LOS ANGELES – King World Productions former President and CEO Michael King, etched his name in the history of television by distributing and marketing television’s longest-running and most-successful programs, including Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Now, King enters professional boxing with his company, King Sports, and is staging the first of four quarterly boxing events at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., on Friday, April 16 at 7 p.m.
“Boxing At Barker” will showcase Barker Hangar transformed, for the first-time ever, into a premier boxing venue, featuring ultra-VIP ringside suites, close-to-the-action seating, and the electric atmosphere of a Hollywood movie premiere. Most importantly, the fight card will feature a collection of boxing’s most exciting, young professional fighters from countries, including Ireland, United States, South Africa, Cuba, Georgia and more. Tickets for “Boxing At Barker” are available now through Ticketmaster.
“I have a passion for boxing,” said King. “Without question boxing is one of the most exhilarating sports in the world, and I am going to utilize everything I have learned in my career to develop exciting programs that will build stars, but just like the entertainment business, it all starts with finding the talent. We have worked very hard to identify and bring together some of boxing’s most promising young fighters, and we are excited to showcase them at Barker Hangar on April 16.”
The most-compelling market for revenue in the sport of boxing is the United States.While the biggest stars from around the world still command multi-million dollar pay-per-view events, the reality for boxing is that it is producing very few stars of mainstream significance, particularly in the United States. Much of this can be sourced directly to the failure of boxing’s amateur program here in America, as evidenced at the 2012 Summer Games where the U.S. men’s team failed to medal for the first time in its Olympic history.
Who are boxing’s next crop of stars and where are they coming from? These are questions that have motivated King. “I plan to make a major investment in order to continue finding these boxers, providing them cutting-edge training resources that all modern sports now offer and ultimately, provide a platform for consistently challenging competition,” said King.
King proved this approach to be successful with All American Heavyweights (AAH) – a predecessor company that sponsored top amateur athletes already in their mid-twenties with no boxing experience. The program produced numerous national champions and, in one case, took a football player all the way to the Olympics. One former AAH boxer, Charles Martin, graduated successfully from the amateur ranks to launch a pro career, and is now one of the most highly touted American heavyweights in over a decade. Martin will be competing on the April 16 card at Barker Hangar.
For more information on King Sports and “Boxing At Barker,” please visit www.kingsportsworldwide.com. Tickets are available online at www.ticketmaster.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000.