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King of the Ring

You’ve been in the boxing business since the days before Atari, but you’ve never had your own video game. Why do it now?
I’ve been approached by all the big guys [about making a video game], but they all wanted to use my name for licensing reasons. I don’t want any license agreements. My life is an affectation of the American dream. I don’t feel like it should be sold in the manner where others can come behind me and get the benefit of being African American and understanding what segregation and discrimination means from the resonance of slavery, you know what I mean?

Not really.
When God touches me I got to tell the story. You can’t pepper it, pamper it and do whatever you want. You got to take the bitter with the sweet. Come with me and then we’ll deal with it. [2K Sports] bought into that, so we developed the game together with the actuality of life. It’s irrefutable. You can’t come into it and pick it apart.

So the game delivers?
The proof of the pudding is that right now, right off the bat, we challenge any other game, because this game is predicated on the truth. William Cullen Bryant said, ‘The truth crushed to the earth will rise again.’ You got to be able to deal with what is real. Truth is stranger than fiction. That’s what you’re dealing with [in this game] and I can tell you the story is still exciting. Anybody can play it. Kids of all ages from one to 92 can play the game and challenge their wit and their skill and their talent, but play with the embodiment of the virtues of manhood.

What makes it different from other boxing games like Fight Night?
Everything! That’s what makes this game so unique, rare and wonderful. You got the trainers, you got the conditioners, you got me telling the guys what they can do for themselves if they dedicate themselves in the pursuit of excellence. You got yesterday for the history of where it comes, today is what you’re doing now and the process of now and tomorrow is what you prognosticate to do futuristically. This game brings all that into play.

I don’t know what that means.
I know it’s hard to believe. I’m coming out the penitentiary, coming into the streets, educating myself in the penitentiary in a dark, dreary world of confinement. I made the time serve me rather than to serve the time. But you know how it is, you’re young, you have that hearty arrogance and that never-say-die attitude, but it’s not put up with the wisdom of what you should do and how it will happen. So I ended up in the slammer. But instead of drowning in my own tears and finding excuses and fault, I took a deep reassessment and a reevaluation and God spoke to me and let me know, ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’ Take the two by four out of your eye before you take the splinter out of your brother’s eyes. They can’t do nothing with me but to deal with me.

Are we still talking about a video game?
It’s the people’s game! I’m a promoter of the people, for the people and by the people. My magic lies in my people ties. This is a people’s game. This is your game. It ain’t mine!
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Don King Presents: Prizefighter is available now for the Xbox 360

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