In an address to the press on Tuesday, billionaire Alki David confirmed that the controversial match between George Zimmerman and rapper DMX is officially canceled after the Trayvon Martin Foundation refused to accept the potential proceeds from the event.
In an interview with Radar Online Zimmerman said he concocted the idea for the boxing match after contacting celebrity boxing promoter Damon Feldman because he was interested in boxing “to pursue and maintain a healthy lifestyle.” Claiming that the bout would ultimately benefit charity, Zimmerman initially stated that he would like to fight Kanye West because he bullies defenseless people.
After taking more than 15,000 bids via email, as well as an enthusiastic offer from rapper The Game, Feldman announced that rapper DMX had been chosen for the fight. Despite Feldman’s statement and DMX’s many tweets regarding his willingness to box Zimmerman, legal representatives for DMX maintain that, though there has been a verbal agreement, the rapper’s participation is still in negotiation.
Approaching the match’s prospective date, March 1, the controversy has drawn social leaders to discuss the repercussions of the fight.
“We must be very careful not to glorify or in any way sidestep the implications of making someone whose only claim to fame was killing an unarmed young man named Trayvon Martin into a cultural celebrity or hero,” Reverend Al Sharpton said in a recent press statement.
“He has the right to pursue whatever he wants in life, yet we also have the obligation to be discerning about who we lift and to what level. It is perfectly legal for him to exploit his fame but we should never forget what he is famous for and not behave like he is a celebrity based on gifts or talent or contributions to society. I am concerned about the precedent that it sets.”
On the Change.org page for the petition to stop the fight, social activist Janet Dickinson rejoiced when Feldman posted a series of tweets informing the public that he was going to step away from promoting the fight for moral reasons.
The event was officially canceled after another false start when the original broadcasting sponsor, European media mogul Alkiviades “Alki” David, promised to sponsor the fight in the absence of Feldman.
After failing to allot the proceeds from the fight to the Trayvon Martin Foundation who refused David caved to the pressure of petitioners and political figures and scrubbed the match.