Dear Don King: You cost me $25. Featured
No one ever described Don King as short-winded. I now know this first hand, as his “promoting” cost me $25 in the form of a parking ticket.
Yep, Don King was at the Northern District of Ohio Bankruptcy Court this morning. He also was ahead of me in the docket, which meant a 45 minute typical endeavor took 2 hours.
To be precise, he wasn’t ahead of me; rather, one of his boxer’s was. Ray Austin is a 6’6, heavyweight boxer, who at age 39, has seen his fair share of fights. But like any boxer, his highs parallel his lows. Just a few months ago, he filed chapter 7 bankruptcy for $6000 in debt, plus back child support for 5 adult children. Apparently, he started impregnating women at a very young age. His case was the typical chapter 7: without assets.
Well, it ends up that Don King Productions is willing to pay off Austin’s creditors in exchange for dismissal of the case. A bankruptcy, from what I gathered from the circus-like testimony from Don King’s lawyer, the World Boxing federation, and Austin himself, renders Austin unmarketable for bouts. Austin is guaranteed by King to fight in a bout worth at least $100,000. [And why anyone would believe this is baffling to me. Isn't the whole point of boxing promotion is to tell whoopers so as to make something seem more epic than it actually is?]
The trustee and the judge were curious to know why Don King became interested in Austin after he filed bankruptcy. A boxer with 15 years with of blows to his head, a weird Floridian lawyer, and Don King himself could not clearly answer this question. Then again, the audience of pissed-off lawyers who had to wait an hour already figured this. At one point in the “hearing,” the lawyer asked to talk with King…old Donny pulled his ancient body from the courtroom bench, adorned in his wrinkled old suit, and surrounded with this highly obese bodyguard also adorned in an old suit [obviously custom-tailored to fit 400 lbs of girth], to converse with the lawyer. They were both in ear-shot of me, but frankly, I could not decipher King’s odd, southern dialect.
After about an hour of this testimony, the judge made the parties step outside so the rest of the docket could proceed. By that point, I already knew I had a parking ticket. And instead of feeling reverent for sitting in the same room as a celebrity, all I felt was irate. To Mr. King, this was just a playground for his little circus. It was probably a form of promotion: I’ll admit, I googled the boxer’s name, and now, I’m writing about it for others to read. Curiosity is a powerful tool.
Yet, I believe a federal court is not a playground for boxers, especially when it made about 15 lawyers sit well over an hour, just so a Florida lawyer and a World Boxing Council lawyer could pretend they are big time.
So if I could have said something to Don King, it would have been: along with the $6000 for Ray Austin’s creditors, can you pay for $200(15 lawyers x 1 hour), plus my parking fine, plus the tax-payer dollars wasted by your little game?