FIGHT FOR PEACE:
…TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE
Don King Invites Leaders of Russia, Panama
To WBA Cruiserweight Unification Championship;
Denis Lebedev and Guillermo Jones Meet
On May 17 At Crocus City Hall In Moscow, Russia
World Boxing Promoter and World Peace Ambassador Goes to Moscow
World Boxing Association cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (25-1, 19 KOs), from Chekhov, Russia, and WBA cruiserweight champion in recess Guillermo “El Felino” Jones (38-3-2, 30 KOs), from Colon, Panama, are set to meet on May 17 at Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia. Co-promoter Don King has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin and Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli to attend the event.
“I have invited the leaders of Russia and Panama to attend our big boxing event in Moscow on May 17 as the world champions in the main event hail from these great countries,” King said. “Sports can transcend boundaries and bring us together, so what better way to exemplify that than to have these great leaders on the scene supporting their countrymen.”
The event will take place in the beautiful 7,000-seat Crocus City Hall and has been dubbed “Fight For Peace, The One Will Stand.”
“It’s to Russia with love and understanding, a sports extravaganza to bring people together for peace, democracy and freedom. President Putin said, ‘Nobody and nothing will stop Russia on the road to strengthening democracy and ensuring human rights and freedoms,’ and I support him in his quest to make a better Russia for the Russian people.”
From the harsh streets of Cleveland, Ohio to the ruthless world of promoting, Don King has proven himself to be a valiant fighter time and time again. For over forty years, King’s name and iconic image have been synonymous with world class boxing events. Don King promoted events that have given the boxing industry some of the most thrilling and unforgettable moments in the history of the sport. King is a visionary and an innovator whose endless list of accomplishments is truly astonishing. Throughout his enduring career, critics have claimed that the golden era of Don King Productions is in the past, but King continues to silence his critics by proving that he is still a major force to be reckoned with. Now, more than ever, those critics are attacking King with the harshest of criticism and deceit. Will King once again silence his opponents and reclaim his throne as the undisputed King of Promoting? You can count on it.
Born on August 20, 1931, and raised in the Cleveland housing projects by his mother Hattie, Don beat the odds to become the most successful boxing promoter in history. King’s career as a promoter spans three incredible decades and includes more than 500 world championship fights, but it all began with a plea to help save a local Cleveland hospital. Facing a severe shortage of funds, Forest City Hospital was prepared to shut down. King knew the hospital served a vital function to the poor, working-class community. He sought out heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali and asked him to support a benefit to raise money for the strained hospital. The two men hit it off immediately and the hospital was saved. It was this incredible act of generosity and selflessness that jump started a career that would ultimately transform King into a living legend and an American icon.
Inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997, King has promoted an unprecedented thirteen world champions, exclusively, and was the first promoter to stage twenty-five world championship fights in the same year – 1986. In 1994, he smashed that previous record by becoming the first promoter to promote an incredible forty-seven world championship fights in just one year. Year after year he has been recognized by the World Boxing Association for his contributions to the sport and in 1993 King was named the Promoter of the Century by the association, as well as the Greatest Promoter of All Time by the World Boxing Council. King’s accomplishments are beyond counting, however, his opponents work vigorously to discredit these accomplishments and to distort the public view of King.
The press has not been kind to King in recent years. Members of the press, who once were avid supports of King, are now quick to demonize him while spreading deceit. Opponents and critics are nothing new for King. Throughout his career, King has been faced with unbeatable hurdles that would cause any ordinary man to throw in the towel. King, however, is no ordinary man. He is a man of honor and conviction. He is a man who not only promotes boxing, but a man who promotes the people.
To many, Don King is an ambassador of peace and a promoter of the American dream. He has devoted his life to staging the best in world championship boxing and entertaining billions across the globe, as well as giving back to the people. Sadly, King’s tireless and continuous philanthropic efforts are rarely chronicled by the media. The Don King Foundation has donated millions of dollars to worthy causes and organizations throughout the world. In addition, King has conducted an annual turkey giveaway each Christmas for several years, in which he distributes two thousand free turkeys to needy South Floridians. As a humanitarian, King doesn’t seem to mind that this work of generosity goes unnoticed by his critics. King once noted, “If you do something just to get noticed, then it is not a truly charitable gesture.”
Don has been bestowed with many honors for his philanthropic efforts, including the Black Achievement Award and being named Man of the Year by the Black United Fund and Brotherhood Crusade. He received the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1987. Cities across the United States have declared Don King Day and presented him with official proclamations for behind-the- scenes contributions he’s made towards local community projects. Even in times of prosperity, King has never forgotten those who were less fortunate. He is a generous but soft spoken philanthropist, donating, among other things, fire engines to a local fire department and to New York City after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Despite what you may have read, Don King is still in the game. At eighty-one years old, King shows no signs of slowing down now. King remains to stand tall in his position within boxing politics and his influence on the sport has not weakened. In fact, it has never been stronger. Just last month King arrived in Moscow, Russia to announce the Guillermo Jones (Panama) vs. Denis Lebedev (Russia) WBA World Championship match at the Crocus City Hall Arena on May 17, 2013.
From the moment King arrived in Moscow, he was quickly swarmed by reporters and paparazzi who had been anxiously awaiting his arrival. Even on King’s voyage to his hotel, he was greeted by massive billboards welcoming him to the country. While in Russia, King met with some of the most influential people in Russian entertainment and government, proving that, even in his older years, King can still talk with the best of them. When asked about his visit to Russia by a local journalist, King stated, “I love Russia and I love the Russian people. This is a great opportunity for us to work together and partner together in a World Championship Boxing and entertainment extravaganza.”
Perhaps it sells more papers or gives unknown writers more notoriety to portray King in a negative light. This may be true, but I prefer to report the truth. The truth is that the popularity of professional boxing has indeed been in a state of decline over the past decade, but King’s influence and significance to the sport has never wavered. King is the answer to the prayers of boxing supporters throughout the world. He is the only man who can save the sport. He may have harsh critics, but the majority of the world remains in King’s corner. We love Don King. From his flamboyant personality to his inimitable vocabulary, King represents what we all love about America. He is living proof that the American dream still exists. He is a man who was born in poverty, scrutinized by the law, harassed by his critics, and still was able to reach the top without losing his sprit. Where else can a story like this exist?
Only in America!
Don King has conducted his annual turkey giveaway for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas for fifty years. He has undoubtedly distributed millions of turkeys across America during this period. He has brought a smile, a prayer, and a warm meal to hundreds of millions of those in need.
Don King Makes Another Stand For The People
Once again, Don King has struck a mighty blow against the forces of social and legal injustice, this time challenging and effecting real estate law.
Last week, the Florida Supreme Court sided with the famed boxing promoter and publisher of this newspaper, 6 to 1, that oral agreements modifying a written contract for a real estate sale are invalid.
Heralding the legal team of Alvin Davis and Tom Egan of Squire Sanders & Dempsey, King, himself, is no stranger to establishing legal precedence. In 1961, King was at the center of bringing the landmark United States Supreme Court case of Mapp V. Ohio into existence. Mapp V. Ohio established that evidence obtained through a search of individuals and property that violates the Fourth Amendment, that forbids unreasonable searches and seizures, is inadmissible in state court. The outcome of the Mapp case, along with King’s mental muscle, bolstered the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment, by certifying that the exclusionary rule against unconstitutionally obtained evidence in federal court also applies to states.
Because of King’s efforts and diligence to see that justice, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, is available and fair for all citizens, regardless of race, color or creed, the case has, for the better, changed the way that search warrants are requested by police and issued by the court – and we have Don King to thank for that.
We should all take notice that this isn’t a man who just talks the talk, but indeed, walks the walk. Many of his numerous contributions to civil justice have been anonymous by choice, but often unrecorded or under-reported out of malice.
King has stood with constitutional giants, attorney, Alan Dershowitz, and Harvard Law Professor, Charles Ogletree, in Ivy League halls, to speak on matters of law.
A self-proclaimed “Republicrat,” King has sought peaceful co-existence from both sides of the political aisle. He has contributed untold time, money and sweat equity to causes benefiting and exemplifying the “unalienable rights” pursuant to the happiness of us all.
In lieu of a District Court of Appeals rendering, King’s latest legal victory has moral, social and historical ramifications in the state of Florida. In this country’s not-so-distant past, the state of Florida was the sight of a haunting racial massacre, remembered by simply recalling the name of the town of its occurrence, Rosewood. For the supreme court of this same state to rule in favor of Don King signifies that his mantra, “Only in America,” is more than words, it’s his call for justice deserving to all of its sons and daughters.