Don King tapped to save Pacquiao-Floyd Jr bout

source: Ryan Songalia |

Don King is as polarizing a figure as there can be in boxing. On one hand, King has been responsible for making some of the highest-grossing prizefights in the history of the sport.

The other side of the coin has him painted as a fast-talking hustler with a history of poor relationships with fighters.

Love him or hate him, the static-haired icon may be the bridge that (can finally) connect Pacquiao Town to Mayweather-ville.

A second round of negotiations between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. has come and gone, closing the window for the 2010 mega-fight. Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, revealed in a conference call last month that they will attempt to make the fight again in 2011.

Team Mayweather claimed that negotiations for the fight never even took place, a claim which was later refuted by HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg. Greenburg backed Arum's account that Mayweather's adviser, Al Haymon, and Arum negotiated with him acting as an intermediary.

If King has his way, he will be the man on the other side of the negotiation table next time around.

King has been courting the free agent Mayweather for the past several weeks, inviting him down to Florida to catch a comedy show and attend barbecues at the his estate, the New York Daily News reported last week. King openly said that he is looking to promote the 41-0 (25 KO) former five-division titlist.

"Hopefully if I do, we will make certain that the fight with Pacquiao takes place," King told GMANews.TV. "I don't know if I can do that but he's visiting me. We're talking and I'm very optimistic."

"This is going to be a gigantic fight because the difference of the world. Now with the new communications and the internet, this would make it the biggest fight of all time at this stage of the game."

The 78-year-old Florida-based promoter has pursued Mayweather on several occasions in the past, only to leave empty-handed each time. Mayweather's reputation has taken a big hit in recent weeks as mainstream media outlets have placed the blame of the failed negotiations on his shoulders.

King feels that Mayweather is misunderstood – and that he's the one promoter who can understand him. "Right now he's being labeled as an ogre, he's being labeled as a coward and he's being labeled as a guy that's very difficult to deal with; that's not true."

"They just are not communicating and talking the same language. That in itself is a logjam. It's a communications and respect problem. I speak the language so I understand the ghetto ways they are talking about. Many people don't understand them, that's why you can't get a straight answer because it's incommunicado."

Mayweather will be in attendance on Saturday night for the title fight tripleheader at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri being promoted by King.

Though King has promoted such mega-fights as "The Thrilla in Manila" megafight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier at the Araneta Coliseum in 1975, his influence has waned as the heavyweight division that he once controlled has declined in popularity in America.

The seven-time world division champion Pacquiao, 51-3-2 (38 KO), will have to get by former welterweight king Antonio Margarito before a Mayweather clash can be discussed.

Pacquiao-Margarito is scheduled for November 13 with a venue yet to be settled upon. The locations currently being discussed are Abu Dhabi, Mexico, Dallas and Las Vegas.

When asked where he felt a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight could best be promoted, King insisted on putting the egg before the chicken. Or goose.

"Allow me first to capture the goose that laid the golden egg, and then I can cherish it and treasure it. Then who knows where the wild goose will fly." – JVP, GMANews.TV


Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to GMANews.TV. He can be reached at An archive of his work can be found at Follow him on Twitter at


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