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)

News

today in Entertainment

Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy engaged

donniewahlberg

Jenny McCarthy has the "right stuff" in the New Kids On The Block star's eyes.

today in National

Washington state mudslide death toll rises to 39

mud

The official death toll from a mudslide rose to 39, after search teams pulled out two more bodies from the mud and rubble.

today in Entertainment

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly re-team for new comedy

Updated
ferrell

The duo are teaming up on the big screen for a third time in a new comedy.

today in Music, Entertainment

Brad Paisley to appear opposite wife on ‘Two and a Half Men’

paisley

Country singer Brad Paisley is set to star opposite his wife in the season finale of "Two and a Half Men."

today in National

Senators press Delphi on GM recalls

gm

Lawmakers probing how GM used faulty ignition switches are turning their scrutiny to the supplier of the part, Delphi Automotive.