Three national anthems, six championships fights, 200 school children, NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, pleas for Ukraine and electric knockouts were the theatre for iconic promoter Don King at his suspense and drama filled ‘Fight for Freedom and Peace’ boxing showcase’ at Casino Miami on Saturday June 11th.
It’s customary for anthems to be played for the countries that fighters represent in a main event, but never in the history of the sport has an ally nation been saluted as King did with Ukraine.
Weaving in a plight as grave as the threat of World War III into a heavyweight world championship can only be done by the brilliance and courage of a man who recognized his platform with two relatively unknown pugilist was wasn’t as significant as the war in Ukraine that threatens civility in Eastern Europe and the rest of the world.
British fighter Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois (18-1, 17 KOs) pummeled an out of shape and lethargic American Trevor ‘The Dream’ Bryan (22-1, 15 KOs) who was aptly put asleep in a fourth round knockout when the Brit detonated the dynamite by whacking Bryan with a devastating left hook, snatching his WBA crown after just two defenses.
Bryan did all of the boasting during the promotion and even attempted to humiliate his powerful challenger by tossing tampons at Dubois feet during the weigh-in the day before, but in the conclusion, Bryan was the one who suffered utter embarrassment, shame and disgust right in front of his Hall of Fame promoter.
Humbled by his defeat Bryan spoke of career redemption after digesting his first defeat.
“I haven’t tasted defeat since the amateurs and that was almost 15 years ago. True champions get up and finish the fight get up and keep going, that’s what really makes a true champion. All the best had a lost on their record and came back to do even better things. This is not the last you are going to see of Trevor Bryan. I’m looking to dissect what I did tonight, but I can say that I am really disappointed because I didn’t do half the stuff I know how to do best,” the dejected former champion said. “Dubois is a big heavyweight, so I can say that he did bring the pressure and did what he was supposed to do tonight. I give a shoutout to Dubois because he’s the champion now.”
Bryan’s veteran trainer Stacy McKinley, who has worked with former champions Tony ‘TNT’ Tucker and Mike Tyson didn’t mice his description about his dethroned combatant.
“What happen tonight is we lost. Trevor didn’t come out fighting, he didn’t come out and stick to the fight plan. The other guy came out fighting and you just can’t stand there and let the other guy punch him, you gotta throw something back.”
Bryan now holds the infamous distinction of becoming the second King champion to lose his championship in his second title defense joining Bermaine Stiverne who since losing the WBC belt has won just once in his last four fights including suffering three consecutive knockouts.
Whether Bryan meets a similar fate remains to be seen, but his precipitous fall from grace at 32 years of age will only make his climb that much steeper.
In the co-feature attraction, streamed on Donking.com, the man who nearly took Bryans title six months ago in January, Louisiana’s Jonathan ‘King’ Guidry (18-1,2, 5 KOs) demonstrated the heart if a lion in capturing the NABA Gold Heavyweight Championship in a gritty and gutty performance against previously undefeated DaCarree ‘Mac Truck’ Scott (7-1,6 KOs) scoring a devasting knockout.
“I wore him down, Mac Truck ran out of gas. The fuel prices are high right now,” an ecstatic Guidry declared while celebrating his victory in the ring, leaping on the ropes and inhaling the applause of the hundreds of fans that made the trek from Dulac, Louisiana.
Dulac is a small town in Terrebonne Parish of Louisiana with a population of just 2,458, known for fishing and Guidry works on a shrimp boat, but he caught his biggest prize in winning a title.
Promoted by King he figures to be in the mix for another and perhaps more significant strap down the road.
Other fighters who enjoyed stellar performances was Newburgh, New York NABA welterweight champion Tre’Sean ‘Trigger’ Wiggins (14-5-3, 8 KOs) who scored a scintillating first round TKO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida native Travis Castellon (17-5-1, 12 KOs).
Wiggins stole the show on King’s Warren, Ohio card in January and again displayed the moxie of an unheralded rising prospect to retain his NABA Welterweight title.
“I stand behind what I say, I said I was going to steal the show and my focus is at an all-time high and I’m going to continue to steal the show until I am the headliner. Now, I got a good team behind me, I got Don King behind me and the sky is the limit,” said Wiggins.
Tony Gonzales managed Luis Rodriguez (9-0) of Toa, Alta, Puerto Rico, a rising star was a crushing KO winner over St. Louis, MO opponent Ryan Adams (8-5, 6 KOs) and newly King signee Cuban born super lightweight Raynel Mederos (6-0, 1 KO) of Miami blasted Ryan Wilson (1-1, 1 KO) in the first round.
Ian Green (16-2, 11 KOs) of Haledon, New Jersey scored a unanimous decision win over Niagara Falls, NY Anthony Lenk (17-9, 7 KOs) to earn the WBA Continental Americas Middleweight Championship; and in a fight of the night contest to Floridians Johnnie Langston (11-3, 4 KOs) of Sarasota outlasted Isiah Thompson (6-2-1, 5 KOs) to retain the NABA Cruiserweight championship.
For more than 50 years, King has continued to add to his legacy as being more than a boxing promoter, but moreover an ‘Indefatigable Advocate for Peace and Women’s Rights’ and with ‘Fight for Freedom and Peace’ for Ukraine, a quest to save all of humanity for the world.