During a 15 minute rambling news conference speech attempting to promote his two boxers, the legendary boxing promoter, Don King, 80, left the room aghast with a racial slur.
King entered the news conference dressed in a sparkling Mount Rushmore denim jacket with miniature Texas, U.S. and México flags waving in his hands. His purpose was to boost boxers, Eric Molina and IBF World Lightweight Champion, Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud, before Saturday’s big event. Among other topics, King quoted Queen Elizabeth and touched on important Texas history in an attempt to inspire the crowd. He predicted his boxer, Eric Molina, the self described underdog with an 18-1 record would quickly defeat opponent Chris Arreola.
“We even brought in a Mexican-American to give him a chance to get out and be at the front of the forefront. No more wetbacks running up and down picking the fruits and things. Now, we’re rolling, you know what I mean,” said King.
The Mexican American opponent with a 34-2 record, with two world title fights under his belt responded to King’s ‘speech’ by saying, “I do take offense on that wetback thing because both of my parents are wetbacks and I’m proud of being a wetback myself. I am honored to be Mexican, 100 percent.”
His reference offended more than just the media attending the news conference. The opposing boxer, Chris Arreola, son of Mexican immigrants, left with a new impression of the legend. In an interview after his ‘easy’ victory over Molina, Arreola expressed that he had looked up to King as a child, but now realizes he is a “racist asshole.”
Realizing that Arreola had taken offense to his comments, King attempted to respond by saying, “Chris you may have gotten the wrong intent . . . because we’re all wetbacks, baby.”