We haven’t heard much from the inimitable, indefatigable, indomitable Don King lately, save for a press release sent from his office which had The Don lobbying for votes for his guy Donald Trump on Nov. 3. That push didn’t get Trump over the finish line.
We don’t know what King, now 89, thinks of Trump’s loss. We do know that we did hear from King, sort of, in the form a fight card set to run on Friday, Jan. 29, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
It’s a Don King production, y’all, and truth be told, the details on the promotion are, shall we say, fuzzy.
As of posting, King would be presenting two world title fights, one for the WBA secondary heavyweight championship and the other for the WBA secondary cruiserweight championship. He’s 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 what about those title fights?
Heavyweight Mahmoud Charr (31-4, 17 KO) was to be taking on the number one contender Trevor Bryan (20-0, 14 KO). But rumors abound that Charr had visa issues, and someone in a position to know informed me he’s probably not coming to Florida. Bryan seems like a go, he took to Instagram on Thursday and said he’s ready to rumble. Charr then actually answered Bryan on IG, and said hey, tell the promoter to send the paperwork and he’ll do the fight.
Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12 KO), beltholder at cruiserweight, will defend against Raphael Murphy (14-1, 11 KOs), or so the poster tells us. Murphy tells us he’s in, and that he will be fighting the 37-year-old Shumenov.
“He is fighting,” Murphy told me, when I asked if he could confirm the bout. “I’m happy to be putting food on the table and an opportunity to put more food on.”
The King release touts that a “special heavyweight attraction will feature former WBC heavyweight titlist Bermane Stiverne (25-4-1, 21 KO). Not sure who he’d be fighting. Another heavyweight, 19-0 Christopher Lovejoy — who was recently attached to a fight in England with Dave Allen that didn’t happen — told me that he is in Florida and ready to fight. He isn’t sure his foe, saying it’s one of two Mexicans, one with a 7-4 record and the other with a 17-5 record. A pro since 2016, he’s had every one of his fights in Tijuana, Mexico, to this point.
I heard some chatter that maybe the site would be switched, from the Hard Rock to a venue in Miami, so that could be why we’re hearing people say it’s not being advertised at the Hard Rock.
My Three Cents: This event has gotten busted on copiously, and King gets trashed pretty good on social media, but maybe the right way to see this thing is to hope it happens and some folks get some paydays and that helps people put food on their table.