News

George Zimmerman’s celebrity boxing match called off

George Zimmerman’s celebrity boxing match called off

NO FIGHT FOR NOW: A combination photo shows rapper DMX (L) at the 14th annual Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles, California on March 4, 2000 and George Zimmerman (R) leaves the courtroom a free man after being found not guilty. Photo: Reuters

By Ian Simpson

(Reuters) – The celebrity boxing match between rapper DMX and acquitted Florida killer George Zimmerman has been called off, its promoter said, after threats were made against him.

The three-round match would have pitted Zimmerman, who was found not guilty in the 2012 shooting death of unarmed, black teenager Trayvon Martin, against the trash-talking musician with a history of arrests, most of them drug or driving offenses.

Damon Feldman, who has organized numerous bouts between celebrities, said on Twitter that the Zimmerman-DMX match was off after generating a public outcry this week.

“Done with George Zimmerman if you had a major payday sitting in front of you, I know no one else would walk away like I did Next!!,” he said in a Tweet.

Martin’s shooting and Zimmerman’s self-defense claim polarized the United States on issues of racial justice, stand your ground laws and gun control.

Feldman came under a barrage of criticism after the fight between Zimmerman and Earl Simmons, better known as DMX, was announced on Wednesday, Martin’s birthday.

Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton, who has backed Martin’s family, cautioned against glorifying Zimmerman. The “Cancel George Zimmerman’s ‘Celebrity’ Boxing Match” Facebook page generated 315,000 “likes.”

Sherry Schaefer, Feldman’s assistant, said that the promoter had been threatened and had to get a bodyguard.

Feldman was approached about seeking a bout for Zimmerman, although the promoter did not consider him a celebrity, she said.

Schaefer said billionaire Alki David had backed the proposed fight for his FilmOn.com online television service.

The fight was first set for March 1 and then switched to March 15.

In a statement, a spokesman for DMX said the rapper had never agreed to the fight and it would not affect his concert schedule.

After Zimmerman’s acquittal, his lawyer said it would be difficult for his client, like defendants in other notorious crimes, to find normal employment.

In his 2013 trial, Zimmerman was accused of racially profiling, following and shooting Martin, a 17-year-old guest in a gated neighborhood in central Florida, as the youth was returning from a convenience store. Zimmerman claimed self-defense.

The trial put the spotlight on Florida’s stand your ground law, which allows someone in fear of his or her life to use lethal force.

Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has had several brushes with the law. He has twice been stopped for speeding, once in Texas and again in Florida.

In September, Zimmerman was questioned by police after his estranged wife called authorities saying he threatened her with a gun. He was not charged in that incident.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler and Lisa Shumaker)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment, Sports

Ronda Rousey biopic in the works

Fresh
rrousey

Paramount executives have picked up the rights to the 28-year-old's autobiography.

in Entertainment

Ben Stiller back as dimwitted male model in ‘Zoolander 2′ trailer

13-overlay1

The sequel to the 2001 comedy is still several months away but with one-liners like these, we can't wait.

in Entertainment

Jon Stewart prepares to sign off

15-overlay2

After 15 years, the comedian will bid farewell as he hosts his final "Daily Show."

in Lifestyle, Weird

‘Star Trek’ style elevators coming to a house near you

16-overlay

A futuristic elevator that fits neatly into the corner of a room and moves between floors of a standard home could present a more attractive proposition than the traditional stairlift.

in Lifestyle

Americans love cold-brew coffee

coldbrew

For U.S. coffee shops, business usually cools down as the weather heats up.