SBD/April 27, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Investor Seeks to Revive Boxing With Creation Of "All-American Heavyweights"

All-American Heavyweights CEO Michael King is "attempting to convert highly skilled athletes into heavyweight boxers” for his new “development program based in Carson, Calif.," according to Kevin Iole of YAHOO SPORTS. King "envisions reviving the sport and believes the best way to begin is by invigorating the heavyweight division.” He eventually “wants to mine talent in all weight classes, help them to win medals in the Olympics and then see them turn professional.” King has “already invested upwards" of $20M in the project, which he "considers a much better investment" than the one made by Guggenheim Partners which paid $2.15B to purchase the Dodgers. King said that he is “intimately aware of the finances of the major sports" and that the "development costs he's borne will be well worth it if he only develops one top-flight professional, let alone a series of them, as he envisions he will.” King: "At one point, the heavyweight championship was bigger than the Super Bowl. There is opportunity there. When you look at what it would cost me to get in any other investment (in sports) and what kind of an upside I'd have, I don't care what sport you're in, including the NFL, you can't do in one night what you could do with (a major boxing pay-per-view show)." All-American Heavyweights “picks its athletes now from among men who are between 18 and 24, who are at least 6-feet-3 inches and who weigh more than 230 pounds.” They pay the fighters “a stipend and try to develop them.” Iole wrote it is “not all altruistic -- he plans to make money by promoting their big fights -- but he also knows if he can revive the sport, he'll be remembered forever” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/25).
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