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1/25/2008 11:16:00 AM
Sneak Preview: Don King Presents: Prizefighter
By Jacob Luft
Depending on whom you ask, the sport of boxing is either fading, on life support or flat-lining completely. The proliferation of pay-per-view bouts, the lack of bankable stars, the alphabet soup of champions ... it's not hard to come up with the major reasons for the sport's perceived decline.
Don King has his own opinion on what ails the sport of kings, and it doesn't lack for irony: greed.
"There are no heroes right now," King said. "The fighters lately have been businessman, they aren't fighting for glory and pride. For a fighter, it is incidental that he should be paid. If you're good, then you're going to have the money and it's going to come. Honor, integrity, fighting for pride and glory will do so much more for you than when you fight for money."
King opined on the state of the sport a few hours before last week's Roy Jones Jr.-Felix Trinidad bout at Madison Square Garden (won by Jones in a 12-round decision) while unveiling his newest vehicle to promote, a boxing videogame titled Don King Presents: Prizefighter due for release this spring by 2K Sports on the XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS.
The main theme of Prizefighter's single-player career mode plays off of King's statement: It's about the choice you have to make between glory and money. Would you rather hit the gym to train for your next fight or work on enhancing your notoriety? The former can help get you a win, but the latter will line your pockets with fatter purses. You'll have to decide what's more important to you. As you progress through the game, your story will be told in a SportsCentury-style documentary, with real video clips from King (see picture, below) and other famous names from the fight scene.
Aside from the standard create-a-fighter option, Prizefighter offers up to 30 active boxers and 10 classic pugilists, including Larry Holmes, Ken Norton and the Cinderella Man, James Braddock. HBO announcers Emmanuel Stewart and Jim Lampley provide the play-by-play. The online play offers the unique twist of allowing players to set up their own gym where they can fight with up to eight of their own created boxers or any of the legendary fighters from the game.
The goal isn't just to create a good fighting game -- it's to create the total package of an immersive story framed around a fight career.
"You can't find a better reality show than boxing, the trials and tribulations a fighter goes through," King said.
King and 2K Sports can only hope that it's that same excitement that transfers to Prizefighter and makes it a worthy contender for EA's Fight Night franchise.
You're a fool and know nothing about boxing if you think Don King is killing the sport. What he did for boxing in the late 80's and 90's hasn't been replicated since. You may not like the way he does it...or the way he acts, but his ability to promote fights is unmatched. And it's "Boxing Game Scene"...not seen.
Don King is a small small part of what hurts boxing. What is hurting boxing is that its not on free tv enough to build an audience. It has to have live main events fights on free tv. Only mega fights should be PPV's.
Is this game going to have the same game play as fight night???
For some reason 2K is being way too damm secretive about this game, and it's really getting on my nerves! How the hell do they expect us to buy it if we know nothing about it? This game will not sell if 2K keeps this up!