Hulu’s sports drama series ‘Mike’ revolves around the story of 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 tries his best to increase the popularity of his client by arranging hyped matches. Naturally, the viewers may want to know what the real-life counterpart is up to now. Well, let us share the answer!
Who is Don King?
Don entered the world of boxing through his involvement with the legendary Muhammad Ali. In October 1974, he arranged a fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire (presently known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo). 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. He then signed deals with Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Bernard Hopkins, etc. 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. The match, which happened in June 1997, turned out to be the last fight Don promoted for Mike. In 1998, Mike filed a lawsuit against Don claiming that the latter stole $100 million from him while promoting him.
Even though Don was a significant presence in Mike’s life, eventually they got parted. “He [Don] was supposed to be my black brother, but he was just a bad man. He was going to mentor me, but all he wanted was money. He was a real 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.
Where is Don King Now?
At the age of 91, Don King still works as a promoter. 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. The lawsuit was settled when the International Boxing Hall of Fame-inducted promoter ensured to pay Dubois money. Don currently resides in Deerfield Beach, Florida. His company, Don King Productions, is also based in the same city. In December 2010, he lost his wife Henrietta as she died at the age of 87.
Even after working as a promoter for decades, Don is seemingly not thinking about retirement. “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 I can contribute toward peace and freedom, it 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 & Peace,’ we may haven’t seen the last of Don as a promoter yet.
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