You are so right about fighters getting screwed under Don King's watch and on his fight cards. Oh how I agree with you. King and people like him have poisoned boxing for generations. Fenech was royally screwed vs. Nelson in their fight #1.
I'm also guilty of having prejudices against certain types of people. Fenech, as I recall, pushed, held, forearmed, and otherwise employed dirty tactics against Nelson in their fight #1. Right then, I found him hard to like, as I had seen the Road Warrior for years and always liked his style and his soft-spoken demeanor. (Later, he became somewhat of a show-off, I know.)
I DON'T like bullies, and that's how Fenech has come off to me in the past, and in that fight. (Though I'd readily agree he deserved that decision in #1 clearly and was robbed.) He was promoted in the US as a street fighter from childhood. That Maltese people have tempers makes no good impression on me. I like the nice guy; and dislike the bully, the dirty fighter, and the big-mouth. Give me an Alexis Arguello any day. Just my own personal feeling.
Duran was a foul-mouthed, often dirty-fighting bully, who slept with 12-year-old hookers while being married. The more I learned about Fenech, including today, the more I came to compare him with Duran. I wonder what the public fascination always was with Duran, who was a bad guy in so many ways, but also happened to be a great fighter. Why do so many people worship the complete asshole wife-beater LaMotta?? Why choose to make a movie about such a person?
Who knows about whether Nelson had malaria in the first fight? It SEEMED likely to me, because he then went out and beat up Fenech in the rematch; Fenech would be more likely to make up false excuses for #2, since he lost big, but he probably was telling the truth. I had just found it so odd and unusual that Nelson made these brash comments before a rematch with a guy who clearly beat him--if it were me, I'd have shown some humility. But, Nelson SEEMED to be telling the truth, in that the fight #2 result bore him out. That's all.