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Updates On That Don King Show Set For Friday, Jan. 29 in Florida

Michael Woods

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Don King, in case you don’t know, is alive and he showed he’s still got plenty of that trademark “pep” when his office sent out a release before the Nov. 3 runoff between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

King identifies as “conservative,” and he’s been publicly backing Republican candidates for a few decades, though, like the wind, he goes this way and that, depending on what direction he might like to push somebody or some cause.

The Nov. 2, 2020 King call to join him in seeing Trump as the best man for the job* didn’t push Trump over the finish line, as you know. But it showed he’s still in the game, and to start the new year, King announced even more loudly that he’s still a player.

King seemed energized and sharp when he entered the NY State Boxing Hall of Fame in 2019. He had the largest “Trump” button you’ll ever see affixed to his Old Glory denim jacket

He’s had his fighters on shows, and “co-promoted” fight cards featuring King’s crewmates like Bermane Stiverne, but it’s been awhile since boxing’s Barnum busted out the bigtop, and put gas in the clown car and got behind the wheel. On Friday, Jan. 29, though, Don King will be the promoter of record for a full scale boxing card.

The last time the 89 year old Ohio native promoted a full show, according to BoxRec, was Aug. 28, 2015. Trevor Bryan beat Derric Rossy in a heavyweight tussle that topped a DKP/ShoBox presentation.

Two releases have gone out, hyping a Don King show at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL., with two world title fights–one for the WBA heavyweight championship and the other for the WBA cruiserweight championship. King will be doing something different, apparently, padding out the promotion with three fights from his vast library. The offering is supposed to be running on DonKing.com, for $19.95.

But chatter has been heavy that this card isn’t coming together like the releases promise.

WBA heavyweight titlist Mahmoud Charr (31-4, 17 KOs) from Germany via Syria was to be taking on the number one contender in Trevor Bryan (20-0, 14 KOs) from Fort Lauderdale, FL via New York on this Don King show.

Charr looks ready to scrap, this pic is on his IG page. But he last fought for real on Nov. 25, 2017, so who knows if or when he will ever lace up gloves again. We tend to think for sure not on Jan. 29 in Florida.

But rumors abound that Charr, who has made Germany his home base, has visa issues, or some other impediment which keeps him from coming to America. Someone in a position to know informed me he’s probably not coming to Florida on Saturday.

Bryan, he seems like a go, he took to Instagram on Thursday and said he’s ready to rumble. Charr actually answered Bryan on IG, and said hey, tell the promoter to send the paperwork and he’ll do the fight. But as of Sunday night, a few people have told me they don’t think Charr will be in Florida. Though with most things boxing, things are subject to change.

There’s been confusion in the air about the site itself. I called the Hard Rock, on Saturday, and a lady put me on hold, for 8 minutes, came back, and said she had nothing resembling a boxing card on their entertainment schedule.

Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12 KOs; from Las Vegas, NV via Kazakhstan) has been advertised on the King show, in a title scrap against Texan Raphael Murphy (14-1, 11 KOs) from Harlingen, TX. A 12-round bout, or so the poster tells us.

A Don King show touting multiple title fights is supposed to take place Jan. 29, 2021 in Florida.

Murphy told me he’s in, and that he believes he will be fighting the 37 year old Shumenov.

“He is fighting,” Murphy told me Saturday, when I asked if he could confirm he’d be meeting the ex light heavy champ. He said he is looking forward to it. “I’m happy to be putting food on the table and an opportunity to put MORE food on!” He will fly to Miami Sunday, he shared. Murphy indicated he wants to fight, but knows this business, that changes happen all the time.

He would know–Raphael’s dad is Ken Murphy, who fought professionally from 1990-2009, and faced off with Fabrice Tiozzo, Clifford Etienne, Brian Neilsen, and plenty more well known talents. He started 17-0-1, then veered off, his management not as scrupulous. And Kenny’s older brother Leroy Murphy, captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic “boycott” boxing team, went 30-4 as a pro, winning a crown at cruiserweight over Marvin Camel. (Want to see a weird one? Scroll to the 15:16 mark in this video, see a double knockdown in the 1985 Leroy Murphy cruiser title defense against Chisanda Mutti, from Monaco. And then ponder why the ref only focused his count on one guy….And remind yourself that boxing shouldn’t be called theater of the unexpected, because weird things always happen in this sphere.)

Maybe it would be surprising if Shumenov does fight; he gloved up once in 2015, once in 2016, not at all in 2017, once in 2018…and he’s been off radar since then. It’s been said his parents, his family, were at one time among the wealthiest people of Kazahkstan. He’s lived in Vegas, and a 2017 newspaper story mentions that he’s trying to sell his home in Vegas, and listing it at $5.3 million. In 2017, he actually announced he was retiring from boxing, because of a serious injury to his right eye.

Anyway, Raphael, age 35, wants to fight, but doesn’t have to fight, he said, because he makes good money driving trucks.

Raphael Murphy told NYF that he is eager to fight Jan. 29 on the Don King show in Florida.

Raphael Murphy flew from Texas to Florida, and is looking forward to getting clarity, and hopefully fighting on Friday night, be it at Hard Rock or another venue.

The King release touts that a “special heavyweight attraction will feature Bermane Stiverne (25-4-1, 21 KOs) from Las Vegas, NV via Canada, the former WBC heavyweight champion.” Not sure who he’d be fighting, it won’t be 19-0 Christopher Lovejoy as the poster promised.

Frankly, not positive Stiverne is fighting. He isn’t ranked by the WBA, in case you were thinking about who might slot in for Charr, if need be. Bermane, who is 42, also hasn’t fought since Feb. 2019, when he got stopped in round 6 by Joe Joyce.

Another heavyweight signed to king, Lovejoy, told me that he is in Florida, and ready to fight. But he is slated to fight in Mexico on Jan. 30, he said. He will fight one of two guys, he shared, a Mexican with a 7-4 record or one with a 17-5 record. A pro since 2016, he’s had every one of his fights in Tijuana, Mexico, to this point.

Boxing fans can visit www.donking.com to sign up for the pay-per-view priced at $19.95, for the record. I looked to do so, but was met with this message, so I didn’t go any further:

Not to be rebuffed that easily, though, I kept searching. And, did you know that King owns the Call & Post, a newspaper/platform formed in 1928? I’m pretty sure the paper runs the site I found what looked like secure ordering information. Yes indeed, I purchased the Friday, Jan. 29 PPV. Message me if you want to get the link to order.

This card has been a dartboard for quipsters, but like I told Murphy, I’m for seeing some guys who could use the work and a check get both, so I am hoping clarity is achieved soon, and the show goes on. Listen, King is no angel, that’s no secret. I still get a case of the cringes when I recall him using the “N” word during a pro Trump rally in Cleveland in September 2016.

Don King speaking at a Sept. 2016 Donald Trump rally in Cleveland. News of a Don King show Jan. 29, 2021 has been lacking clarity.

He is a good metaphor for America as a whole. Over sized, too brash and braggy, lacking in conscience…but also vibrant and positively audacious at times. Makes things happen, makes opportunities appear, sometimes leaves a scene behind that looks like the day after Woodstock ended. And, yeah, OK, this is kind of faint praise, but it’s the truth: never boring.

 

*Here is the entirety of the text in the “A Letter From Don King,” sent out on Nov. 2, 2020, the day before Biden beat Trump

GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS
HIS WONDERS TO BE PERFORMED
VOTE TRUMP… VOTE TRUMP… VOTE TRUMP
FOR A BETTER AMERICA.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2020 VOTING DAY FOR THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIME, MY FELLOW AMERICANS. Vote for President Trump and freedom, liberty, equality and justice for we the people, vs gloom, doom and darkness with joe biden and the crooked, corrupt, rigged, sexist, racist system. Hypocrisy is the system. The system is hypocrisy. joe biden is the hypocrisy of the corrupt, rigged system. The hypocrisy of the corrupt, rigged system is Joe Biden. Joe Biden hypocrisy, corrupt, rigged system are one and the same, darkness and despair.
Vote Trump to get rid of the corrupt, rigged system. Vote Trump for your liberty and equality, we the people. Vote Trump for your justice and freedom. Vote Trump, for a man who is a non-politician, a man who had never been elected, nor appointed to a public office before, a man who’s only obligation is to we the people, and God. A man who is fearless, a man who could not be bought, bribed, intimidated or coerced, a man who is brave, courageous and bold. A man who loves his country America, a man who loves the American people, a man who we the people, elected to represent them. A man who is fearlessly fighting for we the people, who elected him, against a corrupt, rigged, sexist, racist system of darkness and gloom, on we the people’s behalf, to ascertain we the people’s liberty, equality, justice and freedom… President Donald J. Trump, our spiritually touched, god-sent leader of faith and hope.
Vote Trump, we the people must vote, especially the left outs, the white woman and the African Americans/People of Color, must vote Trump, vote Trump, vote Trump. This is the most important election of our lifetime.
Please my fellow Americans, we must never forget that God is in the plan. Donald J. Trump would never have become the 45th President of the United States of America, without God’s intervention. God works in mysterious ways his wonders to be performed.
The corrupt, rigged, sexist, racist, ideology of the white supremacy system is the true, real enemy of America. The left outs: the white woman and the entire race of African Americans/People of Color are both considered by the corrupt, rigged system as inferior and human owned property.
We the people, prayed to almighty God, asking him to give we the people, the American people, some type of relief from the excruciating pain of oppression brought upon them from the corrupt, rigged system’s establishment form of government. Almighty God answered we the people’s humble prayers to him by anointing Donald J. Trump to become the 45th President of the United States of America, we the people’s choice to lead their rejection movement against the corrupt, rigged system establishment form of government. The lord recognized we the people’s choice of Donald J. Trump by their faith in him (God) to be a good one, not only to lead their rejection movement, but to also become their President. Thus, he anointed Donald J. Trump to become their (we the people) 45th President of the United States of America. Then, as President, President Trump continued to fight against the corrupt, rigged system on the behalf of we the people, promising we the people, “we are going to create a whole new system, and we are going to take this system apart. I want to make America great again. America First!!”
Promises made… Promises kept.
Every promise from building the wall, producing jobs, jobs, jobs, bringing industry back to America, better trade deals, to peace in the Middle East was kept by President Trump. The corrupt, rigged, sexist, racist system declared unconditional war against President Trump. A no holds barred war, a no hate barred war against our spiritually touched god sent President Donald J. Trump, with a vicious mandate to stop and destroy President Trump, by any means necessary. Again, tomorrow November 3, 2020 is voting day. So, get out there and vote for Trump, we the people, he is God’s blessing to us. Especially to the left outs: the white woman, and the African American/People of Color. Vote for your liberty and vote for your equality by voting for President Trump.
VOTE TRUMP, VOTE TRUMP, VOTE TRUMP!!!
“Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17
Only in America,
Don King

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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