End of an Era
In 1988, legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman came across Wilson's name in a martial arts magazine and asked him to audition for the lead in Bloodfist.. Corman was so impressed by Wilson's world championship stature, along with Wilson's natural boyish charm, that eventually he and Wilson would complete 11 films together. Corman would also distribute several Dragon films produced by other companies.
Corman's past "discoveries" included Robert DeNiro, William Shatner, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Nicholson, and Charles Bronson. However, Wilson continued making Corman nervous by defending his titles. Initially, "The Dragon" tried to train and actively defend his kickboxing titles through the filming of his first three pictures for Corman. But with acting lessons, and weight training packed into the few days that he wasn't filming, the undisputed world kickboxing champion was forced to choose one or the other.
"With my motion picture career heating up, I no longer had the time to train and fight properly. My last title defense against Gabe Carmichael showed me that. And I've always been a fighting champion. I don't think it'd be fair to my contenders if I just sat on my titles."
When Don Wilson first entered the professional world of kickboxing as an "average 18-year-old kid going to college and working at night," he predicted becoming the sport's champion. 18 years later, the undisputed phenomenon of his sport was making new predictions.
"I approach acting the same way I did kickboxing. You have to have a positive attitude. If I began the fight game thinking I couldn't be champion, then there was no way to reach the top. I have to have the same positive attitude towards acting."
As well as acting in his films, Don has co-produced over 20 of his films. He has mutual approval over almost every creative aspect of film making.
Re-Enter the Dragon
In Don's comeback, he faced the highly regarded Dick Kimber, in Kimber's own backyard... Lowell, MA on May 14th, 1999. Dick swore to everyone that he'd have the fight over before the fifth round. However when the Dragon unloaded on Kimber in round three, Kimber dropped to the mat and couldn't get up to beat the bell. It had been over eight years since Don last entered the ring, but his trademark sidekick was stronger than ever. Wilson picked up the IKF Cruiserweight World Title for his efforts. At least Kimber kept his promise.
On March 17th, 2000, Don's second fight out of retirement pitted him against Dewey Cooper at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wilson and Cooper went at it for ten rounds, but by the end it was apparent that Wilson had the fight. Wilson took home the ISKA North American Cruiserweight Title.
Most Recently, on July 19th, 2002, don went toe to toe with Eddie Butcher at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City N.J. In the third round "The Dragon" unloaded a series of devistitng blows on Butcher. Wilson and Butcher's fight went on for 10 rounds. In round 10, Don "The Dragon" knocked out Eddie Butcher, to make his fight record 72 Wins, 5 Losses, 2 Draws, 48 Knockouts, and 6 Kick-Knockouts.