Don King has turned 80-years-old and is still making a splash in the public eye with a divisive interview.
The legendary boxing promoter who has endorsed boxers such as Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield made a controversial statement about heavyweight boxer David Haye on Monday. King, known for his flamboyant hairstyle and eccentric personality, said that Haye was “a horrible disappointment,” according to the Daily Mail.
Haye’s performance in the heavyweight competition against Wladimir Klitschko in July proved to be a disappointing moment in the boxer’s career. In a statement, King boasts that had Haye been promoted by him, the British boxer “would never have fought that feebly.”
“He had the charisma and style to revive heavyweight boxing but, in a stadium full of Germans, he became one of many fighters I’ve known who were afraid to hit the white man,” said King of Hayes, who is half black.
“The least he could have done was go down fighting. I don’t think his confidence can ever recover from what happened. Certainly not with his current crew around him.”
With boxers such as Muhammad Ali and Julio Cesar Chavez among many others listed on the 80-year-old’s past promotions, King reveals his passion for establishing racial equality in America.
“I’m a man of the people and I draw my strength from the people,” he said.
“Hypocrisy is the mother of all evil and racial prejudice is still her favorite child,” King told the Daily Mail’s Jeff Powell. “That is why, in this new age of unemployment, there are twice as many blacks without jobs as there are whites.”
King also voiced his disdain for the Klitschko fighters, saying that the brothers are “more champions of Germany than of the world.”
The comment reflects the attitude of the current boxing community. The Klitschko brothers have defeated many American fighters who have yet to show the European champions any reverence, and the American boxing community exudes a general air of resentment towards them.
After quietly celebrating his birthday Saturday, King also told Powell that he still believes “many a neighbor thinks that where black men go, the grass don’t grow,” and that racial equality has “come a long way but it’s not over yet.”
The promoter is still very active in the world of boxing, and continues to endorse fights.