Don King wants Donald Trump as president and to win Friday's Stiverne-Povetkin purse bid

Don King wants Donald Trump as president and to win Friday's Stiverne-Povetkin purse bid
Boxing promoter Don King attends the presidential debate at Hofstra University on Sept 26. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Don King let it be known Thursday that he'll attempt to win a Friday purse bid in New York to host the Bermane Stiverne-Alexander Povetkin heavyweight title elimination fight as part of what King calls a "Salute to Greatness" boxing series.

One of the front-runners to host the bout is the Forum in Inglewood, King said.


"For the world's great champions and the world champions of peace and togetherness," King said of his vision, pointing to late Israeli and Middle East peace leader Shimon Peres as his first "Salute to Greatness" honoree.

King, 85, has maintained a lower profile in boxing during the last decade, far reduced from his time involved in landmark bouts featuring Muhammad Ali, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Mike Tyson.

Yet, King raised a significant stir last month when he was brought in to speak at a Donald Trump rally in Cleveland and accidentally uttered the N-word.

Trump sat behind King and drew criticism for smiling when the derogatory word was used.

King noted he was the No. 1 trending name on Twitter for five hours after his Sept. 21 slip and explained Thursday, "I never meant to say the N-word. I slipped up in there because I was trying to use it as Negro.

"[The widespread attention] gave me a bigger, broader base to speak to about … the will of the people. There's no way Donald Trump [should be] standing there as [the Republican nominee for president]. The establishment don't want him. Everything that's part of the system don't want Donald Trump. Yet, he's still standing.

"He's saying some things … that are making him his own worst enemy. Otherwise, he'd be winning by a landslide. Still, the people want him."

King said this "white-supremacy, male-dominated system" he refers to means "white women and people of color don't have their rights … they've been left out. … Donald Trump's going to create an entirely new system. And I'm fighting for the will of the people."

King’s longtime rival promoter, Bob Arum, is strongly advocating for Hillary Clinton to be president. Arum staged in April a “No-Trump” undercard of Latino fighters on the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley undercard and repeatedly bashing Trump at later news conferences.

"I love Lonesome Bob," King said.

Trump has been blasted for shaming women of all races, including a former Miss Universe whose weight gain he chided.

"He's been vetted by the media more than any other politician," King said of Trump. "Why would he go through all this? Because he loves the country. He wants to make the country great again and he's put himself up as a sacrificial lamb … and the establishment has declared war on him.

"But the people want him. They want change. Change. The system is corrupt, rigged and racist. Why wouldn't we want a change from that?"

In the boxing world, King and Povetkin's promoter will discover Friday which bid was higher to host a bout that will determine injured WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder's next opponent.

Stiverne, King's fighter, lost his belt to Wilder in January 2015, and Povetkin's scheduled May bout against Wilder was postponed after he submitted a positive sample for the banned performance-enhancing drug meldonium.

"I want to win that bid, and make this the first in my series," King said. "If I don't win it, the Russians will take this fight to Russia."

Trump has been accused of being too close to Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, but King says he’s certain Trump is rooting for the American promoter to win this purse bid.

"I'd have liked to brought the fight to a Trump property if I could," King said.