Ep. 3: The Don King Show
Cash is King, King is Cash.
For two years, Jonathan Eig tried to get in touch with Don King, and when he did, he asked him one question that could have gotten him killed. He lived to tell the tale about one of boxing’s most successful promoters. In this week’s episode find out what Don King, Muhammad Ali and a Christmas party have in common.
There were a few people I was scared about interviewing. Not scared like they were gonna hurt me—well, maybe that too—but mostly scared because they posed a challenge. I needed to ask tough questions that would reflect badly on them. And these were men who were quite old and had never answered the tough questions. One was John Ali, who was the No. 2 man at the NOI and who allegedly served as an FBI informant. The other was Don King.
It took me a long time to get in touch with him. Then, one day in Vegas, I chased him into an elevator. Still, he avoided my attempts at communication. But I finally used one of the oldest journalism tricks in the book to get in front of him. That's where Champ's Corner came into the picture.
I asked him a question that probably could have gotten me killed. But he was thoughtful and honest. And then he shared a lot of stories with me that shed a lot of light on Ali from a financial standpoint.
From there we became a little more acquainted. He even asked me to bring my children to his home for a Christmas party, which I did.
The relationship between Ali and Don King was nothing short of complicated. Don King was his promoter, who arguably swindled Muhammad Ali out of millions of dollars. But I still can't help but wonder what Ali would say about him to this day.
Learn more about the relationship between Muhammad Ali and Don King in my book. Preorder your copy through the link below.