsuit alleged that King had withheld millions from Tyson over his career. Most of the suits are settled out of court with the boxers getting a fraction of what they sued for. Tyson once famously summed King up:

(King is) a wretched, slimy, reptilian motherf–. This is supposed to be my ‘black brother’ right? He’s just a bad man, a real bad man. He would kill his own mother for a dollar. He’s ruthless, he’s deplorable, and he doesn’t know how to love anybody.

My question to you, the readers of this site: Would King have tried this if Mayorga was fighting for the UFC or Strikeforce? No, those promotions have the money and attorneys to properly counter any sort of litigation by King. King went after a small, regional promotion that he knew that he could easily bulldoze without much trouble. While Shine is optimistic about returning, I’m guessing it won’t be much longer until we hear that they are closing up shop. Shine was looking at making some sort of impact in the tough area of promoting MMA by at-least breaking even on PPV. In the end, Don King can’t sleep well at night knowing he accomplished two out of three things he is most famous for: Preventing a professional fighter to do what they do best, and take money away from them

Only in America, right?

  • blue says:

    “My question to you, the readers of this site: Would King have tried this if Mayorga was fighting for the UFC or Strikeforce?”

    I cannot make sense of the above statement. Don King, M-1, Strikeforce and the UFC are all promoters, neither works for the other and vice-versa. It would be like asking, “Would M-1 have tried this if Fedor was fighting for Strikeforce…” Oh wait… maybe this is a bad example as M-1 is the Don King of MMA Promotions.

    This is another great example of why co-promotions do not work and the current MMA format (1 giant super promotion) is ideal; fights that people want to see do in fact happen because there are fewer ‘hands’ grabbing for money.

  • Guthookd says:

    Yep. He’s a garbage man.

    Maybe he should consider a career with M-1.

  • Rece Rock says:

    The fighters that have contracts should have known better… you hang around with garbage and you start to stink…

    If you sign with Don King it’s out of desperation or nobody else is interested in the potential of your career… so if that’s the out look of your livlihood then maybe they should pick a different occupation cause theres not much that man can do for you these days besides make things worse for you.

    And IMO Don King is just a part of this puzzle I’m sure the Shine folks weren’t to on the ball and maybe got in over there heads a bit.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Your one question is very simple to answer, as neither StrikeForce or the UFC would have promoted Mayorga in a bout while he was still under contract with Don King. Shine fights knew what they were doing and really this may be a win win for them. Thae got a lot of media attention while promoting a fight using one fighter they should have never been promoting(although I for one would have loved for this show to go on).

  • slammy862 says:

    Keep that puddle of corrupt sh*t away from MMA!

    He was the main drain for boxing and could easily slither his way into MMA by starting up or buying a struggling promotion.

    I hope Dana watches his back cause if this buzzard starts to control fighters like Fedor, Overeem, Diaz, Alvarez this could be boxing all over again.

  • Angry Mike says:

    I don’t care what it takes, but guys like King should be kept out of MMA by any means necessary. What King and Arum did to boxers and the sport of boxing is sad. When I was a kid a long time ago I really liked to watch boxing, but once those guys took over and the sport moved away from network tv, I lost interest and haven’t regained it.

  • blue says:

    don’t care what it takes, but guys like King should be kept out of MMA by any means necessary. What King and Arum did to boxers and the sport of boxing

    With all due respect this is the paradigm shift from the singular promoter (Don King) in boxing and the holistic promoter (UFC, Strikerforce, et al….) in MMA. In fact, what Don King has done in the past to boxing is exactly what M-1 (Finkelstein) is trying to do to MMA today.

  • MCM says:

    Exactly blue. That’s why I continue to applaud the UFC for turning down the Fedor deal and chastise Strikeforce for buying it.

  • Niv says:

    Ok guys first of all this article does not prove in any way that co-promotions does not work. I think the exact opposite is true that monopolies are the worst thing that can happen in this type of sport. Nothing opens itself up more to abuse than one promoter having a strangle hold on their promotion. The UFC has flexed its muscle in the past with fighters like John Fitch and Randy Couture as examples.

    In Fitches case he and his entire club were banned for not signing away their likeness rights and apparently the UFC wanted a cut of fighters sponsor money.

    What nobody here seems to be willing to do is think out of the box on this very complicated issue. Where Fedor is concerned you have two promotions and ownership groups negotiating for the services of a key assest. The UFC has very stringent rules about owning outright any video and likeness rights of fighters who fight under their banner; furthermore the UFC has the famous champion clause where if you are the current champion your contract automatically renews and you can’t get out of it until you lose.

    Now imagine Fedor signs a three fight deal, he wins all his fights and is the UFC HW champ, then he says “Thanks time to move on”. There’s a huge issue that has to be agreed to here, he is an owner of his own promotion and the UFC undoubtedly will not allow him to use footage of his own fights to market himself, the UFC probably wouldn’t want him to be able to fight while he’s the current champ. Am I really the only one that sees that the reasons Fedor isn’t in the UFC mostly stem from the UFC itself?

    Co-promotion is the actual key here to possibly push this sport over the top with the biggest fights ever such as a Brock vs Fedor, but everyone is busy demonizing one side without looking at the picture as a whole. Comparing M1 with Don King is so far off base it’s not funny as far as I’m concerned.

    If Fedor never goes to the UFC that would be sad, but understandable under the complex issues facing both negotiating sides here.


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