Friday, September 22, 2023  |



King turns 80 but is too busy to celebrate

Fighters Network

Promoter Don King turns 80 on Saturday, but neither his publicist, Alan Hopper, nor anyone else in his company seems to be able to get him to slow down long enough have a birthday celebration.

"Don has been like, 'Tell the media that I'm working.' So, you know, his celebration is to work," said Hopper, speaking on the phone from their office in Deerfield Beach, Fla. "We've gone out to dinner. We even got him a little cake last night. So it's been an absolute celebration this entire week. But most of all, he's just been working."

King was on the phone with Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer on Thursday morning regarding a possible rematch bewteen Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko on Dec. 3, possibly in Mexico or California. Mares took Agbeko's IBF bantamweight belt by a controversial majority decision on Aug. 13.

King is also working on an Oct. 15 tune-up defense by IBF light heavyweight titleholder Tavoris Cloud, who is considering a subsequent bout with ex-beltholder Jean Pascal on Dec. 17, according to Pascal's promoter, Yvon Michel.

"We were going to get him some ribs from Memphis, and Don said, 'No, don't do that, we're going to make our own ribs' So like I said, nothing is planned special for him," said Hopper. "We've met with some people about going back to China for a fight or two next for early next year, and we've been up until about 2 in the morning just about every night this week working on various projects. So we've had dinner with Don pretty much every night this week."

One of King's cronies, WBC President Jose Sulaiman, turned 80 in May. And another, Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum, will do so in December.

The trio has its critics, but as Arum says, they're still here.

"Longevity can be part of of life," said Arum. "Hopefully, with Jose Sulaiman, Don King and myself, we've made it to 80, and we'll make it to 90 and beyond."


Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]