Chat with Don King
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, we're going inside the boxing ring when legendary boxing promoter Don King stops by to chat about his latest venture, the Tavoris Cloud-Bernard Hopkins fight this weekend.
Cloud (24-0, 19 KO) takes on Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KO) for Cloud's IBF light heavyweight belt. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. will host the fight Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO's World Championship Boxing.
King has spent nearly 40 years in the promotion business, starting his boxing empire by promoting the premier heavyweight bouts of the 70s. One of his first fights being the George Foreman-Muhammed Ali "Rumble in the Jungle" in 1974. King further enhanced his standing in the boxing circles the next year when he put Ali and Joe Frazier together for the "Thrilla in Manilla."
Send your questions now and join King Friday at 11 a.m. ET!
what is it about Tavoris that makes him a special fighter?
Don King (10:59 AM)
Tavoris is my kind of fighter. He comes to fight. He throws punches in bunches and throws caution to the wind. He's a what you see is what you get kind of guy. He comes right at you.
do you think Hopkins has lost anything at age 48?
Don King (11:00 AM)
Well, I'm 81 years old but I can tell you I've lost a step or two. Having said that, Bernard is a remarkable physical speciman. Maybe the greatest athlete for his age, ever. Certainly up there with big George Foreman, in the league of aging boxers that still hold their punch.
where does cloud rank among some of the other fighters you've worked with?
Don King (11:02 AM)
Cloud has the potential to be one of the greats. He's got very heavy hands and a never say die attitude that makes him a force to be reckoned with. He is so good in the ring, that I believe other fighters often avoid him. I give Bernard Hopkins credit for seeking him out, although I think Bernard will regret it on Sunday.
Cloud said in his chat that he isn't respected as much as he should be...do you think he is?
Don King (11:04 AM)
Absolutely not. There are always different factions and forces in all sports. Not all of them have worked in Tavoris' favor. That's why I am promoting him vigorously. He deserves the fight on Saturday night and if he avails himself on this big stage like I believe he will, the world should be his oyster.
whats the memory that sticks out the most of the time you worked with Ali?
Don King (11:05 AM)
I coined the phrase "Muhammad Ali - he was a magnificent fighter and he was an icon... Every head must bow, every knee must bend, every tongue must confess, thou art the greatest, the greatest of all time, Muhammad, Muhammad Ali."
Don King (11:05 AM)
He's the greatest of all time.
Do you plan on hosting more fights in Brooklyn?
Don King (11:07 AM)
I love Brooklyn. A fighter you all remember, Mike Tyson, was from Brooklyn and we made all kinds of history together. So, I love Brooklyn. I love the people of Brooklyn. I love the city of Brooklyn. Any time I can be here promoting or just eating at Junior's Most Fabulous Bakery and Restaurant, it's all good to me.
When will Samuel Peter return to the ring sir?
Don King (11:08 AM)
Funny you should ask. He's come back to me and he wants me to put him back in the ring, so you can expect to see him back in the ring soon. Let's hope the Nigerian Nightmare can become world champion yet again.
Chris (Vancouver BC)
Whats the secret to your deadly hair?
Don King (11:09 AM)
My hair was called by God. One morning, I woke up and my folicles started to raising "ping! ping! ping!" God called my hair to attention. It's been that way ever since.
Who's a better boxer? Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr
Don King (11:10 AM)
I think they're both super sensational fighters. If Floyd and I had come to a deal we could both live with a few years ago, they would have fought each other, but that's the way it goes. Even Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum said that the only way that fight could be made is if Don King was Floyd's promoter.
Do you think the UFC is more popular than boxing right now?
Don King (11:12 AM)
I think the UFC is fantastic. They reached back in time, before the Marquis of Queensberry rules were invented to take the barbarism out of boxing. MMA goes back before that and welcomes the barbarism. It is one heck of a spectacle.
Don King (11:13 AM)
If you can't be with us live on the scene at Barclays Center on Saturday night, check us out on the screen. The fight between my IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud against the aging Executioner Bernard Hopkins starts at 9:30 p.m. ET on HBO. It's been great chatting with you all. May God bless you.