BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Promoter Don King is expected to be interviewed live on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” at 9 p.m. on Wednesday (tonight) in advance of Saturday night’s HBO-televised clash between former RING light heavyweight and middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins and unbeaten IBF 175-pound titleholder Tavoris Cloud at Barclays Center.
A legendary 81-year-old promoter, King was eating an early evening meal of pancakes, bacon and eggs over easy at Junior’s Most Fabulous Cheescake and Desserts in Brookyn when he received a call from his South Florida publicist’s office requesting his presence at CNN’s New York-based studio for the show.
“Don fielded the offer at the table and he said that he was going to go,” said King’s Vice President of Public Relations, Alan Hopper. “It will be at the CNN studio in New York.”
It is unclear whether or not CNN got wind of King’s favorable comments about former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during a press conference earlier on Wednesday at Barclays Center.
King called Chavez, who died at the age of 58 on Tuesday, “my friend,” and “my brother.”
“My friend, my brother passed yesterday, and I’m very humbled by that. I think that the good Lord has called Hugo Chavez. Many people may or may not like him or whatever they do, but I love him. He was my brother. I met him in 1971 when we opened up a 48-year-old arena in Caracas, Venezuela. He was my security as a lieutenant in the army. We’ve been friends ever since,” said King.
“This man represented Venezuela and the downtrodden, the underprivileged, the denied, and the poor. People who had never seen doctors before, he took the doctors to the people rather than the people to the doctors. So he’s going to be missed, he was a great leader and he cared about the people that he represented. So I just want everyone to say a prayer and his spirit has gone up to heaven to meet our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.”
Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 knockouts), who turned 48 in January, takes on the 31-year-old Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) in an effort to eclipse his own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown, a feat the Philadelphia native accomplished at the age of 46 with a unanimous decision over Jean Pascal for the WBC’s light heavyweight belt in May of 2011.
Thurman is coming off a fourth-round stoppage of former WBO 147-pound beltlholder Carlos Quintana that took place on Nov. 24 — the day after Thurman’s 24th birthday. The rugged Zaveck, who turns 37 in March, was last in the the ring in March of last year when he unanimously decisioned Bethuel Ushona.
Prior to Ushona, Zaveck was dethroned as IBF beltholder by Andre Berto, who stopped him in five rounds in September of 2011.
Photo by David Martin Warr
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]