Celebrity fight between rapper DMX, George Zimmerman called off

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Celebrity fight between rapper DMX, George Zimmerman called off
George Zimmerman, acquitted in the high-profile killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, faces his defense counsel Jeff Dowdy in court Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, in Sanford, Fla., during his hearing on charges including aggravated assault stemming from a fight with his girlfriend. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool)
The NY Daily News and the NY Post report on the arrest of George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida
George Zimmerman, acquitted in the high-profile killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, answers question in court Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, in Sanford, Fla., during his hearing on charges including aggravated assault stemming from a fight with his girlfriend. Looking on are his defense counsel Daniel Megaro, left, and Jeff Dowdy. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a "Justice for Trayvon" vigil outside Los Angeles Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, United States. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
In this photo provided by State Attorney's Office in Florida, George Zimmerman is seen with his wounds on February 27, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman alleges that he obtained the wounds during a confrontation with Treyvon Martin. Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Martin. This photo, reports, calls to police, video and numerous other documents were released by prosecutors to the media on May 17, 2012. (Photo by Florida State Attorney's Office via Getty Images)
George Zimmerman talks to his attorney, Mark O'Mara during court proceedings in Sanford, Florida, Monday, June 24, 2013. Zimmerman is accused in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT)
DMX performs during the BET Hip Hop Awards Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
In this Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 photo released by the Spartanburg (S.C.) County Detention Center, Rapper DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons poses for a photo. A spokeswoman for the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport says airport police arrested 42-year-old entertainer, DMX, just after 5 p.m. Monday. Jail records show Simmons was booked on charges of driving under suspension, having an uninsured vehicle and not having a licensed vehicle. (AP Photo/Spartanburg (S.C.) County Detention Center)
FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2009 photo, DMX arrives at the 2009 VH1 Hip Hop Honors at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, file)
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(Reuters) - The celebrity boxing match between rapper DMX and acquitted Florida killer George Zimmerman has been called off, its promoter said on Saturday 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.
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