When we look back through the sordid history of boxing. A few names in recent memory stick out, but for all the wrong reasons. Promoter to many champions of boxing, Don King. Is a name which has become forever synonymous with heavyweight icon Iron Mike Tyson.
King controlled Tyson’s career and purse strings throughout a good portion of his career. Namely when Tyson was at his most dominant and making the most money. It was a relationship which would eventually turn sour. Leaving Tyson with a bad taste in his mouth and short millions.
He would later go on to sue King for $100 million. In a case which would eventually settle out of court for $14 million. One of many settlements King was forced to make after many of the fighters he had represented felt they had been ripped off. By both King and sometimes his son Carl.
It is thanks to him and others like him that the Ali Act in boxing came to pass. In a move which sought to protect boxers from insatiable promoters and similar entities in the sport.
The Ali Act in MMA
And now today we see a similar move in the sport of mixed martial arts. As fighters both past and present, look to establish the same types of protections for the athletes.
In a sport which is mainly run by private companies. Those companies for years have set the rates of pay and contract stipulations, pretty much with impunity. Now it’s athletes, in much the same way as boxing. Look to enshrine certain guarantees and safeguards to protect those athletes against their employers.
It’s thanks to people such as Don King, and those others, who by extorting unfair revenues from their clients. Paved the way for positive change within the sport. Whether or not the same will soon apply to MMA is another matter. But we are certain many fighters will be only too happy if it does.