APPLAUDING, BUT MOSTLY RIPPING TODAY’S BOXING WRITERS

April 2nd, 2012 By Pedro Fernandez

Dan "No Talent" Rafael of ESPN.com

MOST BOXING WRITERS DON’T REALIZE THEY ARE PUPPETS!

San Francisco, CA- One writer in particular, a friend of mine, got upset because I referred to the majority of today’s boxing writers as being nothing more than fans with a computer. That’s how promoter Bob Arum , and other promoters to a lesser extent, plays you guys and gals. You don’t think Arum could pull the charade he is perpetrating with Manny Pacquiao avoiding Floyd Mayweather (at his insistence) like the HIV virus, he couldn’t pull this for one minute with Jack Fiske, Wallace Matthews, myself, or Mike Katz? When Mike Marley was beholden to Don King, the King’s main publicist, Marley threw daggers at Arum. But with King all but dead promotionally, and some tell me physically, Marley has switched sides and now he either writes Top Rank Press Releases or has become Bob Arum’s proctologist.

John Beyrooty

MARLEY’S FALL FROM PENTHOUSE TO ARUM’S OUTHOUSE

Mike "Once The Best" Marley

Quite a fall from being the most entertaining writer in the business in the early 90s, Marley left the NY Post and went to work for Don King, becoming King Dung’s paid publicist/flunky. But after that Marley fell on hard times, and attempted to start a website. You used to see his work at Examiner.com, but not much lately, as I think his blowing Massa” Bob Arum in print got sickening even to the Examiner.com folks. The #1 column for insiders in boxing was Jack Fiske of the SF Chronicle, then came Marley, and no need to brag here, but my column in Flash Magazine was the second most faxed column in boxing, second only to Fiske. There were others like Earl Gutskey of the LA Times and John Beyrooty of the LA Herald Examiner.


Now a publicist with a Los Angeles based PR group, Beyrooty wrote manuscript like columns. Simply put, you could finish a long dump before you were done reading the work of the talented John Beyrooty. Dean Juipe of the Las Vegas Sun knew how to get under the powerbroker’s skin, but not his “Sin City” rival Royce Feour of the LV Review Journal, a mild mannered type, starting s*it just wasn’t Royce’s thing.

Steve Kim

SOME TALENTED SCRIBES TODAY, BUT MOST SHOULD STICK TO WRITING POSTCARDS!

Steve Kim of Maxboxing.com is articulate and a good wordsmith, but most of his peers couldn’t carry his notepad. Some writers, who have no journalism training under their belt, never fought, don’t judge professional or amateur boxing, they are just fans who take every word out of the face-lift stretched mouth of Bob Arum as if they were either gospel or true. I watch Arum play these Internet guys like a hand me down violin, and because they lack acumen, experience, and their claim to fame was that one day they got a computer and decided to become boxing writers, they are dumber than George W. Bush, a hard feat to achieve in any era. If there is one major fault of the Internet, it has given a platform to men and women who in reality would have trouble writing their grocery list. For those of us that made big money writing in the 80s & 90s, relish the memories of the good old days. Truth be told, just like there are far fewer talented fighters in 2012, the lack of quality scribes with college backgrounds and newspaper experience has hurt the game with the equivalency of driving a knife in the heart of what used to be the “real” boxing media.

Pedro Fernandez

COMMENTS

  1. Okay, you got me started: the problem with the “mainstream media” in boxing today is that most of these chumps never laced up gloves or threw a punch with bad intentions in their life…hence, they don’t know the sport or how to fight and stand on their own! They only know what they are told or what to say to further their career resulting in an antithesis of what this sport is suppose to be about! On the streets or at the barber shop, we refer to these “tools” as “mark ass bitches”

    John Signorella on April 2nd, 2012 at 10:35 PM
  2. Johnny, tell us wat you really think. See you Sunday on the radio. I’ve been said to have created stars, I am guilty whe it comes to your abilities! Trainer, fighrm you ain;t the punk most of these guys are!

    Pedro Fernandez on April 2nd, 2012 at 10:42 PM
  3. I challenged Gabe Montoya to fight me, the writer from Maxboxing, that guy ran like he had a jet pack strapped to his behind!

    PunchDrunkFighter on April 2nd, 2012 at 11:27 PM
  4. While I see exactly what Pedro is saying and agree with most of it, there are some who contribute submissions for the love of the sport. In my case I loved doing telephone interviews and I pulled off about 40 over a period of time. I asked good questions, the sort of questions that occurred to me as a fan. There was no agenda or notion of moving beyond the immediate thrust. Some do this today and I believe it is good to see and interview that takes the reader down memory lane on an otherwise forgotten name.

    Mike on April 3rd, 2012 at 5:14 AM
  5. Pedro: Don’t forget about my boy Bernard Fernandez from the Philadelphia Daily News. He actually retired a few days ago, but he is a tremendous boxing writer. I traveled with him a few times to major fights in AC over the years when I was writing a boxing column for a small Philly tabloid. Since I was new to the game, he introduced me to some of the top guys in the sport like Michael Katz and a few others. The first bout I attended with Bernard was the fight where Tommy Morrison got beheaded by Ray Mercer. Bernard is a tremendous writer.

    Jrock09 on April 3rd, 2012 at 5:16 AM
  6. Sugar coated articals makes for good sanctions with the fans and managers but when you add Honey to these articals then your the bomb with world class promotion people. That is where you get more articals out and your name is called out at the press conferences. Wow then is when your known as the number one Lumbe! (Butt kisser) I have been in boxing most of my life I am not a writer but I do know the system.

    Bob P. on April 3rd, 2012 at 6:31 AM
  7. PunchDrunkFighter, you are misunderstanding Gabe’s position. Gabe is a Master at the Art of Fighting Without Fighting. You don’t know it, but Gabe won the fight. He hit you so hard with a fantom punch that the effect will start showing light years from now.

    What did you expect from an Apostle of Fishy Fischer?

    todaline on April 3rd, 2012 at 7:44 AM
  8. My bad, Bernard is a great writer and man!

    Pedro Fernandez on April 3rd, 2012 at 8:40 AM
  9. Glad you mentioned Steve Kim.I usually only “read” his stuff on Max . No Kevin Iole ?
    I know he’s gone to Yahoo but he sometimes still stirs it up … No protege love for Cliff Rold he’s been MIA since he
    “left” IMO ….

    HeineKEN on April 3rd, 2012 at 1:18 PM
  10. BWAA @boxingwriters (twitter)

    The Boxing Writers Association of America’s purpose is to promote the highest standards in boxing journalism.

    PunchDrunkFighter on April 3rd, 2012 at 5:51 PM
  11. thats whats up Pete! Talk to ya on Sunday! Respect.

    John Signorella on April 3rd, 2012 at 7:09 PM
  12. I’m 50 and have been reading boxing columns for 37 years. I live in NY and read marley who was good at the NY Post. Katz was good and got kicked out of Gerry Cooneys camp. Dick Young was great at the Daily News. He did fight camp confidential. Instead of focusing on one fighter or fight he would give you 50 observations in one story. I felt that Flash Gordon copied this style but added more brutal comments. Tim Smith I felt openly rooted for black fighters when they fought white or Latino fighters. Phil pepe at the Daily news wrote a good column. He could actually comment on the Footwork of Roberto Duran when he fought Palomino at the Garden. Young gave Great praise to Benitez for his ability to slip a punch. The Best Marley comment ever, was when Marley was on a local NY show with Carl Williams. Williams said ” Tyson was afraid of him and he would KO him.” Marley looks over at Carl and with a NY accent say ” Da only thing Tyson is afraid is you in a Cadillac driven by Mitch Green !!!” ” You ain’t gotta chance”. Shortly after Marley went with King.

    Erich on April 3rd, 2012 at 10:56 PM
  13. John, I think you’re a asshole! But I thank you for pointing out the typo! I want to blame it on the spellcheck, but that would be a cop out. As for you and yours, maybe I should write a column on irritable and asshole-like readers.

    Pedro Fernandez on April 3rd, 2012 at 11:58 PM
  14. UK based internet writers consistently turn out top notch articles. Check out Terry Dooley and Shaun Brown at Boxingscene.

    Livefight also produces totally independent, unbiased work.

    John on April 4th, 2012 at 4:58 AM
  15. Erich, I too am a native New Yorker and was an avid reader of all the columnists you mentioned above. Dick Young’s Fight Camp confidential was indeed a great boxing column and he would fill you in on everything that was going on leading up to fight night. The late Daily News Cartoonist Bill Gallo was also a favorite and always had fantastic write ups before and after all the big fights. As a matter of fact, I would hold off on my chump change fight bets back in the day up until I read who Bil was picking. There is a young man over at Boxingtalk.com by the name of Steven ‘Breadman’ Edwards who I think is pretty knowledgeable about the sport and has a very entertaining mail bag. He may be an up and comer. we’ll see. Peace.

    Pete the Sneak on April 4th, 2012 at 5:31 AM
  16. The most biased writers in boxing…Tim Smith and Ron Borges. Gabe Montoya is an ok writer, but not nearly as good as his massive ego suggests. He is really obnoxious. Steve Kim is always the first one I look for everyday.

    O-Ren Ishii on April 4th, 2012 at 10:33 AM
  17. Most “boxing writers” are not paid reporters and very few attended let alone graduated from journalism school. They are rank amateurs at best and aren’t journalists at all. I’d say more of them are simply fans who root on their favorite boxers more than they get in the pocket of a promoter.

    A few actual journalists like Rafael are ok, he double confirms stories before reporting them and is prolific. Tim Smith of the NYDN is just as much a fan of his personal favorites as the amateurs are. The best boxing beat reporter I ever saw was Mike Katz. Nobody today can touch him. He was the end of an era.

    The Truth on April 4th, 2012 at 2:16 PM
  18. My real interest is boxing history. I love digging up old columns from Jack Fisk, I lived in SF, the greatest city in the USA, in the 60’s and read him every week. Red Smith , WC Heinz, Jimmy Cannon, Paul Gallico, from the 1929’s and 30’s, Gene Ward, and on and on.
    I grew up in Chicago when Tony Zale was head of the boxing program at the CYO and Chicago Park District. He taught me the basics. So like we don’t have the fighters of old we have few writers to compare with the older generation when boxing was a major sport.

    Jim on April 4th, 2012 at 6:24 PM
  19. The Sport got the scribes it deserved. In fact, it got Better than it deserved.

    The guys who came and went(and I’m one) cared a lot more about the sport than the goons who ran it did and we did a lot more for the sport than the goons… Scores of us worked for free and did what the boxing journalism industry couldn’t do on it’s own. Namely Right Here, Right Now! — Boxing Mags didn’t fail because they weren’t good, they failed because they were 30-60 days out.

    If I may be blunt and direct. For all the bitching and railing, what did “REAL” Boxing Writers accomplish? The sport was just as F-ed up when they came in as it was when they left. They didn’t change a damn thing. A Pyrrhic Victory here and there and a front row seat watching ‘The Crazy Uncle’ committing Suicide.. They had a 100-Year head start on the guys you mention and exactly what to show for it?

    Jack Dunne on April 4th, 2012 at 7:11 PM
  20. If there were better fights and matchups consistently I think you’d see better writing, however when the majority of boxing writing and mainstream coverage centers around a fight that isn’t going to happen and basically all of boxing’s controversy it’s hard for people to even take boxing journalism seriously. Most sites get more hits in regards to statements about fight negations than actual fights that have been signed. Major problem in this sport. Two fighters dominate the media attention unfortunately.

    KP on April 4th, 2012 at 8:12 PM
  21. It’s not journalism if you copy and paste information from a press release and call it your big Friday notebook. Nor is it journalism when you write a 10,000 word feature on a Golden Boy promoted fighter when your checks are signed by the Golden Boy himself and then go jerk yourself on Twitter about what an awesome job you did.

    Boxing Journalism Is Dead on April 4th, 2012 at 10:58 PM
  22. Jack the problem with the 30-60 days vs right here right now is that you’re talking about a pre-Internet world where costs to print and distribute a magazine are huge vs the Internet era where there’s very low costs to do the same, so things have to be put in perspective. The Internet “writers” did it for free because they had passion albeit not always the credentials, and that led to the field of ignoramuses who call themselves experts we have now, they had time, they could AFFORD it because they very often did it as a hobby, on a 10 minute a day basis, and last but not least, they wanted to prove that they too, could be as good as one Jack Fiske.

    I used to work for Gannett (USA Today and other publications) and was the owner of a printing company(doing some publication). I KNOW the cost to put out a magazine as I was trying to do one myself, on a smaller scale and gave up due to the uncertain future and the upfront costs.

    How much does it cost to run a website in comparison?

    todaline on April 5th, 2012 at 4:49 AM
  23. Well Jack,
    I like to read them because reading Red Smith or WC Heinz is as good as reading Hemingway or Leibling or Sinclair Lewis. Great prose style, beautiful writing. Some were more crusading than others. Even Nat Fleischer did not go after the IBC or the mob boys. Reading those guys is an exercise in reading writing excellence.

    Jim on April 5th, 2012 at 6:46 AM
  24. PS Could someone please remove that creepy picture of that lady from the hall of shame. It makes my skin crawl everytime I log on and see her ugly mug staring at me.

    jeff lowery on April 5th, 2012 at 5:09 PM
  25. I tend to agree, people that have boxed, or trained are the best qualified to report on the sport. That doesn’t mean that non-boxers shouldn’t get involved in covering the sport and many times their perspective can be refreshing, as long as it’s objective, educated and well researched.

    Cheesey1 on April 5th, 2012 at 6:40 PM
  26. you can say what you want about George W. Bush but one thing he never did was bad mouth anyone and he had many a reason to do it. That is a very good Christian trait unlike the so called leader we have now who is no more a Christian than Rev Wright or Bill Clinton. Take it from one who knows.

    Ken Hissner on April 5th, 2012 at 7:47 PM
  27. Religion is the opiate of the masses. Bush dropped “stem cell
    research, even though Nancy Regan begged him not to, GW suspended government funding for stem cell resaearch for 8 years. How many of you Christians will die or suffer because of Bush’s stem cell policy halting research?

    Pedro Fernandez on April 6th, 2012 at 12:58 AM
  28. Ken Hissner, Bush was indeed a very good leader. He led America to its downfall, the biggest economic collapse since the great depression. He led America to wars based on lies. Those wars killed thousands upon thousands on both sides. Your great grand children will still be paying for those wars both in financial and psychological terms, and let’s not forget the image of a belligerent, cowboy style Nation be built. Indeed these are very good Christian traits, unlike the leader we have now, a leader who’s always trying to start a dialogue. To quote that highly intelligent GOP candidate Saint Orum, what a snob!!!

    todaline on April 6th, 2012 at 5:09 AM
  29. correction: and let’s not forget the image of a belligerent, cowboy style Nation he built.
    BTW, when a white Pastor denounces America’s excesses and interventionism, he’s a guy who we need to listen to. When Rev Wright says the exact same words, he’s a traitor who doesn’t like “this” country (not HIS country, but “this” country). But I “digress”.

    todaline on April 6th, 2012 at 6:13 AM
  30. As low as the wrtiters qualities arentoday, nextthing I know is that we will see Monica Lewinsky “writing” about boxing, with a cigar in her mouth. Coming soon…

    The Priest on April 6th, 2012 at 7:21 AM
  31. Todaline, i totally agree. Best to ignore Hissner, Not worth responding to someone who is so delusional. S

    KP on April 6th, 2012 at 9:07 AM
  32. Pete thanks for reminding me about Bill Gallo. Bill loved the sport and it showed in his work. The best sports cartoonist I’ve seen. Great boxing cartoonist to. From showing Roberto Duran with horns like he was a possessed Tasmanian devil against Leonard. To the blood bank collecting blood from Antuofermo and Minter before their fight, just great cartoons that captured the moment. He also went to the gyms like Stillman’s and the original Gleason’s for stories. He did stories on the Damon Runyan type characters who hung around boxing. This sport and horse racing gets these types. Jack Dunne I disagree with you on boxing writers haven’t done anything for the sport. Flash Gordon reported on the corruption of the ABC USA boxing tourny that got it derailed. Pedro reports constantly about possible wrong doings from Al Haymon advising at HBO, to Pacquiao getting ripped of by his former promoter. You can only report. If a commission doesn’t do anything about it, so be it. Some try to make a difference.

    Erich on April 6th, 2012 at 11:03 AM
  33. Todaline,

    You are correct about the pre-Internet World. That being said, your argument is akin to the Blacksmith Industry’s eventual failure upon the invention of the Automobile.

    The industry was terribly slow to react and very backward in it’s thinking… And if I may say, more than just a bit full of itself. A lot of very good talent came from the Internet and to be blunt. A lot of “real” guys who thought their $hit didn’t stink found out otherwise. They really weren’t all that good.

    Jack Dunne on April 6th, 2012 at 10:40 PM
  34. All this is perfectly normal. It is the law of offer and demand or Natural Selection. Good and capable ones will stay alive even when a new wave is trying to push them out while the sloppy ones will die. Most publishing companies didn’t see the opportunities offered by the internet, thus did not invest in it. They’re out or about to be extinct. Some approached the internet with a print mindset and id of course did not work. Natural selection will take care of keeping the good ones in while taking out the bad ones. Normal life cycle. Nothing more.

    todaline on April 7th, 2012 at 6:50 AM
  35. Natural Selection normally takes a very subtle approach… In this case, you had to be blind, deaf and oblivious to not notice the writing on the wall.

    I actually got into debates with people in the industry who told me that it could never replace what they were doing.

    I’ll give Pedro credit for things and this is one of them. He was one of the very first to get on the Internet Bandwagon. He was also THE FIRST Boxing Website to also start covering the UFC/MMA… And I’m also sure he will survive and thrive no matter what acts of suicidal lunacy Boxing continues to perpetrate on itself.

    Jack Dunne on April 8th, 2012 at 12:25 PM
  36. Natural selection is usually NEVER subtle. It wipes out one or more species leaving others intact.

    todaline on April 10th, 2012 at 2:39 PM

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