Convicted Artist Magazine

Dec 02nd
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don_king_boxingI think it's time for Don King to decide once and for all if he really still wants to be a boxing promoter.  And if so, then he must increase his fighters' activity, or allow them to have non-exclusive contracts.  The way fighters are losing their most active years is a disgrace.  It is also a long time in the making.  He has been sitting on the fence for quite some time, and it has cost fighters an awful lot.

It's not as if he was the picture of activity in the mid 1990's.  Just ask Tim Austin, Frankie Liles, or even cash-cows like Felix Trinidad.  No championship fighter should ever be idle longer than 6 months, and routinely these fighters sat on the shelf much longer.  However, in the last decade it has gotten much worse, with fighters such as Maselino Masoe, and most recently Guillermo Jones sitting on the shelf for nearly two years, while holding onto a world title. 

One manager of a former King fighter told me it's simply a matter of his view on business... 'If he can't make money, you ain't fighting."  But what happened to the Don King mega-cards of the early 1990's?  This was where several world title fights would take place on the same night.  World champions like Terry Norris and Julio Cesar Chavez fought under the Don King banner, and routinely chalked up 4 or 5 fights a year with this method.  If the demand wasn't high enough in this country, he went abroad.

It seems the mega-card is still something King attempts, but January 2006 is the last one I can point to.  Perhaps this night at MSG put a bad taste in his mouth, as all three King fighters lost that night: Judah, Mormeck, and Grigsby.  Why not attempt it again on August 7, and get Jones vs. Brudov on the St. Louis card?  All three of his fighters would not be in soft, but would be favored to win.

I hear that Don King is finally starting to let fighters out of contracts.  He obviously cannot be doing this universally, as so many still sit without fighting.  A recent European heavyweight prospect sat idle for a year under the Don King banner; this during his development years.  Not to mention the ridiculous inactivity of Cory Spinks over the last several years, when he has so many lucrative options at 154 lbs.

Well, we can jaw all we want, but King has an answer for everything, and is not likely to quit, change the way he does business, or get more active.  This will only start to get better when fighters wise up, and refuse to fight for Don King, even if it means turning down title shots.  The boxing world will get the message then, trust me.

Chris Strait

Chris Strait Video Boxing Predictions


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