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Cuban boxer left on the ropes after Kinahan outfit folded finds new mentor in Don King

‘We had no choice but to be released from the contract and that opened the doors to sign with Don King’

Cuban boxer Neslan Machado

Sunday World

A Cuban boxer who was left high and dry after MTK Global closed its doors over its ties to Daniel Kinahan has signed up with another notorious figure in the guise of Don King.

Neslán Machado was “not prepared” for the closure of the organisation, according to local media, having “lived and suffered almost everything” in boxing.

Despite having what is described as “undeniable talent’ and a solid family environment, as well as a solid coach like Jorge Rubio, the sudden dissolution of the promotion company he depended on added to a long string of challenges, including several injuries that had prevented his career from taking off.

Machado has now signed with Don King Promotions in a bid to relaunch his professional career.

King is a controversial figure, partly due to a manslaughter conviction and civil cases against him, as well as allegations of dishonest business practices by numerous boxers.

“It came at one of the best moments because after so many sacrifices we have had, so many falls, it is something that allows us to move forward,” Machado told El Nuevo Herald.

“We have fallen and got back up, as many know. We had many injuries, but we continue to keep alive the dream of being champions.”

Acknowledging that MTK “had problems and went down”, Machado said Don King “showed up”.

“Hopefully this will be a good thing for my career,” he said. “I believe that Don King can take me where we want. We have no time to lose and we are ready for any battle.

“Whatever comes our way, we're going to go all out. Don King has a lot of experience and he told me: ‘We don't have time to waste’.”

Asked what he remembers when he heard MTK had folded, Machado admitted: “We were all in shock. We could not believe it.

“We (were left) in the air, and (were thinking) now what do we do? We had no choice but to be released from the contract and that opened the doors to sign with Don King.”

On his decision to sing with the controversial promoter Machado said: “The truth is that Don King is of a certain age and I have a record of 18-0, that's why I say that neither of us are here to waste time.

“I feel like he's going to take me right into those important fights that will define my career, an eliminator, a world title. We want to debut in August with the company.”

He added: “My dad, my mom, my family, my coach Jorge Rubio, to whom I have told so many times that I am going to be a champion, (so) now staying with my arms crossed would not be fair.

“I promised Jorge that he was going to be champion. His dream has always been to create a champion. He took me from a young age and I will not stop until I am champion.

“I have my word and when I say I'm going to do something, I'm going to achieve it.

“Others have to struggle like me. I want to show that even if the door is closed, you have to keep knocking and hope that one will open.”

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