A publicity-stunt boxing match is no more.
The much-hyped and even more divisive bout between DMX and acquitted Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman has been called off, according to the promoter.
"This was the wrong person to put in the ring and define celebrity boxing," Damon Feldman said Saturday on Twitter, referring to Zimmerman. He said he was scrapping plans because "I'd rather be happy and make people happy."
The DMX camp, meanwhile, was putting its own spin on the cancellation, suggesting DMX had second thoughts. "The George Zimmerman fight is canceled,” DMX spokesman Domenick Nati said in a statement Saturday. “DMX never agreed to the fight and we thank you for all of the support from DMX's fans.”
The bout between the veteran rapper and Zimmerman had generated strong negative response. Many said that added attention for a controversial figure such as Zimmerman was a bad idea all around.
In recent days it seemed as if those involved with the bout were beginning to agree. On Friday, Pop & Hiss’ Gerrick Kennedy reported that the bout might not happen.
"The boxing match between George Zimmerman and DMX is not officially confirmed,” Nati said in an email. He answered “I doubt it” when asked whether he thought one would come off at all.
After riding the top of the hip-hop charts more than a decade ago, the East Coast-born DMX has struggled with his recent albums, garnering more attention for his legal troubles.
The rapper, who had been chosen by Feldman from an apparent list of thousands of applicants, had justified his decision on moral grounds, saying he was doing this for "every black person who has been done wrong in the system.”
In his statement, Nati was quick to shift gears from the news of the non-fight to DMX’s upcoming tour dates (they are expected to take him to Europe, among other places). The boxing match may be no more, but the publicity train never stops.