The celebrity boxing match between rapper DMX and former Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman has been called off, entertainment news website TMZ said Saturday.
Promoter Damon Feldman said on Twitter that the three-round match, which generated a public outcry this week, was called off because there’s “more to life than money,” TMZ said.
The potential match was set for March 1, which would have been the 19th birthday of Trayvon Martin, who was killed in 2012 by Zimmerman. It would have pitted Zimmerman, who was found not guilty in the shooting death of the unarmed black teenager, against the trash-talking musician with a history of arrests, most of them drug or driving offenses.
Martin’s shooting and Zimmerman’s self-defense claim polarized the nation on issues of racial justice, stand your ground laws and gun control.
TMZ quoted Feldman as saying on Twitter, “Just looked at my son and daughter today, wow I’m so lucky those people must be in so much pain … all you people are right.”
After the fight between Zimmerman and Earl Simmons, better known as DMX, was announced earlier this week, Feldman met a barrage of criticism, with civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton cautioning against glorifying Zimmerman.
The promoter also came under intense attack on Twitter. One Tweet to him said, “We just wish you could make a living without helping a killer profit from his deed.”
Feldman’s Tweets that the fight was called off were deleted from his Twitter feed.
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 profiling, following and shooting Martin, a guest in a gated neighborhood in central Florida, as the teen 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.