“I Saw [Don King] Take Over Mike [Tyson]”: While Slamming Sylvester Stallone’s ‘Rocky’ for Poor Imitation, Donald Trump Dives Deep Into Infamous Relationship Between Boxing Legend and His Promoter

Published 07/25/2023, 1:05 PM EDT

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Former US President Donald Trump and the renowned boxing promoter Don King have known each other for decades. And over time, their bond has only deepened more and more. Although, many times they’ve been on the opposite side of the negotiation table, there were times when they firmly stood by each other. As successful businessmen, they worked together to bring a bunch of Mike Tyson‘s fights to Trump’s Atlantic City casinos.

More so, in his interview with Politico in 2017, Don King stated that Trump will eventually become an amazing unifier for his country. Trump has known Don King since he initially started promoting boxers for the first time. King is widely known for promoting great fighters like Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, and Mike Tyson.

At first, Tyson had a great bonding with King, after he replaced Bill Clayton, whom he had sued for defrauding in 1988. Well, things didn’t change much as he had to sue King too, a decade later for the same charges. He sued him for $100 million and ended up receiving $14 million from the court. All the while, Trump witnessed everything and still remembers the exact moment King took over Tyson’s career. Let’s what he had to say about the American promoter.


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Donald Trump recalls the time when Mike Tyson signed a contract with Don King

In the interview with Jim Norton and Matt Serra for the show UFC Unfiltered, Donald Trump talked about his old friend Don King. He stated that King was extremely smart and he always knew what to do at what time perfectly. He also called him unique and claimed that he possessed a strong personality. In a deviation of thought, Trump also praised Bob Arum, but it was evident that Trump has a liking towards legendary promoter Don King.

Well, later he was asked by Norton whether both friends found themselves at crossroads while organizing boxing events. Trump said, “I refuse to say but the answer is we got the fight on. But no, Don was- it was tough. Look, there was probably nobody ever like him.

Then he further said, “I saw him take over Mike and took over Mike Tyson. And I watched it happen, and there was nobody better at that stuff than Don King, what he could do was magic.

And then he also pointed out how there couldn’t be another King in the sport after his era. Anyways, he even called out the Don King-inspired character in the ‘Rocky V’ movie that he was not impressed with.

Trump emphasizes that Don King is inimitable


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During this interview, Trump was emphasizing heavily the individuality of Don King, and how there was no other person like him. He also talked about the character of George Washington Duke, played by Richard Grant, in Sylvester Stallone‘s ‘Rocky V’ movie.

Duke was portrayed as a rising promoter, who was shown as stubborn and arrogant. He was supposed to be similar to the real-life promoter, Don King. But Trump believes even they couldn’t ‘imitate’ him. He said, “They had a person that was actually the imitation of Don King but the size wasn’t right, the face wasn’t right, the hair wasn’t right, it was not a good imitation because you can’t really imitate a guy like that.


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So, this shows the immense respect Trump has for his friend. What are your thoughts about this? Tell us in the comments section.

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Written by:

Chirag Radhyan


One take at a time

Chirag Radhyan is a Boxing Writer at EssentiallySports. He has authored over 300 articles and loves to talk about the animosity between athletes, leading up to a fight. His coverage of the off-court drama between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury received widespread appreciation from readers.
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Edited by:

Arijit Saha