He gave us “The Rumble In The Jungle,” he gave us “The Sound And The Fury” and he gave us “The Last Hurrah.” And tomorrow night, boxing promoter extraordinaire Don King may well have his very own last hurrah. The surprise shot Vanes Martirosyan got against middleweight king Gennady Golovkin when Canelo Alvarez tested positive for a banned substance represented almost as big a chance for King as it did and does for Vanes himself.
King, pushing 90 years of age, has not been a major force in the sport for some time now, preferring as he has to pop up now and then – sometimes when co-promoting a fight, other times meeting with his “good friend” President Trump – but King Don is back doing his stuff in helping to hype up GGG Vs. Martirsoyan. Speaking at the final press conference, King said, in typical bravado, how he will “give Golovkin a rematch” after he loses to his fighter Vanes.
The upset is not in any way anticipated (when is an upset ever really anticipated?) but if the Armenian warrior who has never been stopped manages to pull it off, he will pick up an armful of world titles and he will give King yet another world champion – maybe his last. King cannot go on forever (it’s more than a little morbid, but who will outlive the other: King or his one-time, still-going-strong, arch rival Bob Arum?) and as much as he remains a love to hate figure, many of us, deep down, have soft spot for the self-made ultimate success story. And that said, it would be a happy thing for some if “The Only In America Man” saw his fighter crowned as world middleweight champion tomorrow night.
King has worked with too many great fighters and world champions to keep track of, but he has not boasted a big, big star in years. Can Vanes rise to the occasion and get King waving the Armenian flags in triumph in Carson, California? King was quite the star at yesterday’s final presser, making Triple-G smile and laugh. It’s been a heck of a ride for King, and it may not be quite over yet.
And if Martirosyan does manage to pull off the stunner, King will be there, getting busy working on making sure Martirosyan-Golovkin II is an even bigger event than the first clash.