Connecting the Dots

By Ted Sares on February 4, 2014
Connecting the Dots
Can a young writer capture the context in which certain eras of boxing were played out?

When Hauser is inducted into the IBHOF (probably sooner rather than later), all the dots will connect in a great disharmony of conflicted synchronization…

“Thomas [Hauser] describes writing for Secondsout.com as a chance to ‘explore new frontiers and deliver cutting-edge material to website readers.’”—SecondOut.com

“Thomas Hauser is the author of 41 books. In 2005, he was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America, which bestowed the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism upon him.”—The Sweet Science

“I am at the point where I periodically search for ‘writing by Thomas Hauser.’ The guy loves boxing as I do and knows what he is talking about. He is honest without being either fawning or unduly critical. My dream would be to go to New York and spend a couple days with him attending fights and maybe lunching with fight people, including his mother. You simply can’t go wrong with anything this guy writes. If you buy this book I guarantee you will be trying to buy his older books. Black Lights was absolutely great. Go ahead and get a taste of some Hauser. You won’t regret it.”G. Haynes on Dec. 4, 2013 

Gravitas

Thomas Hauser has authored books on subjects ranging from professional boxing to Beethoven. His first work, Missing, was made into an Academy Award–winning film. He consistently receives awards from his fellow members of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). Many seem to sycophantically—even slavishly—crave his attention. I have quoted him in many of my own articles as well though I believe he is overrated. He is often seen and quoted in films like “When We Were Kings” and documentaries like “Thrilla in Manila” and cited in other works of importance. He has been called everything from “esteemed” and “acclaimed” to “pompous” and “conflicted,” but no one can say he is not prolific. Consider his income streams, including upfront money from publishers, royalties, consulting fees, online writing compensation, and work for RING Magazine, and it becomes clear that writing about boxing has been good to him.

Hauser has written over 41 books, though some are merely a compilation of his essays of the past year while others such as The Black Lights: Inside the World of Professional Boxing are truly outstanding stand-alone works and reflect his keen sense of boxing. In 1981, he published a novel, Ashworth & Palmer, set in a fictional law firm, which was inspired by his experience as an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore from 1971 through 1977, following his graduation from Columbia Law School in 1970.

In 1981, he published the crime novel Dear Hannah (TOR Books) about a serial killer in New York City. In 1991 he was awarded the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award for Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times.

That Thomas Hauser has considerable gravitas is an understatement, and it was that same gravitas that apparently resulted in his appointment as consultant to HBO—an entity he had sharply criticized before the appointment—and one for which he himself received harsh criticism from other writers. Many asked: how can you be a true journalist and also a consultant to the industry which you’re covering? Conflicts of interest and commitment are not unethical or impermissible per se. Indeed, there are conflicts of interest in many facets of boxing writing these days (such as Ring Magazine being owned by Golden Boy Promotions), and not all conflicts are created equal, but this one seemed to be a particularly noxious one.

BWAA

“These days, with most writers who regularly cover fights working on websites that pay starvation rates, too many have to do it as a hobby, or for the insider thrill of being at ringside. The result is that too often they write not like professionals but like fans or volunteer publicists.”—Carlo Rotella

For many years, Hauser’s name was synonymous with the BWAA and he was the chairman of the organization’s important membership committee. Presumably, he had great influence over who got in and who stayed out and, by extension, those who ended up voting for nominees to the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF).

Key Point

Given the fact Hauser also writes for Ring Magazine (which has mostly BWAA members doing its writing), and at least three online boxing sites (The Sweet Science, Boxing Scene, and SecondsOut.com), there manifestly is a built-in and/or structural conflict. How could he or anyone else who works for an online boxing site rule fairly on the admission of an applicant who works for a rival site or what’s worse, an applicant who works for one of the three sites for which Hauser works?

After rumors of an in-house squabble a while back, Hauser stepped down as Chairman and was replaced Don Steinberg who in turn was recently replaced by Cliff Rold, but Hauser remains an influential member of the Committee (even though he symbolically became—or maybe was asked to become—an auxiliary member). Amazingly, however, Rold (whose work I follow and admire and who also is one of the founders of the new Transnational Boxing Rankings which I support) is employed by a well-known boxing site for which Hauser also writes so the appearance (if not the post facto reality) of a conflict has not been removed.

IBHOF

“There’s easier access today to the global scene of boxing, through the internet, and when more information is provided to you more easily, it makes you more knowledgeable about what you’re researching.”—Ed Brophy, IBHOF

“There’s no doubt that becoming a historian is certainly the most time consuming thing. If done well I think one can become [one but] you must read incessantly. You have to analyze. It’s a bit of a compulsion…”—Herb Goldman

Among other privileges, “Full” members of the BWAA can vote in BWAA elections and also vote for nominees to the IBHOF. The later privilege is an important and coveted one. Thus the dots connecting the two organizations are more like a short and solid line, but why the IBHOF relies on the BWAA almost exclusively is anyone’s guess.

Many of the BWAA members are fine writers and historians (though some of the more established ones rarely write anymore) but others may lack the experience or credentials to render a well-considered selection for voting for a nomination. And yes, I fully realize that with the advent of the internet, BoxRec, video footage via YouTube, and the ease of electronic communications to various sources, the ability to research has been turbo-charged. Online writers can now feast upon the rich global buffet that the internet offers—some can even learn that the great Tony DeMarco did not lose to the late Edwin Valero.

But even with the internet, can a young writer capture the context in which certain eras of boxing were played out? Can he or she capture the concept of “back in the day” (the ‘40s, ‘50s, and 60s) without having experienced it? Do they know what it’s like to wake up on a brisk autumn morning to the waft of burning leaves hinting strongly that football season is here? Do they recall the smell of freshly brewed coffee, equally fresh bread and sizzling bacon in the kitchen? More to the point, can they remember being greeted by a marvelous alchemy when they ventured to Marigold Gardens, St. Nicholas Arena, or the Blue Horizon to catch a boxing card—an alchemy formed when cloying perfume clashed with the heavy scent of cheap aftershave (maybe Mennen or Old Spice) which in turn blended in with the seductive odor of even cheaper cigars? Also in the mix were Vienna hot dogs (the best in the world) topped with tangy yellow mustard (no Grey Poupon here) and plenty of chopped onions. Finally, fresh roasted peanuts, buttered popcorn, steamy coffee, and slushy, foamy Meister Brau or Schaefer’s beer completed the deal. Hell, I’m just not sure that some of the younger members of the BWAA even know what I’m talking about here.

Connections

Thus we have the esteemed and highly influential Hauser working directly for at least three online boxing sites and GBP-owned Ring Magazine while consulting for HBO and also belonging to the seven-member Membership Committee of the BWAA, the full members of whom influence mightily who gets into the IBHOF.

Questions

“I’m not saying Thomas Hauser, Dan Rafael, members of The Ring Magazine and Thomas Gerbasi are not good writers. They are excellent writers, who I follow regularly. But if the stated goal of the BWAA is to foster the highest professional and ethical standards in boxing journalism, once full-fledged members start working for a promoter or a major power player in the sport, they should either remove themselves from the BWAA, or at the very least, become auxiliary members. Their ability to remain objective becomes compromised.”—William Holmes, BWAA Conflicts Abound: Thomas Hauser and His Defection to HBO (Boxing Insider, March 2, 2012)

Thomas Hauser is known to ask the tough questions that need to be asked which lead to the answers that we don’t necessarily want to hear. Call it vindictiveness, sour grapes or maybe I’m just plain jealous, but now that I approach the twilight stages of my writing endeavors (at least boxing ones), I believe it’s time to raise some questions about the BWAA and related dotted and solid line connections.

First, does Hauser have disproportionate influence and leverage in the BWAA and especially on the Admission Committee? Is so, should he step down from that role?

Second, given his consulting role at HBO, should he even be a member of the BWAA?

Third, are applicants for the BWAA given a fair and especially a thorough adjudication given the post facto (structural) conflicts that seem to exist?

Fourth, if any BWAA member works for a site that is owned by a promoter, should he or she remain a member of the BWAA?

Fifth, is the relationship between the BWAA and the IBHOF too exclusionary?

Teddy Atlas frequently laments during ESPN Friday Night Fights that when a fighter has been given a bad decision, what the judges have done, in addition to depleting that fighter’s spirit and incentive, is to devalue all of the hard preparation and blows absorbed in training. Teddy makes a salient point here and in many ways, the same thing might well be true when worthy applicants who have improved their game try to get into the BWAA but are rejected for reasons perhaps unrelated to that applicant’s credentials.

Maybe the BWAA wants to maintain a certain number of members so that a veneer of professional exclusivity is achieved like the Baseball Writers of America and I understand that. But if so, what they might be getting instead (in my opinion at least) is something that comes off as contrived, obsequious, narcissistic and cliquey.

In the end, when the aging Hauser is inducted into the IBHOF (probably sooner rather than later), all the dots will connect in a great disharmony of conflicted synchronization.

But I won’t be in Canastota to participate in the celebration. I don’t do fawning.

Ted Sares is a private investor who enjoys following and writing about boxing, and considers himself an advocate for reform. A member of the Elite Powerlifting Federation, Ted actively competes in the sport throughout the US and Eastern Canada and holds several state records for his age class.

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  1. Ted 04:53pm, 02/23/2014

    I don’t know who George was but whoever you were, adios amigo.

  2. This just in 11:33am, 02/16/2014

    In a small show at Hawaiian Gardens last night in California, writer Steve Kim came over to Ring writer Mark Ortega with a bunch of his Twitter pals…He put his arm around Ortega, said “There’s my buddy, Mark!” and tried to love tap him…a shoving match ensued, Kim tried to bitch slap him .and then Kim left while reportedly saying, “Consider that a warning.”

    This is what goes on among boxing writers these days—reportedly.

  3. Ted 10:40am, 02/11/2014

    I sure plan to write in 2014, Bill, God willing. It’s a catharsis and gives me an opportunity to express whatever creative ability I have. Can’t do it with any other genre. Just boxing. As for feedback, some via emails and Facebook No big deal

    And like I said, it’s not about me all that much as it is about expressing my dissatisfaction with some processes. I have many good friends in the BWAA.

    Unless someone compels me to respond, this is my last post on the subject,

    Thanks to all posters for your comments—pro or con..

  4. dollarbond 07:58am, 02/11/2014

    Say it ain’t so Ted about not writing.  You love this stuff.  Anyhow, you get any feedback from the BWAA?  Did your article make any waves?

  5. Ted 05:12pm, 02/10/2014

    Well yes, I suppose that’s it, LL

  6. L.L. Cool John 01:55pm, 02/10/2014

    What seems to be going over the heads of some here is that Ted’s main goal in joining, it seems to me, was to have a say on The Hall of Fame nominees. I don’t think he gives a damn about having the BWAA initials after his name. He knows how good he is and doesn’t need a bunch of kids to try to tell him otherwise.

  7. Ted 09:48am, 02/10/2014

    I have now unconflicted myself. I belong to no so-called “Professional” Boxing Organization, remain fiercely independent, and will be an advocate for Reform even if it means writing about the Dark side of boxing more often than I might like. Nor will I shut up because some invisible nonexistent code says I should not criticize others.

    That said, I may have gotten something wrong in my article—I hope not—but If I did, I will correct it if I can.

    As for the questions I posed, I can answer three as follows:

    Second, given his consulting role at HBO, should Hauser even be a member of the BWAA?——NO

    Third, are applicants for the BWAA given a fair and especially a thorough adjudication given the post facto (structural) conflicts that seem to exist?—NO

    Fourth,if any BWAA member works for a site that is owned by a promoter, should he or she remain a member of the BWAA? NO

    Of these things I am certain. Not so sure of the other questions.

  8. Ted 09:39am, 02/10/2014

    Ron Borges, Boston Globe sports writer (2007).  The Globe suspended him for two months “after allegations that he had plagiarized a portion of a football column from another sportswriter.” He retired from the Globe when his suspension ended. Now he writes for the other Boston paper and is listed as one of three Vice Presidents of the BWAA. One of the others is Michael Woods who is the manager of The Sweet Science for whom both Hauser and Borges (yes Borges) writes.

     

  9. Ted 09:38am, 02/10/2014

    Doris Kearns Goodwin, Mike Barnicle, Ron Borges, not to mention Jayson Blair and Janet Cooke, as well as Michael Isikoff and John Barry of “flush the koran” story in Newsweek on the left have been caught plagiarizing or just plain making it up.

     

  10. Ted Sares 09:29am, 02/10/2014

    Bottom line: “nobody really knows what’s going on, nobody cares, and nobody’s really pushing for anyone to know or care.”

  11. Mike Casey 09:18am, 02/10/2014

    I have just invented the Boxing Writers Association of Mike Casey, of which I am the only member and the Democratic Lifetime President. I award myself the top writer’s award every month and - best of all - I never have an argument with myself. Those of you who wish to join can’t.

  12. Robert Ecksel 08:16am, 02/10/2014

    In the spirit of fair play, maybe we should institute a new rule: Only if a writer’s conflicts of interest have conflicts of interests will we name names.

  13. Anonymous 07:53am, 02/10/2014

    Bottom line: “nobody really knows what’s going on, nobody cares, and nobody’s really pushing for anyone to know or care.”

  14. Ted 07:29am, 02/10/2014

    He was indeed conflicted by that.

  15. FightClubWriter 09:12pm, 02/09/2014

    One more thing about Rafael, go back and read his archives about the Klitschkos and the heavyweight division. Then read what he would write about them and the heavyweights when he got that EPIX commentator job. A majority of EPIX boxing coverage was on the Klitschkos and the heavyweight division. Tell me if he was conflicted or not.

  16. Ted 08:55pm, 02/09/2014

    Hmm. Thanks

  17. FightClubWriter 08:46pm, 02/09/2014

    ESPN is one major conflict of interest. How can football fans get 100% unbiased coverage about concussions in the NFL when the NFL holds their broadcast partners by the short hairs? ESPN did one season about a fictional football league called “Playmakers.” The NFL felt it was too close to the real thing and had ESPN take it off the air after one season. It dealt with steroids, spousal abuse, other drug addictions and gays in the locker room. So if they hold back on the other sports, I fully expect them to do the same with boxing. That’s why Rafael doesn’t rock the boat and just copies and pastes from promoter press releases.

  18. Ted 07:44pm, 02/09/2014

    Hmm. Well if Rafael writes about the Friday Night Fights, I think he might be playing both sides to the middle. As long as he writes about non-ESPN stuff, I think what he does is ok—from a conflict standpoint anyway.

  19. kid vegas 06:18pm, 02/09/2014

    Fat Dan works for ESPN. How is that any different than Hauser?

  20. Ted 01:46pm, 02/09/2014

    Geezus!

  21. Pug Master 01:37pm, 02/09/2014

    Mostly everyone involved in the boxing media seem to be converted fans (not all but most)...No one will put themselves through journalism school to work a boxing beat…there’s no monetary reward in it. Thus,, there will never be “real” full-time boxing journalists; it’s a thing of the past. ..So, who can aspiring writers pattern themselves after? How can we expect a high standard from them when NO standard has been set by anyone? Speaking for myself, I have no journalism training, but I thankfully never read any boxing media reports and never developed an affinity for the bullshit…My advice to youngsters coming up is to get involved in the sport at some level, don’t perceive these guys as gods, and read everybody BUT boxing writers…and stay far away from most of the creeps like Borges and Rafael and their minions and sycophants ..Look, when there’s no real money involved, it becomes just an ego thing and these guys are just looking to not rock the boat so they can keep going in their totally awesome hobby…The spineless semi-pros will feign rocking the boat, but not really press a damn thing….What we’re dealing with is a club made up mostly of self-congratulator idiots divided into three sub-groups—one, made of fake journalists who often work to run interference for promoters and managers, two, some who are just content taking photos of sweaty hunks hitting heavy bags…sickening, and three, site managers who are interested in getting clicks.  Do these guys really believe we don’t get this?

  22. EZ E 02:20pm, 02/08/2014

    PUG MASTER Wow!! I agree with Teddy, HOLY MOLEY!

  23. Ted 12:31pm, 02/08/2014

    Holey moley!

  24. Pug Master 12:16pm, 02/08/2014

    I strongly suspect that there is no money in boxing writing. Starvation wages at best. But back in the day it was all-around sportswriters that covered the sport for the major newspapers. Unfortunately, boxing has become such a niche sport, the news/online papers don’t even bother wasting money sending a writer out to the fights. I for one had no idea about the sp-called boxing media. When I started doing some writing about boxing it I thought it would be a good way of gaining experience and clips to work my way up to the kind of writing I really wanted to do. However, I soon found along the way that there is no such thing as journalists in boxing writing. I began to see and hear the bullshit when i contributed to a certain site. It blew my mind that my work was good enough to be used on fox sports but it wasn’t good enough to get paid for. It blew my mind that some know-it-all punk teenager can go from talking shit on a message board or forum to being allowed into the BWAA just because some site manager helped usher him in. I thought maybe I was wrong because no one else shared my views. That’s until I found that there are a few writers out there with the courage to expose this stuff for what it is; namely, a facade behind which some of these guys hide and try to come off as real journalists but in reality, all they come off as are fanboys who know how to type. Not all, just way too many.

  25. Ted 04:24pm, 02/07/2014

    EZ E, Yes, but they can never take that away. You did it and it’s in the record book. And to your great credit, you never wanted anyone to know about it.

    A great accomplishment

  26. EZ E 01:55pm, 02/07/2014

    JOHN, well… yes. But to give you an idea of my ring “exploits”, I’m probably a better poet than I was a fighter. What can I say? Honesty is the best policy!! LOL!!

  27. John 01:49pm, 02/07/2014

    Pretty damn impressive to have a win on one’s dossier over former champ Alfredo Escalera. He fought the late (and great) Alexis Arguello a few times.

  28. The Roto Rooter Man 01:44pm, 02/07/2014


    http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/sports/boxing-writers-attack-borges-katz-hit-deck-article-1.601061

    This shows what morons these guys are. Borges is particularly offensive.

  29. Larry Link 01:07pm, 02/07/2014

    http://www.eastsideboxing.com/weblog/news.php?p=1299&more=1

  30. Ted 12:51pm, 02/07/2014

    Dollarbond, I believe it will be. I have had a good run. I’ll see how I feel u=in December. Maybe I’ll just write less.

  31. Ted 12:50pm, 02/07/2014

    John, EZ E holds a win 10 round UD over Alfredo Escalera.

  32. dollarbond 12:26pm, 02/07/2014

    This was a case where the posts were even more interesting than the article, but the article was very interesting and revealing.  This going to be your last year writing, Ted?

  33. John 12:13pm, 02/07/2014

    EZ E: If you get inspired again before February 14 (Valentine’s Day), let me know. I could use your help. By-the-way, on another article by Ted some time ago I got the idea from a post that you are or were a pro boxer. Is that true? I’m just curious.

  34. EZ E 07:43pm, 02/06/2014

    JOHN, I was inspired by Gabriel Montoya’s “confession” about his attraction to Hauser. Maybe he’s the guy you’re looking for. LOL!!

  35. Ted 04:07pm, 02/06/2014

    OMG

  36. John 03:11pm, 02/06/2014

    EZ E: I love your poetry. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, can I get you to write me something sweet and sexy for my fiance?

  37. Ted 03:10pm, 02/06/2014

    John a little because I worked hard to improve my game, but mostly no because I should have realized better.

  38. John 01:15pm, 02/06/2014

    All due respect, Ted, but are you bitter?

  39. Don from Prov 12:40pm, 02/06/2014

    I could plagiarize some—
    But, unfortunately (well, not really) there is none of same attached to me

  40. Ted 12:26pm, 02/06/2014

    John, not sure how many members come from Las Vegas but it’s an interesting question.

  41. Ted 12:18pm, 02/06/2014

    I should have mentioned, Kid, that a lot of the more entrenched and/or established members of the BWAA do not write all that much. Maybe they think 4 or 5 pieces a year will do the trick. Or putting out a release once a year to be used by all the sites. How arrogant is that?

    I really believe the entire group is managed by just a few (maybe a dozen) members—mostly from the East Coast (NYC, Boston, and Philly) but that’s an opinion.

  42. John 12:12pm, 02/06/2014

    The center of the boxing universe is, of course, Vegas.

  43. Thresher 12:12pm, 02/06/2014

    John , no shit!

  44. Ted 12:11pm, 02/06/2014

    I don’t know. I write for Boxing.com. A few articles for Boxing World Magazine, and maybe 2 or 3 for a site in the UK

    My work, which is prolific, includes a large amount of independent reporting which goes into the blog section of Boxing.com.  I often inform my editor as to which fights I will cover. In this regard, I recently have reported on Kirkland, Kovalev, Abdusalamov Lomachenko, Darnell Wilson, Danny Williams, Golovkin, Perez, Wilder, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Kazuto Ioka, Rigondeaux, Alvarez, Spadafora, John, Bradley, Marquez,  Garcia, Khan, Martinez, Pacquiao, etc. etc. as much as anyone.

    But some like the guys on BoxingScene are very prolific. I think I might be up there on quantity (and hopefully quality) but I really don’t know.

    If you look at the number of BWAA members in Boxingscene (at least in their management end), you can see that they are very influential in the on-line site scene.

  45. John 12:10pm, 02/06/2014

    I recognize a few writers from out west (Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times, for one), but I’ve noticed that the BWAA has a lot of writers from NYC.

  46. kid vegas 12:03pm, 02/06/2014

    Do you write more than the guys who belong to that group?

  47. Profundo Disgusto 11:50am, 02/06/2014

    Don from Prov , can you offer up some erotic poetry sir?

  48. Ted 11:48am, 02/06/2014

    EZ E My thanks great friend. That means a lot to me. I will never ever bow down to,  or fawn and grovel over any human being or organization. Life is way too short for that kind of crap. But I will expose certain bullshit that can do harm to others by depleting their spirit and enthusiasm.

  49. EZ E 11:05am, 02/06/2014

    TED, this article has been a true learning experience for me. Your final comments seals the deal. I have absorbed much from practically all the comments. An honor to be included among you all. A shame that the writers “mafia” includes/excludes even the worthy. And sadly, being too honest, too candid, too sincere and too though provoking can be enough reason to threaten the pompous ‘powers there of’. Knowing that is sufficient to claim a MORAL victory, if nothing else. My congrats to you, Uncle Teddy, and to those that with honor & integrity support the sport we love!

  50. Ted 09:54am, 02/06/2014

    Time for lunch. back later

  51. Ted 09:53am, 02/06/2014

    Matt. One reason and one only. To have a play on the IBHOF nominees so I could be a part of the issue rather than criticizing it. I also believe I have the historical background re boxing to add value to that process but alas, it will never be. So be it, but thank you for your comment.

    Where I grew up, we had a saying and that was that you start winning when you know you can’t lose anymore and that is the case here.

  52. Thresher 09:49am, 02/06/2014

    EZ E, I admire your poetry talent but it needs to be a lot more filthy to reach Gabe’s level. Cum now, give it another go, mate.

  53. Matt McGrain 09:49am, 02/06/2014

    Yeah, you should be in in my view.  But Ted, why would you want to be?  You seem to have a really negative impression of that organisation.  What made you apply? Are you approached to apply?

  54. Don from Prov 09:48am, 02/06/2014

    Mr. Disgusto: Poets are known to have great jabs—but lack a killer instinct.

  55. Ted 09:46am, 02/06/2014

    Well, I’ll speak for myself on this one, but no, I was not given a fair adjudication whatsoever. Look,  if it’s not thorough, it cannot be fair, and mine was not thorough. I gave maybe 6 or 7 references—Ivan Goldman, Springs Toledo, Lee Groves, Gordon Marino, Adam Pollack, Peter Wood, Bob Mladinich, and maybe some others. None was contacted.


    But what really frosted me was that I was told “they were familiar with my work,” so presumably they did not read the 6 or more articles I submitted for review. And what’s egregious about that is that my work has improved considerably over the past two years (especially with Robert’s editing assistance and fact checking), but that improvement may well have been ignored under the simple comment “we are familiar with your work,:: Really?

    So no, again speaking for myself and no one else, my request for FULL membership got short shrift in my humble opinion.

    They had and have their reasons. So be it, but I’ll just ask this one question: How many boxing articles did the President of the BWAA write last year?. And by the way, he is a decent enough chap so this is nothing personal,

  56. dollarbond 09:29am, 02/06/2014

    I’ll ask the obvious question then and that is whether you think you were given a fair shake on this?

  57. Matt McGrain 09:07am, 02/06/2014

    Keep my head in the sand as regards what?

  58. FightClubWriter 09:05am, 02/06/2014

    Matt, I admire your attempts at misdirection. Just continue to keep your head in the sand. Out of sight, out of mind. I have one question about this article that nobody seemed to ask or answer. With so much conflicts of interest in the BWAA, when a writer tries to gain membership do they really go through an application process? Vetting out the writer by reading his work, cross checking references? Or do they just file the request in a trash can based on who he knows or works for?

  59. EZ E 08:51am, 02/06/2014

    Gabe, so you’re the gay poet,
    Didn’t anybody know it?
    When he stokes with his long pen?
    Who decides when?
    He’s admired by you,
    But, does he feel the same too?
    What is it about his wrinkled skin,
    that delights you deep from within??
    LOL!!

  60. Matt McGrain 08:44am, 02/06/2014

    I don’t really take the IBHOF seriously if i’m honest, allowing for the fact that some of you guys are obviously a little involved with it and have punted in cash, in fact.  It’s daft.  It doesn’t really mean anything, from an outsiders perspective anyway.  But wtf, there was always going to be a hall of fame and unless the boxing came first they were never going to get it right in my eyes, so I don’t worry about it.

  61. TRAVIS ROSTE 08:19am, 02/06/2014

    In the old days, newspapers had dedicated boxing beat writers, they were closer to the ground as far as the local boxing scene was concerned, and a lot of them specialized in boxing. now a more general sports writer dabbles in boxing on the side and they have voting privileges with the ibhof when long time historians and serious hobbyists who collect and research boxing have much more of a understanding of the history of the sport, but can not vote for the HOF. I dont think it is right. James braddock in the hof and ken norton in the hof with no defenses of their title, and one marquee win like braddock over baer, and norton over ali.  but marvin hart is a pariah and will never get in, he beat two hof’ers in his career, jack johnson and jack root.  I am not saying braddock and norton don’t deserve to be in, but then why are a few others shut out, like leon spinks and marvin hart, when they had big wins too, despite not defending their title successfully. it’s kind of crazy. there are plenty of other examples too.

  62. Ted 05:24am, 02/06/2014

    I think the point upon which we hopefully would all agree is that the sport of boxing is an extremely dangerous and sometimes deadly business. When we write about it, we should keep that notion within the context. Because that’s how reform cam happen.

  63. Steve 12:50am, 02/06/2014

    No one said the BWAA increases a fighter’s risk of death. It seems Matt McGrain is a BWAA apologist. It’s a nice tactic to put words in another person’s mouth to trivialize their argument.

  64. Matt McGrain 11:15pm, 02/05/2014

    Paul: yes, you can hold boxing higher than other sports because the protagonists risk their lives.  That is reasonable.  But I find the notion that fighters are at greater risk of death because of the BWAA ludicrous.

  65. Big Walter 10:59pm, 02/05/2014

    Great work here Ted. Keep them coming

  66. Gabriel Montoya 08:22pm, 02/05/2014

    Hauser and me, as gay as could be. He strokes me with his enormous pen, as I touch his old and wrinkled skin. He’s a writer you see, and he’s respected by me He has all the bases covered, as the head of an organization that’s coveted. Boxing, can’t you see, is as corrupt as could be.

  67. Ted 06:20pm, 02/05/2014

    No comment Kid. I’ll let the facts speak for themselves

  68. kid vegas 06:16pm, 02/05/2014

    I checked out the grammar on some of this Donelson stuff. WTF am I missing or is that his editor’s fault?

  69. kid vegas 06:14pm, 02/05/2014

    Ted the Bull has the beat

  70. Profundo Disgusto 06:07pm, 02/05/2014

    Don from Prov , the BWAA had an erotic poet but I think he was drummed out to their credit. Guy was a scumbag extraordinaire. The same poet challenged another former BWAA to a boxing match. Thankfully, it never came off as the two of them together weighed about 135 pounds.

  71. Ted 05:54pm, 02/05/2014

    Thanks for the info FCW

  72. Profundo Disgusto 05:42pm, 02/05/2014

    Hauser’s piece on Mago was simply awful. A month too late and 500 words too long. By then everyone had written about it and were simply hoping for Mago to come out of the coma. Hauser had the gall to say “The Culture must change.” Huh. The culture that has made him wealthy? This guy is a walking conflict.

  73. Thresher 05:39pm, 02/05/2014

    Didn’t Hauser cite Montoya in his award winning report? Ugh

  74. FightClubWriter 04:40pm, 02/05/2014

    I would also like to add that the erotic poet Gabe Montoya claims to be a reporter covering PEDs in boxing and consulted on creating drug testing protocols for a promoter. He kept it hidden from his readers until he was outed. And let’s not forget his very cozy relationship with former drug dealer Victor Conte. And Conte is still supplying to athletes only this time it’s presumably legal nutritional supplements. Much like Hauser, Conflict of interest.

  75. FightClubWriter 04:34pm, 02/05/2014

    Thresher, you make a great point about Hauser. And let us not forget about his column on Mago’s brain injuries following his HBO fight against Mike Perez. Yes, it took Hauser over a month to write about it. Was it because he is paid to consult HBO and didn’t want to bring on bad publicity for HBO? HIGHLY CONFLICTED!

  76. Thresher 04:28pm, 02/05/2014

    Paul lives in Mexico and knows that two fine young men and solid fighters have lost their lives in recent months. Where is the BWAA as a collective body on this? Are they calling for a short—maybe 2-week moratorium—to find out what is going on? No they are not. But Mike Silver and yours truly are. That’s why I get so steamed up. Where is the case for reform? Oh yeah, Hauser will write an “investigatory report” citing unnamed sources or worse, a certain “consultant” and do it in his normal overly lengthy and accusatory manner and then he will be blessed with an award from his fawning colleagues at the BWAA. The entire scenario is predictable and almost contrived. It’s almost like wow, Hauser has written something, wow. Huh!!!

  77. Ted 04:18pm, 02/05/2014

    I ran into Dan at the GGG-Macklin fight at Foxwoods (well not literally) and we chatted a bit and I said I wrote for Boxing.com. He gave me a disgusted look and said he never heard of them. Came back and told my wife what an arrogant a-hole he was.

  78. Larry Link 04:14pm, 02/05/2014

    Borges:


    http://www.silha.umn.edu/news/spring2007.php?entry=199145

    http://www.bostonsportsmedia.com/category/ron-borges

    http://www.patsfans.com/new-england-patriots/messageboard/10/51926-borges-plagiarizer-page8.html

    http://deadspin.com/241511/ron-borges-cut+and+paste-job

  79. Paul Magno 04:12pm, 02/05/2014

    Matt, I find it troubling that you, as a boxing writer, would downplay the importance of those who cover the sport. Of course, boxing writers are below politicians in the grand scheme of things and, yeah, what happens on Friday Night Fights is of lesser importance than what is happening in the Sudan…unless, of course, you happen to be a fighter. The boxing media has dropped the ball in all areas of sporting reform, ranging from PEDs to the horror show that is our sport’s regulatory system…All of this directly impacts the life, livelihood, and well-being of the athletes who compete…The BWAA, as the largest and ostensibly best collection of boxing scribes, has a responsibility to be fair and actually report on these things that are, literally, matters of life and death…They do not, partially because they are so compromised as a group…I wish I could be so flip and blow off the whole thing as something superfluous and beneath me, but I do care about the well-being of the young men and women who enter the ring…My love for the sport is not just based on the past tense legends of golden age fighters…In boxing, especially, the media should be held to a higher standard than other sports, just because of the danger involved and the level of chaos and corruption built into the way the sport operates…

  80. Gutter 03:57pm, 02/05/2014

    Yes, “a certain obese boxing scribe from a popular sports outlet has lifted sentences and even whole paragraphs, minimally re-arranged, from my own work when I happened to see a fight he missed and got a report on it published before his own Monday morning deadline” was a reference to Mr. Rafael, a well-known plagiarist whether he has actually been called on the carpet for it or not.  He’s pulled this on lots of writers.

  81. George Brett 03:50pm, 02/05/2014

    The Ron Borges thing was pretty big sports wide. It seems boxing clearly looked the other way. Ted, what do you make of the big name writers plagiarizing or copying and pasting press releases and passing it off as their own? Dan Rafael is notrious for doing that.

  82. Ted 12:30pm, 02/05/2014

    Dollar, yes that’s closer to what I meant. Thank you for your observation and unusual posting activity today.

  83. Ted 12:10pm, 02/05/2014

    Whew. Sometimes I can’t understand English (via Scotland) even though I lived in Glasgow.

  84. Matt McGrain 12:07pm, 02/05/2014

    No, I’m not saying that Ted.

  85. anonymous 12:04pm, 02/05/2014

    Doris Kearns Goodwin, Mike Barnicle, Ron Borges, not to mention Jayson Blair and Janet Cooke, as well as Michael Isikoff and John Barry of “flush the koran” story in Newsweek on the left have been caught plagiarizing or just plain making it up.

  86. Ted 12:02pm, 02/05/2014

    Matt, I trust you are not saying that Borges was not suspended for alleged plagiarizing?  That was a big story here in Boston where I lived at the time and you can find many article about it via Google:

    “The years 2007-2009 seem prominent as to when my discontent began. Maybe it occurred in 2007 when The Boston Globe suspended veteran award winning sports writer (and until then one of my favorites) Ron Borges amid accusations he plagiarized part of a football column from another reporter. Borges did not credit the true source, but a disclaimer at the bottom of his column did acknowledge that “Material from personal interviews, wire services, other beat writers, and league and team sources was used in this report.” Borges, a BWAA stalwart, was and is known for stirring up controversy. He was suspended without pay for two months and barred from broadcast appearances for the same period. Shortly after returning from his suspension, Ron announced his retirement from the Globe on May 18, 2007 and now works for the Boston Herald. The disgraceful incident did not seem to impact his high standing with the BWAA. “

    (Sources: Sylvia Lee Wingfield, “Boston Globe suspends sports writer amid plagiarism allegations,” The Associated Press, March 6, 2007; Jessica Heslam, “Globe denies more plagiarism by sports columnist,” The Boston Herald, March 8, 2007; “Borges is leaving Globe,” The Boston Globe, May 19, 2007.)

  87. Matt McGrain 11:30am, 02/05/2014

    That news about Borges is f*cked.

  88. Gutter 11:17am, 02/05/2014

    As Paul Magno wrote, “Personally, I’ve never applied [to the BWAA] and would never even consider it. I’d rather be nominated for membership in NAMBLA.”

    That about sums it up for me.  I’ve always been suspicious of clubby, fraternity types and their cliquey mentalities.  This kind of thing holds absolutely no interest for me.  I don’t care if I ever cast a HOF vote for a boxer if the price I have to pay is to surrender my integrity by joining some little band of writers whose main goal seems to keep those who don’t “fit in” out of the picture.

    It’s all a little too high school for me.  A well written piece stands on its own, no matter whether the writer is a member of some relatively obscure organization or not.  Even worse, this little society itself also harbors some very morally questionable types, like professional Klitschko hater Ron Borges, who has been caught borrowing a little too liberally from other writer’s works. 

    And he’s not the only member who does this—a certain obese boxing scribe from a popular sports outlet has lifted sentences and even whole paragraphs, minimally re-arranged, from my own work when I happened to see a fight he missed and got a report on it published before his own Monday morning deadline.  Or maybe it was just a “big fat” coincidence?  Hahaha.

    I like being a “freelance” writer not in that I want to write for free, but in having the freedom to say what I want to say without worrying if some little group of self-important scribes is going to approve or not.  Fuck ‘em.

  89. dollarbond 11:16am, 02/05/2014

    Maybe what you meant to say was can a young writer capture the context in which certain eras of boxing were played out so as to enrich his work?

  90. Anonymous 11:14am, 02/05/2014

    “They’ve accomplished nothing except hand out annual awards to each other”. that says it all

  91. Mike Silver 11:13am, 02/05/2014

    Oh, forgot to mention. I think it is a great idea to start another Boxing Writers Association. I mean, this is boxing, right? Only one BWA?? How odd for a sport that has over 100 “world champions” several HOF’s, at least half a dozen rival “sanctioning organizations” and has never been as Balkanized and ridiculous as it is today. Let’s call it “The Interim, Emeritus,and Inter-Continental World Boxing Writers Association”—then everyone will be happy and we will be consistent with the rest of this sick sport.

  92. Ted 11:11am, 02/05/2014

    Wow. A blast from Silver is worth gold

  93. Mike Silver 11:01am, 02/05/2014

    Yikes! My eyes are getting fatigued reading all this nonsense—much ado about nothing guys! Why are you giving the BWAA more importance than it deserves. I actually think the title is a misnomer, since there are very few genuine boxing writers today who are actually worth reading. Maybe less than a dozen, if that. I remember going to the New York Boxing Writers Assocation (now defunct) dinners in the 1970s. Members like Lester Bromberg, Jimmy Cannon, Red Smith, Dan Parker, Bob Waters, Milt Gross. What a lineup! Fine, if a group of people get together and want their own organization who cares. But don’t give these people some kind of imprimatur they do not deserve. They’ve accomplished nothing except hand out annual awards to each other.

  94. Ted 10:59am, 02/05/2014

    Geezus

  95. NYIrish 10:57am, 02/05/2014

    “Well,kid, it’s not always on the level.” Freddie Brown 1973.

  96. Ted 10:39am, 02/05/2014

    EZ E, My main amigo. Thank you kindly.  I am hoping to peel a few more onions with these posts.

  97. EZ E 10:31am, 02/05/2014

    In the word of the late Phil Rizzuto.. HOLY COW!!! Man, and I thought I knew about boxing. This was a GRAND SLAM!! Man, I’ve always had somewhat of an idea when it came to the I.B.H.O.F. voting and somewhat what to expect when Golden Boy bought the Ring, and the list of their staff writers…. but never imagined it went so deep. I’ve read many of Hauser’s articles. Good stuff, most of which I’ve agreed with, not all. But this has been very enlightening, to say the least. I will re-read it right after I finish posting this comment. Reading it once was not enough. I’m sure there’s MUCHO stuff that In haven’t completely absorbed and need to extract!! Take a bow Uncle Teddy, you did it… AGAIN!!!

  98. Anonymous 10:04am, 02/05/2014

    Ron Borges, Boston Globe sports writer (2007).  The Globe suspended him for two months “after allegations that he had plagiarized a portion of a football column from another sportswriter.” He retired from the Globe when his suspension ended. Now he writes for the other Boston paper and is listed as one of three Vice Presidents of the BWAA. One of the others is Michael Woods who is the manager of The Sweet Science for whom both Hauser and Borges (yes Borges) writes.

  99. Thresher 09:49am, 02/05/2014

    Hmm solid points FCW. The PEDS issue is a great example where some of these guys have gotten very cozy and become “consultants” working both sides of the issue. Sickening.

  100. FightClubWriter 09:46am, 02/05/2014

    Matt, to ignore them would be wonderful. However, certain writers do damage the sport by advancing a promoters/manager/anti-doping organizations/boxing commissions agenda and misinformation. I’m sure you have read the smear jobs some writers have done on a guy like Al Haymon. Why? Because he’s shifting power from the long time power brokers over to the actual fighters. You know the ones that lose blood and brain cells every time they go to work. The world of sports is a great distraction, but it doesn’t mean that we should put up with substandard ethics and morals from a group of people who “take themselves too seriously.”

  101. Thresher 09:30am, 02/05/2014

    Ignoring them to death is an option to be sure!

  102. Matt McGrain 09:22am, 02/05/2014

    FCW: i think most members of the BWAA probably do that?  If the BWAA are a front for a drugs cartel and are proven to be corrupt in the furthernace of their paymasters, I think a call to the police is in order.
    If, on the other hand, as Ted’s article seems to suggest, they are a boys club with some snooty members who take themselves a little too seriously whilst doing the normal everyday thing that sports journalists do,  I’d suggest ignoring them to death.  It definitely works with the Masons and it sounds like the real harm they can do is probably very limited.  Certainly it’s had zero impact on my day to day life.

  103. Ted 09:17am, 02/05/2014

    Yes, DB, it’s been falling all night and now building but the roads are good. Big one coming in this weekend I hear.

  104. Ted 09:16am, 02/05/2014

    FCW, Yes that’s where it happens I suspect. It’s a self-congratulatory sort of organism where the names change but the faces remain the same.

  105. dollarbond 09:14am, 02/05/2014

    Well, that was a bit more than expected but thanks for the answer.  Much snow in NH?

  106. Ted 09:14am, 02/05/2014

    Thank you Robert for saying that.

    When it comes to truth, you are a pretty damn good role model,

  107. Ted 09:13am, 02/05/2014

    No shit, John.

    To the BWAA’s credit, I think they recently tossed two of their members—but then, they might have quit because $40 is a lot of money to pay for annual dues.

  108. Robert Ecksel 09:12am, 02/05/2014

    Ted—If you hadn’t been critical of the BWAA, if you had been obsequious, they’d have accepted you as a member. Truth has consequences and your experience is one of the consequences.

  109. FightClubWriter 09:12am, 02/05/2014

    Matt, being a journalist carries great responsibility. It is the media’s job to inform the citizens on whether their government is carrying out their sworn duties responsibly. In boxing, the media should be informing the fans who pay cable premiums or buy tickets of what is happening not just in the ring, but behind those closed doors where so many shady things go down. Being a journalist is no joke. It’s not about making pound for pound lists or hosting annual black tie dinners.

  110. Ted 09:07am, 02/05/2014

    Thanks Matt good points

  111. Ted 09:06am, 02/05/2014

    Very good question. I was wondering when someone was going to ask. I have been meaning to write this for some time, but I wanted to be certain that it was as objective as I could make it before I hit the send button. Still, subconsciously, I suspect there is a personal element to it.

    In the end, I wanted to be able to have an influence on the IBHOF nominees. being an auxiliary member denies me of that. By the same token, there is no f—king way I am going to wait a year to become a Full member. Not in this lifetime or any other. I have too much pride. And I know when I am getting handled (there is a better word for it), believe me and I WAS handled.

    But during the handling I witnessed close-up just how hypocritical and defective the process is.

    Thanks Bill and watch the snow.

  112. John 09:04am, 02/05/2014

    Politics makes strange bedfellows.

  113. Matt McGrain 08:59am, 02/05/2014

    Ted: Well I would hope moral courage isn’t just a demand made or writers, but of anybody.  But I think the level of moral courage expected should be in keeping with levels of responsibility.  Which is to say, i’m more comfortable with a cowardly boxing writer (who is irritating) than a a cowardly Member of Parliament, which is both devastating, has dramatic real world consequences for as many as millions of people and is wrenchingly common.
    What you describe about being hated by someone in an organisation and not being able to join that organisation because of it - of course, it’s horrible, but it’s the way the world is.  There’s no organisation of any kind, anywhere, in any walk of life it is easy to join if there are people with in that organisation that hate you.
    But, as far as this conversation goes, I think you should be in the BWAA, if you want or wanted to be, and if you got a knockback, I don’t think that is fair or right.  If you didn’t and it’s just an example, that’s cool too.

    FCW: No, I don’t think it’s ok for the boxing media to be corrupt.

  114. dollarbond 08:58am, 02/05/2014

    Ted, great stuff.  Very analytical, but how personal is this?

  115. FightClubWriter 08:58am, 02/05/2014

    I just don’t understand your viewpoint. So let me see, it’s okay for the boxing media to be corrupt just because it’s boxing and that’s what people expect? And just think, if the BWAA didn’t exist many of the writers would be more inclined to challenge their peers on their unethical misdeeds. However, being in a secret fraternity means they must look the other way and ignore corruption and conflicts of interest? I call BS.

  116. Ted 08:52am, 02/05/2014

    I have no misunderstanding about what the BWAA is or what it represents. None whatsoever. And the day I stop demanding moral standards of boxing writers or any other kinds of writers will be the day hell freezes over.

    Example, if someone hates my guts and has working for him the Chair of the membership committee and also has Hauser working for him, what possible chance would I have to be accepted? Simple as that. I will not abide conflicts. Whether they come from football writers, baseball writers, or boxing writers. Simple as that. Connect the dots.

    You say, “I love writing as much as I love boxing and I love boxing as much as anyone I know, but I do have to say: It’s just not that important” I get that and respect your point(s) of view, but that’s not me because anything I do is important at the time I do it. I’m sure when you help with the Transnational Rankings, that’s important to you.

    As for Hauser, I have nothing personal to say about him. I already pointed out his significant gravitas.

    Thank you.

  117. Matt McGrain 08:49am, 02/05/2014

    OK, i’ll put it another way FCW: if there was no BWAA, it would make boxing almost unique in the history of modern media. So whatever the media is for, or does, the pooling of power at the top is a completely natural phenomenon that takes place in almost every strata of life I can think of off the top of my head, the FWAA, the BWAA, the BAJ, the SJA, the NABA, the IBWA, the CWSJA.

    As I said, it’s an expectation of boxing is that it be different from every major sport in the world I am aware of, and most forms of the considerably more powerful television media.  It’s just not a “real” expectation that belongs in the real world.

  118. FightClubWriter 08:42am, 02/05/2014

    Matt, I disagree with you. The media’s job is to report the news. Facts. Not hand out awards. Not serve as a mouthpiece for drug pushers. Not to promote a fighter or manager’s agenda. Not to carry a fighter’s championship belt to the ring. Not get into a pissing contest with promoters over who wields more power. The media’s job is to report unbiased facts to the public period. To inform.

  119. Ted 08:40am, 02/05/2014

    Thanks for your viewpoint Matt.

  120. Matt McGrain 08:34am, 02/05/2014

    I think that there is misunderstanding below, if not above, about what the BWAA is.  I’ve been on a crash course on the organisation and it is clear to me that it is about a consolidation of power, regardless of what the literature says, and that furthermore this is not only natural but inevitable.  Of course boxing writers are going to try to pool power in response to the enormous power wielded by promoters and television. Of course it is natural that membership of that club eventually becomes fiercely protected.
    And to Hauser, if he is what the above and below suggests he is, of course there would be a Hauser, a most powerful member of the club, who has to first earn and then protect his status.
    Gentlemen, we seem to be demanding of our boxing writers a higher level of moral conscious and conduct than we demand, as a society, of our politicians.  I love writing as much as I love boxing and I love boxing as much as anyone I know, but I do have to say: It’s just not that important.  Could BWAA be run better?  I’m sure.  Could Thomas Hauser be nicer?  Doubtless.  Three million people are teetering upon the precipice of total disaster in Sudan as I type.
    I feel bad for Tom Donalson (sp?) whom I have never met or spoken with.

  121. Ted 08:20am, 02/05/2014

    Christ

  122. Paul Magno 08:19am, 02/05/2014

    To be fair, FightClubWriter, maybe the FULL BWAA member’s keyboard is missing several letters…or maybe his work has been outsourced to a Mumbai call center…

  123. FightClubWriter 08:07am, 02/05/2014

    Just to prove that Tom Donelson didn’t have one “off night.” Here it is in all its glory:
    By Tom Donelson / Member Boxing Writers Association

    Mikey Garcia faced Juan Carlos Burgos for Garcia’s junior lightweight championship.  Burgos started the fight jabbing but halfway through the first round, Garcia left –right combination pushed Burgos back.   Near the end of the second round, Burgos nearly sent Garcia down from a Burgos left hook.   Garcia returned the favor in round three when he hurt Burgos with a big right and Burgos held on for dear life before the referee broke them up. From there, Burgos moved and boxed out of harm way.
     

    From the fourth through sixth round, Garcia started to gain slight advantages as his punches were showing more pop whereas Burgos became tentative and unable to score effectively.

    Garcia managed to get inside Burgos on occasion to land combinations throughout the eighth round and in the ninth round, Garcia landed a body shots in the middle of the round as he stopped a Burgos rally dead.  Garcia continued to pursue Burgos throughout the second half of the ninth round as Burgos, who started the round aggressively, ended the round in survival mode.

    In the tenth and eleventh round, Garcia walked Burgos down and consistently nailed Burgos with solid combinations but Burgos did managed to connect with an occasional sneak right hand.   Garcia continued his business like domination but while Garcia used his skills to defeat a tough Burgos.  Part of Garcia problem was that Burgos did not chose to engage but fight a defensive fight while looking for opportunity that never occurred.   Garcia won an easy decision in a fight that was hardly exciting but then as Andre Ward observed, you can’t knock everyone out and in some cases, when styles don’t mesh; you end up with a boring fight.  Garcia not only is a heavy handed boxer but he showed defensive wizardry to win an easy victory.

    http://dmboxing.com/category/tom-donelson/ 

  124. Paul Magno 07:21am, 02/05/2014

    When the BWAA tackles the real problems of the sport and dedicates its energy to elevating the level of boxing writing, generally, I’ll give them the regard they seem to want to demand…But while they do nothing but sit on one another’s thumbs and hand out awards to each other, they deserve nothing but the appropriate level of ridicule…Not to get political, but they are as old and as lily-white as the floor of the GOP national convention…

  125. Don from Prov 06:46am, 02/05/2014

    Ted, this is a very well written piece.  I honestly know nothing of the politics surrounding all of it, but I do know that Politics seem to infect most every aspect of life.  I’ll say that the American Academy of Poets, and poetry in general, is rife with silly and overblown political posing.  That’s all I know.

  126. Ted 05:34am, 02/05/2014

    Clarence, you are spot on. I was just exchanging emails with a BWAA member (one whom, btw, I consider their best writer) and we both said the very same thing. The latest seem to be the greatest. And each year that one of the older guys doesn’t get in makes it more difficult the next years.

  127. Clarence George 05:25am, 02/05/2014

    I appreciate the clarification, Ted, which reminds me of a topic raised on one of my own articles by Dan Cuoco.  I’m not sure how strong the connection is with the BWAA, but the IBHOF has in recent years demonstrated a marked lack of understanding and appreciation (hell, just plain awareness) of the sport’s history.  I haven’t the slightest objection to more recent fighters gaining entry, but the Hall appears deeply prejudiced against those who fought previous to last March.  Part of the larger attitude, I think, that what isn’t current isn’t “cool.”

  128. Ted 04:44am, 02/05/2014

    Actually, I agree with that Clarence and I didn’t mean for it to come off the way it did.  Lot’s of young writers can pull it off and better than many of the historians. I know that.

    What I was getting at without mentioning names is that some of the very young guys in the BWAA (TWO HAVE RECENTLY BEEN DROPPED OR QUIT) would not really know how to do this well and the IBHOF would suffer for it. That’s all I meant but no criticism was intended to writers because of age except to point out that having lived through an era gives one a rich context.

  129. Clarence George 04:36am, 02/05/2014

    Terribly funny, Irish.  Like me, you clearly recognize that boxing without humor is downright humorless.  There, I said it.  Still, the Tom Donelson writing sample provided by Paul Magno is indeed atrocious.

    May I disagree with you, MHE, and by extension with Ted, albeit with all affection and esteem?  I recognize that there’s nothing quite like having been there, but historical writing need not be and should not be undertaken exclusively by those who were alive at the time.  Following that argument to its inevitable conclusion, there would be no current books or documentaries, perhaps laden with new information and fresh insight, on a host of important and fascinating topics.  This would pertain not only to, say, John L. Sullivan, but also to the French Revolution, the Civil War, World War I…speaking of the Civil War, by the way, you’re missing an extraordinary reading experience if you haven’t yet read James L. Swanson’s “Manhunt.” 

    I’m surprised you’re not getting paid, Norm.  I just cashed another humongous check.  Of course, that may have less to do with my writing and more to do with the photos in my possession.

  130. Larry Link 04:34am, 02/05/2014

    http://www.bwaa.us/category/news/

  131. Ted 04:18am, 02/05/2014

    Mike I’m not sure what your game is here. Thought you were going to Panama. But let me be very clear. I will not attack any BWAA member personally and I will defend everything I said right down to the comma and periods which I know how to use. I also know the BWAA process right down to the nitty gritty. You don’t so you are coming off a bit strange here.

    Don’t get your comments about IBRO.

    As for the IBHOF, I too have donated as well.  In fact,  if you will look at the plaque honoring the initial financial boosters to the Pavilion, you will see my name under that of Oscar De La Hoya. It’s on my Facebook page of photos.

    Again, since you have not posted on my thread before, I can only assume that you have some kind of agenda here. So be it,  agendize ahead.

  132. Ted 04:09am, 02/05/2014

    Mohummad Humza Elahi points taken. Thank you

  133. Ted 04:07am, 02/05/2014

    Thanks Norman. That was nice of you. Yes, it is what it is but as far as I’m concerned it’s not right because of too much unevenness. I should set the record straight. I was accepted for auxiliary membership and my response was “thanks but no thanks.”

    Cheers

  134. Norman Marcus 03:42am, 02/05/2014

    Ted : once again a very knowledgeable piece on the world of boxing journalism. Most of the facts here I was completely ignorant of.
    In my 10 years of writing on the sweet science I have found that it’s a tough business to break into. An elite club that is guarded by its members. But that’s true of all trades or professions, from the marine corps. to the plumbers union. It is what it is. The one amazing fact mentioned here is that some boxing website writers actually get paid for their work? I do it “For the Love of the Game” as they say. Could someone tell me how to get paid for a story too?
    I feel like Jack London, waiting to get that first check for “Call of the Wild!”
    Again great piece Ted. You are a gem!

  135. Mohummad Humza Elahi 02:47am, 02/05/2014

    Ted - As ever, a great and informative piece.  And although the key points are about the BWAA and Hauser, I want to touch on the point about young writers, since I am one myself.  I do agree that writing about boxing in bygone eras is difficult to capture and the footage and research helps that to a degree.  But for me, history is forged in the present, so that’s why I tend to only discuss the here and now with only a few historical/opinion pieces thrown in.  Most websites these days are content whores, it’s churn, baby, churn with little regard to quality.  Obviously this site is very different, but it’s one of the few that has an engaged editor and other writers willing to constructively analyze and discuss the subject, which is rare.  If more experienced writers are unwilling to pass the torch to a new breed to boxing writers or that new breed is unwilling to learn (common millennial problem) then we don’t stand much of a chance.

  136. Mike Schmidt 02:44am, 02/05/2014

    Ted raises interesting debate in regards to potential conflicts, perceived conflicts, conflicts etc,etc etc. If nothing else Ted, for me, hopefully the BWAA, and in turn the I.B.H.O.F. take a look at their processes on a continued basis. Hopefully they aim constantly for higher ground. And, again, in terms of Ted’s comments that there is a lot involved here over the years that I would not be aware of- Yes, I repeat myself- I do not know the in’s or out’s of these groups. It would be of assistance if somebody from the group addressed Ted’s concern in clear and concise fashion. I suspect Ted, so far from the comments received, that you might not want to hold your breath to long in that regard. It would be nice, for sure, if it was otherwise…

  137. Mike Schmidt 02:20am, 02/05/2014

    Wonderful Irish Frankie!! Very good. Putting my money where my mouth is I would like to point out that Mr. Donelson is, according to an amazon.com summary, also a member of the I.B.R.O. and is the author of several books. He might have been having trouble with his timing this particular event Paul!!!! I forgot about the BWAA code not to go after one another. Does it extend to not defending their association as well. I think I will go in and read their code of ethics or whatever it is that they have on their site.

  138. George Brett 11:37pm, 02/04/2014

    It may not be $30,000, but here’s my two cents. That Tom Donelson piece is atrocious. His editor/proofreader should be fired. There are at least 7 errors ranging from missing words, misuse of words to run-on sentences. And whoever gave him entry to the BWAA should be dismissed as well because a third grader can write better than that. Then again, that’s what the BWAA is all about, being in a secret society of pompous hacks.

  139. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:55pm, 02/04/2014

    Paul Magno- I have proofread Donelson’s work and I feel that you are indeed a harsh critic…..“The first round saw both fighters feel each other”....for my part I find no fault in the man just because he left out the word “up”....I often leave words out unintentionally when I comment here at Boxing.com.

  140. Paul Magno 09:38pm, 02/04/2014

    Let me respond here while I’m writing my five-figure donation check to the St. Ana Home for Single Mothers and waiting for my private jet to fuel up and whisk me away to Belize!

    I’m the hard-line type when it comes to all of this. A writer’s very membership in these types of groups compromises him to a degree…A brotherhood of boxing writers! How fucking rich…a real joke…I don’t think you can really do your job if you’re bound to honor secret societies or these silly professional clubs…The “brotherhood” immediately makes it unacceptable to hold other media members accountable for wrongdoing, so that is a handcuff in and of itself…From there, we see that half of these guys earn their living as writers, sucking at the teet of networks, websites owned by promoters, and the dribbled milk of ad money coming from promoters or managers…Hauser is just the biggest target, but there are plenty others who are deeply conflicted…The BWAA, TBRB, and all such clubs are vanity outfits for guys that want to hang around and bask in the adulation of one another’s company…There are some very fine writers in the BWAA, but their membership adds nothing to their work and actually subtracts from what could be if these great minds weren’t bound to some code to not go after one another (or certain subjects) publicly…

    Especially vexing with the BWAA is their “flexible” set of membership requirements which allow for some to be rejected while embracing others who are not even active writers or others whose work is downright awful…Personally, I’ve never applied and would never even consider it. I’d rather be nominated for membership in NAMBLA.

    In closing, here’s a snippet of the work of a FULL member of the BWAA, Tom Donelson…(I have changed nothing) enjoy:

    “HBO featured two of Canadian bests as Lucian Bute faced Jean Pascal but before the main event, Mike Perez faced Carlos Takam in a heavyweight bout.  Perez was fighting his first fight since his last bout with Magomed Abdusalamov, who slipped into a coma after taking a beating from Perez.  Many fighters when they have faced with tragedy aren’t always the same after being involved a bout in which their opponent is either seriously injured or dies from their injuries.

    “The first round saw both fighters feel each other and while Perez landed a couple of solid straight lefts from his southpaw stance; there was little to distinguish between the two.  Perez landed a couple of right hooks and two big left hands as he attempted to walk Takam down.  Perez suffered a cut over his right eye from an accident head butt in the third round and suddenly the bout looked in jeopardy as the blood flow liberally.”

    http://dmboxing.com/pascal-wins-battle-of-canada/#more-6374

  141. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:29pm, 02/04/2014

    Ted Sares-He’s the writer and the “showrunner”....it’s his baby all the way…and the interview involves the process which I feel you and the other talented writers here will find very interesting and informative.

  142. Ted 09:22pm, 02/04/2014

    Thanks Irish. Is he in True Detectives?

  143. kid vegas 09:17pm, 02/04/2014

    “Online writers can now feast upon the rich global buffet that the internet offers—some can even learn that the great Tony DeMarco did not lose to the late Edwin Valero.” Beautiful writing.

  144. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:16pm, 02/04/2014

    Ted Sares-Which reminds me….there’s a mind expanding interview on the Daily Beast with Nic Pizzolatto….“I don’t think art is about expression…..the primary motivation is communion with your fellow human beings”. (Nic Pizzolatto)...I just knew he was from southern Louisiana.

  145. Ted 09:14pm, 02/04/2014

    Thanks mate

    And yes there are other things I could say but they would come off as sour grapes—and maybe rightly so—so I’ll keep them to myself. I just want to have some fun debates without rancor if that’s possible. This article has been building for a long time and I wanted to time it with my 400th article which I believe it is.

  146. FightClubWriter 09:11pm, 02/04/2014

    Mr. Schmidt, that’s a lot of cash to drop on the IBHOF, but I don’t know what that has to do with this article or discussion? Bottom line this article is titled ‘Connecting the dots’ and Ted has done a great job outlining those dots. And I bet this is just the “tip of the iceberg.”

  147. Mike Schmidt 09:02pm, 02/04/2014

    Thanks Ted. Some of these BWAA writers, in knowledge of their Association, hopefully have suggestions, as given rise via your article, to offer towards improvement. In full respect always.

  148. Ted 08:59pm, 02/04/2014

    thanks for your props Mike. Much appreciated

  149. Ted 08:58pm, 02/04/2014

    kid vegas , yes I understand where you are coming from. Love/hate. However, like I said I shall refrain from any personal stuff and keep this detached and objective.

  150. Mike Schmidt 08:58pm, 02/04/2014

    FightClubWriter- better to hold one’s own member than another’s for sure. And by name… and yours is….drum roll please…

  151. Ted 08:55pm, 02/04/2014

    Have a safe trip—and BTW, I am not challenging anyone in the BWAA (I turned down membership recently). That’s not what this is about—you know—stirring up shit. No, Adam, Gordon, Peter, Bob Mlandinich, are all great writers and I have a bunch of friends in the BWAA like Springs Toledo, Lee Groves, Ivan Goldman, etc. etc. But I also have a bunch of friend/writers who are equally fine writers who choose not to be in the BWAA. Many wish to retain their fierce sense of independence. All I’m trying to suggest here are some ideas on how to improve the landscape,

    I think you got things a bit confuse Mike but like I said you have a nice safe trip and give my regards to todas las chicas.

  152. Mike Schmidt 08:52pm, 02/04/2014

    Ted- you are correct- I do not have the background to answer the question (s). The guys that are in the BWAA hopefully stand up here and post on your article.  FightClubWriter- let me try this as non circle jerk as possible- 1) I do not know how the BWAA -I.B.H.O.F fully operates..2) Members of the BWAA and I.B.H.O.F please do post 3) Ted Sares has been a prolific writer of boxing and direct observer of boxing for many many years- post on up gents. 4) FightClubWriter this is no circle jerk for me in terms of the I.B.H.O.F- I have donated to it the past five years to the tune of over $30,000. It serves well for boxing in bringing together fans and fighters over a special weekend once a year in a sport, and of athletes, that most certainly deserve to be treated special. I care in thought about the I.B.H.O.F and Ted’s comments- I have at least had the courtesy of posting to Ted’s article… adios

  153. kid vegas 08:50pm, 02/04/2014

    The ending of this piece is marvelous.By the way, I have always found hawser to be pompous and arrogant and I believe many other writers will say the same thing. His 360 on Don King was a puke job and the stuff about his mother meeting King was the essence of childish garbage. Cant’s stand listening to him but I have read a lot of his stuff.

  154. Mike Schmidt 08:40pm, 02/04/2014

    And Ted might I add this. Last year I asked of a gent ( I will not mention his name out of the deepest of respect- it is not anyone a member of the BWAA) who I hold in the deepest of regard if he could kindly explain to me, and make inquiry of a number of friends that he knows do vote, how the “non participant” entries to the I.B.H.O.F took place as my own inquiry (little pushed as it were) seemed to suggest that some of the voting members did not get a vote slip on that non-participant entry but most certainly did on the participant entry. I received zero response. I moved onto other business, that for my world, was of much more satisfaction. We shall see who steps up to the plate in response to your article. Maybe I am being presumptuous- maybe members do not feel your article deserves a response, maybe they feel it does not even remotely deserve the courtesy of a response. Sir George and El Bastardo have posted up Sir. I am off to Panama shortly to enjoy the hospitality of the lovely lovely people of istmo - I wish you the best Sir on your love and passion of boxing…rejoice in the superb quality of your own work

  155. Ted 08:40pm, 02/04/2014

    whoops, I didn’t mean that is very true about “holding the member.” I meant it about “Mr. Hauser earned his stature, no doubt, but he also threw away his credibility by becoming such a conflicted “journalist.” Maybe there is a time in a man’s life when it’s best to change his job description. There is no shame going from journalist to publicist or private consultant. Transparency is the key when you have the power and stature Mr. Hauser has. Best not abuse it.”

  156. Ted 08:38pm, 02/04/2014

    One other point—the entry requirements of the BWAA are not quite what they appear to be. And I can prove that, but this is not about me.

  157. Ted 08:36pm, 02/04/2014

    FightClubWriter , yes. That is very true IMO.

  158. FightClubWriter 08:34pm, 02/04/2014

    Mr. Schmidt you are precisely doing that, holding your member. Better than being in an endless BWAA circlejerk. It’s great to raise questions, but your point of view is perhaps as conflicted as the BWAA’s mission statement.

  159. Ted 08:33pm, 02/04/2014

    Mike Schmidt, no problem but there is a lot involved here that I’m not sure you have been aware of over the years.  I admire the fact that you earn a lot of money and apparently are financially well off. And I’m a bit astounded that you picked this article to post on, because you have not posted on any of my others. So welcome back. I’ll post on yours now and we can patch things up.

    That said, what is it you want me to say? I will do it if I can, but if it’s not on subject I won’t. I have a very good sense about conflicts-but the key point for me is, How could he or anyone else who works for an online boxing site rule fairly on the admission of an applicant who works for a rival site or what’s worse, an applicant who works for one of the three sites for which Hauser works?  My point has nothing to do with the applicant’s credentials as much as it has to do with the applicant getting screwed over for the wrong reason.

  160. Mike Schmidt 08:31pm, 02/04/2014

    Clarence I will revert to my Pete the Sneak moniker EL BASTARDO MAGNIFICO - I like your idea but no doubt we will be the subject of a passing off action as we are to close to the name in member hand. Might I suggest THE TRANSNATIONAL POD BOXING WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF DIAMOND BELT QUALITY OF CLARENCE GEORGE AND MIKE SCHMIDT BOXING.COM with an annual Ecksel award (yes he who must be obeyed was a member but is not a member)

  161. FightClubWriter 08:26pm, 02/04/2014

    Mr. Hauser earned his stature, no doubt, but he also threw away his credibility by becoming such a conflicted “journalist.” Maybe there is a time in a man’s life when it’s best to change his job description. There is no shame going from journalist to publicist or private consultant. Transparency is the key when you have the power and stature Mr. Hauser has. Best not abuse it.

  162. Mike Schmidt 08:25pm, 02/04/2014

    My flow of read on it left me feeling (and this is of course just me) that it was more about Mr. Hauser and the BWAA ( hence the ending). The object and goal of the BWAA I believe is to “foster the highest professional and ethical standards in boxing journalism and to provide better working conditions for those who cover the sport…” In many institutions, such as the Lawyer business, even a perceived conflict of interest is to be answered either by clear disclosure or resignation from the file at hand/in hand. Ted I am sincerely not even remotely of a knowledge base to answer the interesting questions you pose. I get paid mucho dinero to spend that kind of time. I would be very interested to hear from some of the BWAA members who write for this very boxing site, boxing.com. Stand up gents- engage. Answer us of these Ted The Bull post-facto connections that can end up being conflicts and thus have a negative impact….Either that or forever hold your member…ship peace. Am I out of line to ask at least of that much of a fellow boxing.com writer Sir Ted. If so I shall quietly slip into the boxing night…and tell me to fook off on it at anytime.

  163. Clarence George 08:21pm, 02/04/2014

    We can always form a rival organization, Mike—the American Boxing Writers Association (ABWA).

  164. Mike Schmidt 08:12pm, 02/04/2014

    Ah Sir Clarence we shall rejoice in our membership of one and what better way to protect one’s own member!!!! I am quite frankly at a stage of life, age, financially speaking, and by life attitude (yeah I know that sounds real shitty) that memberships don’t really get me revved up. I don’t golf either by the way so ta ta to the local boys Friday afternoon waterhole gig-hee hee

  165. Clarence George 08:11pm, 02/04/2014

    By the way, I really like the image accompanying the article, but why are all the men in the arena dressed like refs?  Worse, why are they all fedoraless?

  166. Ted 08:11pm, 02/04/2014

    This is not about getting into the BWAA. This is about post facto connections that can end up being conflicts and thus have a negative impact on a lot of different things.

    As for any personal feelings about Hauser, I have no comments.

  167. Clarence George 08:08pm, 02/04/2014

    Take heart, Mike, from Groucho Marx’s refusal to belong to any club that would have him as a member.

  168. Clarence George 08:04pm, 02/04/2014

    I recall my friend Jimmy Tobin (an excellent boxing writer) telling me that he’d been nominated for membership (I think by David Greisman), but so far no cigar.  Where’s my nomination?  Well, given that it took nine months just to get my Ring 8 membership card…

  169. Mike Schmidt 08:04pm, 02/04/2014

    I am have enjoyed Thomas Hauser’s work immensely over the years. He is a craftsman deserving of his stature. Ted I have reviewed the entry requirements of the BWAA and in truth would not even remotely qualify. I had spoken to Mr Hauser of this some two years ago and he was much the gentlemen to promptly respond to my inquiry. In fact I am not much of a membership type so it was with a micro second of thought that I moved onto my next order of business without as much of a care in the world. I make the aforementioned comment to follow with the fact that I am, as well, not even remotely qualified to intelligently answer some of the questions you ask. There are, I believe, at least three writers to boxing.com, Mr Marino, Mr Wood, and Mr Berlin (Mike Silver are you a member??) who are. Perhaps they are the better to respond with an informed opinion as to your article and the statements to it. That of course is an “invitation to treat.” All with the greatest of respect to you and the aforementioned gentlemen.

  170. Ted 07:58pm, 02/04/2014

    Bienvenue, Tex

  171. Tex Hassler 07:57pm, 02/04/2014

    I am aware of who Thomas Hauser is but do not know enough to make a statement about his present position. Thanks once again for informing us about this.

  172. Ted 07:28pm, 02/04/2014

    Wow, the first poster has the beat

  173. FightClubWriter 07:13pm, 02/04/2014

    How much credibility does the IBHOF have when fanboys pretending to be journalists are given votes over real historians and journalists? And the day Hauser cashed a check from HBO or any promoter funded website, is the day he should have been kicked out of the BWAA. However, if we go by that rule of thumb the BWAA would have zero members.

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