Hulu’s sports drama series ‘Mike’ revolves around Mike Tyson, one of the greatest boxers of all time. The show depicts Mike’s emergence as a champion boxer under the guidance of Cus D’Amato and his rise to become an unparalleled star along with his promoter Don King. After Cus’ death, Don becomes a constant presence in Mike’s life and he starts to take care of his finances without even letting the boxer know about the figures. Don also attempts to make his client more popular by organizing hyped matches. Viewers may be curious about the real-life counterpart. Let’s find out!
Who is Donking?
Don became involved with Muhammad Ali and entered the boxing world. He arranged a fight in October 1974 between Muhammad Ali (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and George Foreman. The match, known as “The Rumble in the Jungle,” was one of the most-watched boxing matches at the time. In 1975, he arranged Ali’s matches against Chuck Wepner and Joe Frazier as well. He eventually signed deals with several famed boxers like Larry Holmes, Wilfred Benítez, Roberto Durán, and many more.
Arranging matches of Muhammad Ali and other boxers of the latter’s generation was just a start for Don. After signing deals with Evander Holyfield, Bernard Hopkins and Mike Tyson, Don was able to move on to other things such as Bernard Hopkins, Bernard Hopkins, and Evander Tyson. Don was the promoter of the infamous “the Sound and the Fury” match between Mike and Evander Holyfield, in which Mike bit a part of Holyfield’s ear. This match took place in June 1997 and was the last fight Don promoted. Mile sued Don for $100 million he claimed Don took from him while promoting Mike.
Even though Don was a significant presence in Mike’s life, eventually they got parted. “He [Don] He was supposed to be my black bro, but he was just an evil man. He promised to mentor me but all that he wanted was money. He was an extremely greedy man. I thought I could handle somebody like King, but he outsmarted me,” Mike wrote about Don in his autobiography ‘Undisputed Truth.’ In 2004, Tyson agreed to drop his $100 million suit against Don in return for a $14 million payment from the promoter.
Don King, Where are you now?
Don King continues to promote at the age of 91. In June 2022, he promoted the WBA title fight between Don’s client Trevor Bryan and Daniel Dubois. After Dubois’ win, he sued Don for not paying the winner’s money. After Dubois was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, the promoter agreed to pay Dubois. Don currently resides at Deerfield Beach in Florida. Don King Productions, his company, is also located in the same area. He was 87 when he lost Henrietta, his wife.
Don doesn’t seem to be considering retiring, even though he has been a promoter for over a decade. “I will slow down when I go to heaven,” he told Miami Herald about his longevity as a promoter. “God has kept me here so I’m going to continue to work for a betterment of life. Anything that I can do to promote peace and freedom keeps me going. I’m a promoter of people,” he added. Even though Don is yet to announce a match after Trevor Bryan and Daniel Dubois’ “Fight for Freedom,” we may haven’t seen the last of Don as a promoter yet.
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