The New York Post’s Len Robbins attended a press conference yesterday to promote the October 6 WBC heavyweight title bout between Oleg Maskaev and Samuel Peter at Madison Square Garden. Andrew Golota, no stranger to a wild time at MSG, is on the undercard, but as Robbins explains, the promoter did most of the yapping.
Don King (above) began by introducing two of his “spiritual advisers” – the Rev. Al Sharpton and Rabbi Shea Hecht. They stood on either side of King and looked straight ahead, like two customers standing on adjacent lines waiting for a bank teller.I asked Hecht if King had ever sought him out for spiritual advice.
“Depends on what you call advice,” said the rabbi. “A couple of times he calls for a blessing.”
Then King began to speak of how boxing helped bring the nation together after the 9/11 attacks, when the Felix Trinidad-Bernard Hopkins fight scheduled for Sept. 15, 2001, was fought on Sept. 29 at the Garden, which according to King’s mapquest, is just blocks from the site of the attack.
King praised Denise Rappaport, Maskaev’s promoter, who just minutes before blasted King for getting Peter 45 percent of the purse instead of the 30 percent usually given to the challenger. Rappaport is suing King.
King mentioned Golota, Poland, the Holocaust. He introduced Sharpton, who reminded us that yesterday was the 10-year anniversary of the assault on Abner Louima, because, as King reminded us, America is together.
A spectator leaned over the rails that separated fans from the press.
“When do the fighters talk?” he asked.
“When King is done,” he was told.
“When is that?” he asked.
When all the tickets are sold and he doesn’t have the boxers to do the selling.