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Don King Quotes

Famous & Infamous Don King Boxing Quotations - Facts & Opinions.

Y'all probably blame me for that. If it were Bob Arum, you'd say, 'There was nothing he could do.' But you blame me, black devil motherfucker. Let me tell you something: Tyson will be heavyweight champ again. And this time, you'll pay twice as much to see it. Why? Because y'all part of the same hypocrisy.

1) Don King: [about Mike Tyson biting off Evander Holyfield's ear]

"Let me write it down for you. Muhammad Ali is a multimillionaire. Larry Holmes a multimillionaire. Mike Tyson he sleeps on a bed of money. HBO I made you motherfuckers a fortune. Oh I could go on and on. You love my black ass! You know why? Because I'm exciting. You ain't making no movie on Bob Arum, are you? It's entertainment, baby! That's all! Heroes and villains, angels and devils, shit if you didn't have Don King you would have to invent them. And for all of you out there saying this and that, remember this: many fighters step into the ring, but only one is still king."

2) Don King Quote:

"Y'know who's a motherfucker? The devil's a motherfucker."

3) Don King Quote:

"I had a moment of religious epiphanosity."

4) Don King Quote:

"Black people don't get no credit for nothing. All we've got is one word. That word is motherfucker."

5) Don King Quote:

"Reality show? You can't find anything better than boxing because of the trials and errors, the ups and downs, the struggle when you get knocked down to get back up. Use it symbolically and interchangeably for life."

6) Don King Quote:

"I dare to be great. The man without imagination stands unhurt and hath no wings. This is my credo, this is my forte."

7) Don King Quote:

"Martin Luther King took us to the mountain top: I want to take us to the bank. I'm not fighting the Civil War, I'm fighting the poverty war"

8) Don King Quote:

"Against the odd's, I have persevered, I am the living attestation of the American dream. I am the extolment of this great nation. I have coffee and cocktails with presidents and dictators. I'm an international figure, a citizen of the world. I've made it."

9) Don king Quote:


"Only in America could a Don King happen."

10)) Don King Quote:

"Man, I've been to jail. It was hell in there, but I survived, If they put me back, I'll come out again. I'm one of the world's great survivors. I'll always survive because I've got the right combination of wit, grit and bullshit."

11) Don King Quote:

"People don't like me for the same reason they didn't like Muhammad Ali. We're the wrong kind of nigger. We're not quiet. We stand up to be counted."

12) Don King Quote:

"Do I play tennis? Man, I had one of the baddest overhead rights of anyone. Bam!"

13) Don King Quote:

"It ain't about if he knocks a guy out. It's about how he knocks a guy out. It's the style, the improvisation."

14) Don King Quote:On Mike Tyson.

"Mike Tyson has been given ever penny he has coming."

15) Don King Quote:on Tyson suing King.

"Only in america will you see people circling the parking lot looking for a close space at a gym."

16) Don King Quote:

"I don't promote boxing, I promote people. Boxing is a catalyst to bring people together."

17) Don King Quote:

"Machiavelli taught me it was better to be feared than loved. Because if you are loved they sense you might be weak. I am a man of the people and help them but it is important to do so through strength."

18) Don King Quote:

"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."

19) Don King Quote:

[in a restroom] George Foreman: "Aren't you gonna wash your hands?"

"I wash my hands *before* I touch my dick."

20) Don King Quote:

"You can be the greatest guy in the world but if you ain't got no heart, you ain't gonna survive."

21) Don King Quote:

"There's only been three giant promoters in our lifetime. There's Michael Todd, P.T. Barnum, and yours truly."

22) Don King Quote:

"From the very beginning I used sound business practices in everything I did. White businessman uses them to make money he's a genius. Black businessman uses them he's a crook. That's the way it is."

23) Don King Quote:

"All the rules went out the window when I arrived. The white sports writers can't accept that, can't get it through their heads that this nigger can out of prison and turned the whole thing upside down on them all by himself."

24) Don King Quote:

"Integrity, number one. Even in business that's predicated on lies I refuse to become part of the lies that is all-consuming."

25) Don King Quote: Explaining to the RING magazine what made him a top promoter.

" You ever stop to think they can't rob you of knowledge? They can strip you and you've still got it."

26) Don King Quote:

"People are my most important asset. Faith in the supreme being, trust, credibility and performance are the things that have brought me to the top."

27) Don King Quote:

"I never get tired because it ain't energy that's being dispenced. It is GOD speaking through me."

28) Don King Quote:

"They went down the list of every known charge conceivable to man - rackeering, skimming, kickback, ticket scalping. fixing fights, preordaining fights, vitaiting officials, corrupting judges, all the way down to laundering money. Everything but the Lindbergh baby."

29) Don King Quote: On the FBI investigation into his affairs.


" I look after friends and kick enemy asses."

30) Don King Quote:

"You see, the problem with me is I'm so good even my friends think I'm doing something wrong. Flair and flamboyance is not illegal. It may be detestable, it may be offensive, but it's not illegal."

31) Don King Quote: Just before being indicted on a million dollar tax evasion charge

"Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I stand before you a free man. Free in body, free in spiret and free in mind! It has been a long, hard and excruciatingingly painful road. For more than five years there has been one investigation after another and now, vindication. And to give the proper dimension I take the cherished words of the late great Dr Martin Luther King: Free at last...thank God Almighty, I'm free at last."

32) Don King Quote: At his press conference following his acquittal on the tax charge.

"I wasn't getting invited to any board meetings. I had to kick the door down."

33) Don King Quote: Explaining how he got started in the business.

"I don't see you making a movie about Bob Arum."

34) Don King Quote:

"I will fight for America till the day I drop."

35) Don King Quote:

"There's only one rule anyone connected with boxing must keep in mind - everything you here in boxing is a lie."

36) Don King Quote: on the Boxing World.

"When you lose the title, that doesn't mean you lose the contract to what you had. Just like when you win the title, it doesn't mean you win brains, PhDs and MAs."

37) Don King Quote: On keeping former WBA heavyweight champ Mike Dokes under contract.

"Michael seems to have lost his values temporarily. He just has to be worked with, disciplined and talked to and given some tender loving care and understanding."

38) Don King Quote: On Mike Dokes.

"If you envy me whatever modicom of success that I enjoy, you must also envy me my time, my labour, my finance, my anxiety, my frustration and my determination. Jose Sulaiman is the greatest boxing man that I have ever met. I think he is a knight in shining armour for the boxer, but I always insulate myself with the rules."

39) Don King Quote: On WBC President Jose Sulaiman, and their relationship.


"When you can count your money, you ai'nt got none."

40) Don King Quote:

"You sign an agreement; you make a contract, you live up to it. You never get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate. You got a right to say yay or nay."

41) Don King Quote:

"If you cast your bread upon the water and you have faith, you'll get back cash. If you don't have faith, you'll get soggy bread."

42) Don King Quote:

"I'll pay them right after it snows in Panama. Let Eleta pay them if he feels so strongly about it."

43) Don King Quote: Commenting on Carlos Eleta's claim that KING had deducted taxes from Roberto Duran's American purses and was therefore responsible for Duran's MASSIVE $4.54 million tax bill.

"Me and Arum are reasonable men when it comes to money. We take our separate bags of money to separate banks and then it's 'You're a son of a bitch' and You're a son of a bitch', but we're both two rich sons of bitches."

44) Don King Quote:

"You know what animals exist in the desert. He's going to his indigenous natural habitat. What better place for night crawlers? "

45) Don King Quote: On hearing that Bob Arum was moving office to Las Vegas.

"His credibility is zilch, virtually nil."

46) Don King Quote: On rival promoter Bob Arum.

"I am a product of a rat and roach infested black ghetto. It is easy for me to rationalize my dealings as a numbers man. I'll defend men today who are involved in it."

47) Don King Quote:

"There's nothing wrong with options. Options are everywhere. In movies, in sports. Options is not a dirty word. I need to pay my overheads, you know. I invest a lot of money developing a fighter and then I deserve to reap the rewards."

48) Don King Quote: On keeping option clauses in contracts.

"I never got a fighter because I'm black," King said. "Every fighter, including Mike Tyson, came to me after they've been screwed by other promoters."

49) Don King Quote:


"Thank god for money"

50) Don King Quote:

"I'm the best promoter in the world because I haven't taken a day off work since I left the penitentiary, and because I have read all the great philosophers like St. Thomas Aquinine."

51) Don King Quote:

"I've whipped the Harvard graduate's ass. Nothing against Harvard - it's a hell of a school - but there I was, twenty five yards behind, wrapped in leg irons, and I beat him."

52) Don King Quote: On Bob Arum.

"Who would you vote most likely to succeed? Bob Arum - White, Jewish, a graduate of Harvard, a Kennady Raider, United States Attorney. Don King - black, poor, out of the hard core getto of Cleveland, Ohio, numbers runner, a little confectionary dealer, ex-convict. Now who would you vote to succeed? It would be hands down........ Yet in this great land called America, I have out performed, outachieved, been more recognizable, did more, broke more records, and had more of a phenominal career, where Arum can't tie my shoe string. You understand?"

53) Don King Quote: On Bob Arum.

"If he says he has the pizzazz and the sizzle, I have the steak, and substance. I've made more money than he's made. I've made bigger deals than he's made, when he's got the complexion to get the protection."

54) Don King Quote: On Bob Arum.

"When I came into boxing, when it was more out of control, no fighters got an opportunity to fight. I came in: everybody got an opportunity to make a living in America."

55) Don King Quote:

"Out of all the fighters that I have developed, clothed, financed, Gerrie Coetzee is the only one who had the decency to say 'thanks'."

56) Don King Quote: On white South African Gerrie Coetzee.

"Larry is like a son to me and we enjoy a most wonderful relationship, one with meaning, dignity, pride, understanding and purpose. But more importantly, one of mutual respect. Larry and I both pride ourselves on being men of our word and when we say we will be together for life it is not just convention but is said with feeling and commitment that comes from struggling together, growing together and being family."

57) Don King Quote: On Larry Holmes.

"I'm a promoter of the people for the people and by the people and my magic lies in my people ties."

58) Don King Quote:

"Hypocrisy is the mother of all evil and racial prejudice is still her favorite child."

59) Don King Quote:


"I never cease to amaze myself. I say this humbly."

60) Don King Quote: On America.

"Only in America can you find so many angry people claiming to love their country, while hating almost anyone in it."

61) Don King Quote:

"America is the greatest country in the world - I love America. What I've accomplished could not have been done anywhere else."

62) Don King Quote: On Life and America.

"I can't believe that having said what I said was interpreted as having been what I said when I said it, because I said it where I said it, when I said it, and who I said it to."

63) Don King Quote:

"If you are a blackman in America and get stopped by the police, make sure you have a vidio camera. Don't rely on some passerby to film the beating. Rodney King was just lucky."

64) Don King Quote: On America.

"I can't believe what I said about myself. What I said in my own private conversations with myself to an ESPN producer are my business, and I had no business saying them to someone else."

65) Don King Quote:

"Don King is a damn sleezebag. King is nothing but a strong-arm man. He has taken his gangsterism and put it into boxing."

66) Dan Duva Quote:Rival promoter, in the New York Daily News,1986.

"Don King is a liar and a thief, the greediest bastard I've ever known. The guys wants all the money and all the fighters. He talks about fairness and equality, but he wants everything for himself. If I was a fighter and needed a promoter, who would I take? Don King. The man is the best. Don King delivers."

67) Richie Giachetti, in Black Lights.

"Don King is a great self-promoter but he is also a great con man. He's a quick buck guy."

68) Bob Arum Quote: Las Vegas business press.

"Don King sucks…Don King sucks…Don King sucks… "

69) Fight crowd chant at Caesars Palace after Mike Dokes controversial first-minute stoppage of Mike Weaver to win the heavyweight title.


"Nobody messes with Don King."

70) Don King Quote:

"HE TOLD ME ALL THOSE WHITE mutherfuckers no good they ain't mutherfuckers, there out to kill us all there gonna put us in the holocaust and fry us like they do the jews, we gotta fight these mutherfuckers. Oh! He told me some good shit………and I started believing that shit, they hate us, you know, I played into that stuff."

71) Mike Tyson, on being bewitched by Don King.

" A wretched, slimy, reptillian mutherfucker. This is supposed to be my 'black brother' right? He's just a bad man, a real bad man. He would kill his own mother for a dollar. He's ruthless, he's deplorable, he's greedy, and he dosen't know how to love anybody."

72) Mike Tyson on Don King.

"I tried to stay away from King. You can't do it. It's like staying away from taxes. Sooner or later, he'll get you."

73) Pinklon Thomas, former WBC Heavyweight Champ.

"King and Arum are alike. One's black and one's white. That's the only difference."

74) Mickey Duff: British Promoter.

"Don King is the best snake oil salesman I ever met. The absolute best."

75) Butch Lewis Quote: Formerly King's other half of the Dynamic Duo.

"Since then we've changed the locks."

76) James McNulty, Scranton, Pa. mayor, noting that he was only vice-mayor in 1975 when King was given the Keys of the City.

"I don't like Don King, I don't trust Don King, I don't need Don King, I want nothing to do with Don King."

77) Michael Spinks Quote:

"King's an equal opportunity dirtbag, he screws everybody."

78) Larry Holmes Quote:On Don King

"When Don King's fighters lose their titles they come back fighting on the undercard for peanuts. King owns all the top heavyweights and we spar against each other but we get charged for it and that comes out of our purses."

79) Mitch Green Quote:The City News,1987.


"looks black, lives white and thinks green."

80) Larry Holmes, On Don King.

"If you don't follow Don King, you get stepped on."

81) Tim Witherspoon Quote:former heavyweight champ.

"Forget death and taxes. The only sure thing is that, win or lose, Don King is counting the money."

82) Jack Newfield Quote: Auther of the Life & Crimes of Don King.

"I make more money with Don King stealing from me than 100 percent from other promoters."

83) Larry Holmes Quote:On Don King.

"Don King is a hip exploiter, an intelligent flesh peddler,"

84) Jack Newfield Quote:Auther of the Life & Crimes of Don King.

"He knows which fighters to steal, how to exploit anyone's vice, vanity or insecurity and make a profit for himself."

85) Jack Newfield Quote:Author of the Life & Crimes of Don King.

"I don't fight for nobody else because Don King has made me money. Yet I hear people saying Don King is exploiting me. I made $15.5 million with Don. How would you like to be exploited and make $15.5 million? "

86) Larry Holmes Quote, On Don King before the split.

"Don King was good to me through my years as champion, but I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. He's a wheeler dealer and you've got to be careful. He's a great con artist."

87) Larry Holmes Quote, On Don King.

"I don't owe Don King anything. I got things with my own sweat and blood. I don't know if I'll be associated with Don but I won't be a slave or puppet for him."

88) Larry Holmes Quote:ranting about Don King:

"Now I'm free of him and I'm light as a feather. There's no weight holding me down; I'm ready to spread my wings and fly."

89) Larry Holmes Quote: after the Split.


"Don King can talk a rattlesnake out of biting you."

90) Larry Holmes Quote:on Don King.

"This is the lying thieving mother who cut me $500,000."

91) Tex Cobb Quote: Introducing King on the platform at the press conference after Cobb's fight with Holmes. King had reduced his purse because the fight had flopped financially.

"King gives you this 'bro' stuff and tells you that the white man did this and we should stick together. Then he starts cutting your purse. I was with him for six years. You put your head in a noose when you sign with Don King."

92) Mitch Green Quote: Heavyweight.

"I found out that someone I believed was my surrogate father, my brother, my blood figure turns out to be the true Uncle Tom, the true nigger, the true sellout. He did more bad to black fighters than any white promoter ever in the history of boxing,"

93) Mike Tyson Quote: On Don King.

"King has big offices, houses, and he pays his fighters a lot of money. An, because he's black, the FBI figures he must be doing something crooked."

94) Muhammad Ali Quote:On the FBI's 1981 investigation of King's affairs.

"Anyhow, I don't think Don King's a very good man. But then again, I doubt that a good man *could* succeed in his business. I'm sure boxing was a dirty sport before he came around. He may have just made it moreso. So that's about all I've got to say about him."

95) George W Bush. President Of The United Staes of America Quote:


DON KING….The Early Years.


Don King was born in Cleveland, Ohio. After dropping out of Kent State University, he ran an illegal bookmaking operation, and was charged for killing two men in separate incidents 13 years apart.

The first was determined to be justifiable homicide after it was found that King had shot Hillary Brown in the back and killed him while he was attempting to rob one of King's gambling houses.

Don King was convicted of second degree murder for the second killing in 1966 after he was found guilty of stomping to death a fellow numbers racketeer, Sam Garrett, who owed him $600.

In an ex parte meeting with King's attorney, the judge reduced King's conviction to non-negligent manslaughter for which King served just short of four years in prison.

Don King was later pardoned for the crime in 1983 by Ohio Governor with letters from Rev Jesse Jackson among others, being written in support of King.





Don King entered the boxing world after persuading Muhammad Ali to box in a charity exhibition for a local hospital in Cleveland with the help of his friend and singer Lloyd Price. Early on he formed a partnership with a local promoter named Don Elbaum, who already had a stable of fighters in Cleveland and years of experience in boxing.

In 1974, Don King negotiated to promote a heavyweight championship fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire, which was publicised as “The Rumble in the Jungle”.

The fight between Muhammad Ali and World Heavyweight Champion George Foreman was a much-anticipated event. King's rivals in boxing, Bob Arum, and Madison Square Garden, New York, all sought to promote the bout. But Don King was able to secure the then-record $10 million purse through an arrangement with the President Mobutu the resident dictator of Zaire.

Don King solidified his position as one of boxing's preeminent promoters the following year with the third fight between Ali and Joe Frazier Manila the capital of the Philippines which King christened the “Thrilla in Manila"

As well as promoting the premier heavyweight fights of the 1970s, King was also busy expanding his boxing empire. Throughout the decade, he compiled an impressive stable of fighters, many of whom would finish their career with Hall of Fame credentials. Fighters like Larry Holmes, Wilfred Benitez, Salvador Sanchez, Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez, Roberto “Manos De Piedra” Duran, and Alexis Arguello would all fight under the Don King Productions promotional banner in the 1970s.

For the next three decades, Don King continued to be one of thee most successful promoters of all time. Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Julio Cesar Chavez, Aaron Pryor, Ricardo Lopez, Bernard “Executioner” Hopkins Terry Norris, Felix “Tito” Trinidad, Azumah Nelson, Carlos Zarate, Andrew Golota, Mike “Bodysnacher” McCallum, Meldrick Taylor, Gerald McClellan, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ricardo Mayorga, and Tomas Adamak are some of the fighters who chose Don King to promote many of their biggest fights.





Don King has been investigated for possible connections with organised crime. During a 1992 Senate investigation, Don King pleaded the Fifth Amendment when questioned about his connection to mafia mobster boss John Gotti . In public, however, King has strongly denied any connections to organised crime and has responded to mob allegations by calling them "racist."

Mike Tyson, the former undisputed World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, says of his former manager, "(King is) a wretched, slimy, reptilian motherfucker. This is supposed to be my 'black brother' right? He's just a bad man, a real bad man. He would kill his own mother for a dollar. He's ruthless, he's deplorable, he's greedy, and he doesn't know how to love anybody.



Lawsuits and fraud prosecutions:


Muhammad Ali

Don King has been involved in several litigation cases with boxers that were focused on fraud. In 1982 he was sued by Muhammad Ali for underpaying him $1.1 million for a fight with Larry Holmes, King called in an old friend of Ali, Jeremiah Shabazz, and handed him a suitcase containing $50,000 in cash and a letter ending Ali's lawsuit against King. He asked Shabazz to visit Ali (who was in hospital due to his failing health) and get him to sign the letter and then give Ali the $50,000. Ali signed. The letter even gave King the right to promote any future Ali fights. According to Shabazz, "Ali was ailing by then and mumbling a lot. I guess he needed the money." Shabazz later regretted helping King. Ali's lawyer cried when he learned that Ali had ended the lawsuit without telling him.


Larry Holmes

Larry Holmes has alleged that over the course of his career King cheated him out of $10 million in fight purses, including claiming 25% of his purses as a hidden manager. Holmes says he received only $150,000 of a contracted $500,000 for his fight with Ken Norton, and $50,000 of $200,000 for facing Earnie Shavers, and claims King cut his purses for bouts with Muhammad Ali, Tex Cobb, and Leon Spinks, underpaying him $2 million, $700,000, and $250,000, respectively.

Holmes sued King over the accounting and auditing for the Gerry Cooney fight, charging that he was underpaid by $2 to $3 million. Holmes sued King after King deducted a $300,000 'finder's fee' from his fight purse against Mike Tyson; Holmes settled for $150,000 and also signed a legal agreement pledging not to give any more negative information about King to reporters.


Tim Witherspoon

Tim Witherspoon was threatened with being blackballed if he did not sign exclusive contracts with King and his stepson Carl. Not permitted to have his own lawyer present, he signed four "contracts of servitude" (according to Jack Newfield). One was an exclusive promotional contract with Don King, two were managerial contracts with Carl King, identical except one was "for show" that gave Carl King 33% of Witherspoon's purses and the other gave King a 50% share, more than is allowed by many boxing commissions. The fourth contract was completely blank.

Other examples include Witherspoon being promised $150,000 for his fight with Larry Holmes, but receiving only $52,750. King's son Carl took 50% of Witherspoon's purse, illegal under Nevada rules, and the WBC sanctioning fee was also deducted from his purse. He was forced to train at King's own training camp at Orwell, Ohio, instead of Ali's Deer Lake camp which Ali allowed Witherspoon to use for free.

For his fight with Greg Page he received a net amount of $44,460 from his guaranteed purse of $250,000. King had deducted money for training expenses, sparring partners, fight and airplane tickets for his friends and family. Witherspoon was never paid a stipulated $100,000 for his training expenses and instead was billed $150 a day for using King's training camp. Carl King again received 50% of his purse, despite Don King Promotions falsely claiming he had only been paid 33%. HBO paid King $1,700,000 for Witherspoon to fight Frank Bruno. Witherspoon got a purse of $500,000, but received only $90,000 after King's deductions. Carl King received $275,000. In 1987 Witherspoon sued King for $25 million in damages. He eventually settled for $1 million out of court.


Mike Tyson

Sued King for $100 million, alleging the boxing promoter cheated him out of millions over more than a decade. It was settled out of court for $14 million.


Terry Norris

In 1996 Terry Norris sued King, alleging that King had stolen money from him and conspired with his manager to underpay him for fights. The case went to trial, but King settled out of court for $7.5 million in 2003. King also conceded to Norris' insistence that the settlement be made public.


Lennox Lewis

In May 2005, King was sued by Lennox Lewis, who wanted $385 million from the promoter, claiming King used threats to pull Tyson away from a rematch with Lewis.


Chris Byrd

In early 2006, Chris Byrd sued Don King for breach of contract and the two eventually settled out of court under the condition that Byrd would be released from his contract with King.



In 2005 King launched a $2.5 billion defamation suit against ESPN, the makers of Sports Century, after a documentary alleged that King had "killed, not once, but twice", threatened to break Larry Holmes’ legs, cheated Meldrick Taylor out of $1 million and then threatened to have Taylor killed.

Though the documentary repeated many claims already made before, King claimed he had now had enough. King's attorney said "It was slanted to show Don in the worst way. It was one-sided from day one, Don is a strong man, but he has been hurt by this.


Acknowledgements: …..The Life and Crimes of DON KING by Jack Newfield.


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