New BBC podcast looks at life of boxing promoter Don King

BBC Radio 5 Live’s Steve Bunce and former Heavyweight World Champion Lennox Lewis look at the life of legendary boxing promoter Don King in a new podcast.

Across eight episodes, Powerplay: The House of Don King hears from people who knew and worked with the controversial figure.

King was a larger-than-life figure with a famous electrified hairstyle who emerged onto the boxing scene with his promotion of the historic Muhammad Ali and George Foreman showdown, famously known as the Rumble in the Jungle.

Before this, Don King killed two men, the first case was ruled justifiable homicide and then in 1967 he was found guilty of killing an employee, Sam Garrett, on a street over a $600 debt.

When he was released and pardoned five years later, King entered the world of boxing promotion, working on some of the biggest fights in sports history.

The series features a range of guests, each with their own stories to share about King, including UK promoter Barry Hearn, two-time Heavyweight World Champion Tim Witherspoon, British boxing manager and promoter Mick Hennessy, two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi and American author Thomas Hauser.

BBC Radio 5 Live’s Steve Bunce said: “Powerplay is a look at what motivated Don King, we hear from the people that were his rivals and the people that were his allies. Lennox was always the number one choice to do this series with as he’s a man that stood up to Don King and not many did.”

Lennox Lewis added: “Don King was a giant figure out there, you heard about his name, and you knew who he was involved with, and you knew his reputation. Stories get around very quickly and reputations get around very quickly.”

All eight episodes of Power Play: The House of Don King is available on BBC Sounds from today, Thursday 9 May.

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