Boxing and The Media

By Marc Livitz on June 28, 2017
Boxing and The Media
The coming of the internet was a death knell for some but an open door for many more.

One point that cannot be stressed enough is that no one, neither fighter nor scribe, is more important than the sport…

In early 2012, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. was still making his carefully tailored rise through the middleweight ranks when faced Marco Antonio Rubio at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to his unanimous decision victory, the bell rang to a ceremonial count of ten to wish two great contributors to the sport a happy journey to the next life and an eternity of peace. This has become a rich tradition in boxing. Regardless of where one stands on the destination of the soul or the very existence of one doesn’t matter nearly as much as the message. In short, the bell tolling ten signals gratitude and thanks. On that particular night, two major names were being honored, that being Angelo Dundee and Guerino “Goody” Petronelli.

Most fans of the sport don’t need to flip through a boxing encyclopedia or reference an internet search to recognize these two men. Dundee worked the corners of and trained such greats as Muhammad Ali, Jose Napoles and Sugar Ray Leonard. “Goody” Petronelli is synonymous with Marvelous Marvin Hagler. That particular February night in south Texas, they were honored for their contributions to the sweet science while the bell rang and the spectators in attendance showed respect by standing and then applauding.

The boxing media is comprised of people from all walks of life, both men and women. Hopefully, when a writer sits down to pen a new article, whether a fight report, an editorial or an interview, they have the sport’s best interests in mind. Of course, thanks to the Information Age and the rise of social media, this is not always the case. Some look first to the art and skill involved in the ring, while others take jabs of their own at performance, effort and attitude. Many if not most members of the media have never fought in their lives, which in no way disqualifies them from contributing. Provided one’s knowledge of the game is sufficient and communication savvy is intact, then there’s no reason why anyone in the media doesn’t deserve time and respect. One point that cannot be stressed enough, however, is to remember that no one, neither fighter nor scribe is more important than the sport.

It’s an actual job for some, while for many others, it’s a hobby which can bring out the most passionate side of their personality. As long as it’s fun, then it can remain enjoyable. Just keep it fun, which was why the sight of perhaps of sixty to seventy writers blowing off the chance to show respect to the efforts to the two men who helped pave the way for people like them was a bit surprising. Ten seconds was all that was asked of us as members of the press that night. Just ten seconds. The majority remained glued to their seats. Unfortunately, such attitudes are nothing new because sometimes, it all feels like a treehouse with no more room available for newbies. The coming of the internet was a death knell for some but an open door for many, many more. Fair play to anyone who wishes to contribute in any way they see fit. However, gone are the days of true camaraderie because it’s no longer needed. A device and an opinion is what flies as news to some as of late.

Nostalgia will always be a talking point for certain members of the press. It’s easier for some than others to write pieces dedicated to a fighter they never saw perform live or was perhaps long dead before they arrived on the scene. Memory fades for many when information as well as video is only a few clicks away. Gone are the days of true print media and the thick cloud of smoke coupled with the smell of whiskey and rum in the back rooms and bars of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. It’s a new day and age, so our choices are to get with the times or simply roll over. Most aren’t ready to do the latter. Report, contribute and stake your place. That’s what a good writer can do. It can be tough, of course but nevertheless a fun time, which can still be had by all.

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