Local boxing promoter cancels Zimmerman vs. DMX fight ...Or does he?

So Bon-Jovial Philadelphian Justin Wineburgh (left) kicked it with former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
So Bon-Jovial Philadelphian Justin Wineburgh (left) kicked it with former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
Posted: February 11, 2014

ON SATURDAY NIGHT, local celeb boxing promoter Damon Feldman announced via Twitter that he was canceling his proposed fight between George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the fatal shooting death of Trayvon Martin last year, and over-the-hill rapper DMX.

But by yesterday, Feldman told me that the fight may resume, and that there's a 50-50 chance he will be a part of it. "I'm not saying whether it's canceled or not. I have a couple meetings [today] and we'll see what direction we're going in," Feldman told me. A news conference tomorrow will decide the matter.

Although DMX's manager sent out a statement announcing the cancellation (and adding that upcoming tour dates would not be affected), Feldman tells me that Zimmerman is still interested in fighting, and was shocked that Feldman would cancel the bout without consulting him first.

So why did the fight, which caught the attention of the world - Feldman said he got interview requests from Japan, and calls from celebs including Diddy and "Sleepy Hollow" actor/former 7-Up pitchman Orlando Jones - get axed?

"I was getting death threats and things like that," Feldman said. "I really freaked out about the situation and the racial tension."

C'mon, Feldman had to know that by enhancing the celebrity of a guy who has been profiting from the death of a teenager since his acquittal would lead to some strife? "There's a lot to gain as a financial matter, but there's a lot to lose with it as well," said Feldman. "I'm friends with a lot of African-American people. It was a moral thing for me. Definitely, I expected [the hype], but I didn't think it would hurt so many people."

Enquirer retracts Hoffman gay claims

The National Enquirer apologized and corrected a story that claimed local playwright David Bar Katz was the gay lover of Philip Seymour Hoffman, whom Katz found dead last week.

"A veteran Enquirer reporter spoke at length with someone who identified himself as David Katz, and he had reason to believe he was indeed speaking with Mr. Katz. . . . We now know that David Bar Katz denies speaking with our reporter, and we believe we were tricked," the apology read. Later, the apology stated, "We were duped into believing the source of this information. Again, we wish to express our deepest and most heartfelt apologies to the family of Mr. Hoffman and to Mr. Katz and his family, as well as Enquirer readers. We are truly sorry."

Kolpan talks Butch and Sundance

Former Fox 29 features reporter Gerald Kolpan will be on PBS' "American Experience" tomorrow night to discuss "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

In 2009, Kolpan published his debut fictional work, Etta, a novel about Butch and Sundance traveling buddy Etta Place, who Kolpan imagined was actually a Philadelphia debutante-turned-penniless runaway.

Fun fact: Harry Longbaugh, a/k/a the Sundance Kid, hailed from Phoenixville.

"Butch and Sundance" premieres at 9 p.m.

Vai's Olympic redux

You'll notice a lot more Vai Sikahema in the coming weeks, as the longtime NBC10 reporter is in Sochi to cover his eighth Olympic Games. For those keeping score at home, Sikahema will be on every late newscast, on the 15's weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., and on Comcast SportsNet for the closing ceremony.

* It's been a good month for NBC10. According to recent ratings, the 11 p.m. broadcast was the No. 1 late local news for adults 25 to 54 in the Philadelphia market for January. The last time that happened? August 2005.

OUT AND ABOUT

* Del Frisco's (1426-28 Chestnut St.) had a hockey-filled weekend, hosting the Colorado Avalanche before their 3-1 loss to the Flyers, and the Calgary Flames before their 2-1 loss. Could the steak house be the Flyers' good-luck charm?


Email: eichelm@phillynews.com

Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN

Online: ph.ly/DNGossip

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