by Pedro Fernandez

Boxing promoter Don King scored a clean knockout over the United States Justice Department when a New York jury found him innocent of trying to cheat insurance giant Lloyd's of London out of $350,000 in 1991.

The unanimous vote from the panel of 12 was in doubt up until the verdict was formally read in court. One juror steadfastly maintained that King was Guilty, but somehow the other 11 members of the panel were able to convince the lone holdout to change his vote.

This same "still" unidentified juror was the one member of the group who voted Guilty when it came to the charges against King's company. That vote was 11-1, in favor of acquitting Don King Productions.

King was obviously pleased and shook the hands of all 12 jurors before they left the courtroom. As the world's greatest promoter maintained all along. "I didn't do anything wrong." The jury concurred.

This litigation was a retrial of these same Wire Fraud charges that a 1995 jury could not reach a verdict on after splitting six-six as to guilt or innocence.

If I was a panelist and I found out that King has continued to do business with Lloyd's of London up until this very day, I certainly couldn't of found for the "G" (government). Think about it. If somebody rips you off, are you still going to maintain a business relationship with that person?

Obviously you wouldn't.

This decision comes as bad news to several other boxing promoters. One had secured $10 million in financial backing as he was preparing to go after some champions under contract to King, if in fact the Don went down.

Pedro Fernandez

The writer can be reached at

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