Same King, different 'Prizefighter'
Still the same 'ol King.
At 76 and with the jet-lag of a 13-hour flight from Africa weighing him down,
Middle-aged business big wigs looked on with awe, cameras speckled the room with flashes, and a circle of gazing tourists with boxing paraphernalia at their side eagerly awaited his signature.
With Hall-of-Fame heavyweight champion
Only this time around, he wasn't promoting the next face of boxing; He was plugging his new Xbox 360 video game
"I got into video games because my life is simply phenomenal -- coming out of the ghetto of Cleveland to, now, promoting fights," King said. "The players of this game are going to be able to challenge their fighting intellect against the champions of the sport. But in the same token, they'll be able to learn the virtues of success: dedication, commitment, focus, discipline, sacrifice and a never-self-defeating attitude.
"So bring me all the other companies with them other games so we can knock 'em out, so they can see that they're dealing with the real successes in the game."
In documentary style, Prizefighter casts players in the role of a talented, unknown boxer, who is fighting his way out of obscurity to make it on the international stage -- all while attempting to claim the world championship title. From the training and live fights, to the temptations of wealth and trials of stardom, King and 2K Sports try to capture the lives of boxers.
The game features 10 boxing legends, such as "The Easton Assassin" Holmes, "The Jaw Breaker' Norton and
It's arguable that the game's talent pool seems more noteworthy for the accomplishments of its past legends.
The last round of Holmes' WBC heavyweight title slugfest -- a 15-round thriller -- against Norton on June 9, 1978, can still be replayed in the minds of numerous devoted boxing fans.
King's first major promotion,
"You have times like when
"The same thing happened with Larry Holmes," King continued. "He pulled a muscle in his arm. I told him there was nothing he could do, forget about the muscle. And he willed himself and he fought like he never had a pulled muscle at all, and he beat up on Ken Norton. This is what separates the men from the boys, the weak from the strong."
When was the last time recently retired champ
But even with the lack of memorable names and fights like those he once promoted, King denies any decline in boxing's eminence. He claims the sport is just as strong as ever, though it lacks the heroes of late, the fighters any type of fan can relate to. The ones who fought for the "pride and glory."
As King threw out a slew of clichés to back up his thoughts:
Holmes raised his head, his ears alert at the words. "You got to turn the stove on," he finished.
As the two chuckled out of nostalgia, Holmes' eyes wandered around Bull & Bear as if remembering his time with King and his life in the ring. "I don't think boxers today are as hungry as much as when I was fighting," Holmes said. "I don't know if they'll be able to get it back. I think Don King is paying them too much damn money."
But, quick to defend the sport and his last "star," King reverted the conversation back to his familiar ways. In the way he finished all his thoughts that night, King reiterated his closing spiel one more time:
"It's a game of life, and