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The Sleazy World of Boxing Promotions

Don King

When you think about the underworld of boxing, you immediately think of man waving a multinational flag, draped in thousand-dollar jewelry, exclaiming how this fight is the event of the century. Most often, we don’t think about the fighters that are at the mercy of these promoters.

The fighter’s that lack the education and money management skills quite frequently must fight past their athletic primes only to make ends meet. All too well, we know that Mike Tyson story of Lamborghinis, and Yahts. His $100k gambling debts and supermodel women. However, what do we know about the 8 Wins 6 Losses bartender who moonlights as a prizefighter?  The life of the journeyman fighter can be unforgiving.

In America, some fighters that are starting out don’t have a big enough name to command a decent payday, or even a payday at all. Some boxers have had to pay promoters to fight. YES! Pay Promoters to fight! Some unknown fighters must pay a fee to the promoter to secure the fight purse of the opponent. Imagine being a new pro with a legitimate amateur record and having to spend money to pay you opponent’s purse.

I first heard of this through a friend. She had a close friend that just came out of the amateurs and was having trouble getting fights. He was a decorated amateur heavyweight with decent power. The type of guy that gets the fight over with in one round.

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I suggested that her friend do some traveling out of state to find fights. She then told me that he doesn’t have a full-time promoter so finding people willing to fight him is an issue. So, in the meantime he has been given an offer from a relatively big promoter that promised him 10 fights for a small fee of $3000.

When I heard this is was immediately upset. I didn’t know what I was hearing. I thought that professional sports were where people go to get paid, not pay.

In the end, I was against that move, but it was too late. He had already given the promoter a deposit, so he had to keep moving on. I love the sport of boxing. However, I can’t stand it at the same time. Boxers give their lives and sacrifice time with their children just to be recognized. We don’t appreciate that.

We on one hand can watch a World Championship Fight and call the loser a bum while totally forgetting about the former champions that lost and now are penny less like Rocky Lockridge, Meldrick Taylor, and Joe Louis. I believe there needs to be government oversight in American boxing or a fighter’s union to ensure that fighters are taken care of.

This would also ensure that situations like the Mike Perez vs Mogomed Abdulsalamov fight never happen again but if something does happen, people will be held accountable for the negligence. I also believe that there should be some money set aside be the promoter or manager for financial training and health insurance. Something needs to be done in this game because no one should be getting hit in the face a receive nothing out of it.

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