Moral Culpability: Part Two

By Ted Sares on January 11, 2014
Moral Culpability: Part Two
Like a pendulum, I go back and forth and am now looking at things with far more cynicism.

Maybe what first ignited the shift and aroused my cynicism was when things metastasized after “Plaster Gate”…

“The boxing ring can be seen as a mirror on which the full range of human emotions is reflected. It isn’t always pretty to look at, but we keep coming back for more, eager to participate, if only vicariously, in a ritual as old as the human race and as timeless as a clenched fist. That’s why boxing is still around and still welcome in many quarters, regardless of its frightening toll.”—Nigel Collins (ESPN Boxing, “How do we reconcile ring deaths?” Jan. 17, 2013)

“Michael [Katsidis] was crying over this news…It’s heartbreaking. He wants to speak to his family first before announcing anything but really I’m glad the tests have stopped him fighting before something really bad happened.”—Trainer Johnny Lewis (via the Daily Telegraph, Feb. 13, 2013)

“Perhaps it’s not the best idea ever, but Michael Katsidis, one of the most exciting action fighters of the past 20 years, is making a comeback.”—Dan Rafael (ESPN, Jan. 3, 2014)

“… regardless of what answer we come up with, it is both a sign and guarantee of our abiding spiritual health to face issues at their moral root. It is never easy to question the moral character of our own pleasure and entertainment.”—Richard A. McCormick, S.J, a distinguished Catholic moral theologian and teacher (“Is Professional Boxing Immoral?” Nov. 5, 1962)

“Professional boxing is the only sport where the immediate objective is to damage the opponent. A puffed or cut eye, a lacerated cheek, a bleeding nose – these are signals for an intensified attack on the vulnerable area.”—Father McCormick

It bears repeating that I am not trying to play the blame game here or lay a guilt trip on anyone except myself. This is about my moral culpability and if you can take something from it, all the better.

On the streets of the inner city where I was raised in the 1940s and ‘50s, smoke-filled places like Marigold Gardens. Rainbow Arena and the cavernous Chicago Stadium were where I bonded with my father and brother. Tough hombres like Ernie Terrell, Johnny Gray, Jesse Bowdry, Bob Satterfield, Luther Rawlings, Anton Raadick, and Johnny “Honey Boy” Bratton thrilled us. Ralph “Tiger” Jones was a Monday night staple for those lucky enough to have tiny black and white TV sets to watch the The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports with Jimmy Powers at the mike, and Chico Vejar was what Friday Night was all about. Much later, I was entertained on big-screen TV by Bobby Chacon, Jerry Quarry, Danny Lopez, Bazooka Limon, and the great Salvador Sanchez. “Saigon” Skipper Kelp and announcer Sean O’Grady made Tuesday nights something special and Rockin” Robin Blake did the same for me on ESPN. Today, there are other boxers too numerous to mention. How can I relinquish the potential for more of these kinds of thrills?

Of late, Rios vs. Alvarado 1 and 2, Bradley vs. Provodnikov, and Froch vs. Groves were spine tingling throwbacks. Rigondeaux vs. Donaire was a purist’s delight.  Witnessing Marcos “El Chino” Maidana expose fledgling porn star Adrien Broner in shocking and destructive fashion, watching James Kirkland come back and take out Alfredo Angulo against all odds in hostile Cancun, and watching an incoming monster from Siberia break an unbreakable and courageous Mike Alvarado offer thrills that cannot easily be dismissed. I enjoy watching Vitali Klitschko break down and then take out his opponents with systematic, albeit bruising, methodology. Watching a Manny Steward-trained Tommy Hearns, Lennox Lewis or Wladimir Klitschko end matters with a sledgehammer right straight down the pike or a Freddie Roach-trained Manny Pacquiao take apart Miguel Cotto using unheard of angles and movement is something to marvel. So is the surge of mid-weight Eastern European fighters and swashbuckling Argentineans as they seek dominance and raise the bar for excitement. And tracking Floyd’s march to equal or surpass Rocky’s record is something all fans can appreciate.

I have seen live fights in Seoul, Tokyo, Bangkok, Tijuana, San Juan, Munich, London, and God knows I’ve been thrilled by them. Whether at the MGM in Las Vegas, Foxwoods in Connecticut, or at the IBEW Hall in Dorchester, Mass., I have enjoyed boxing for many decades—not years—decades. I love watching Lampley’s Fight Game; it reminds me of the great Friday night debates between Max and Teddy, before Max and Teddy became stars.

A Shift

“I have nothing else to do.”—Jermain Taylor, who reportedly suffered a brain bleed before he took time out

“I tend to think that just about no one is free from conflicts of interest when they work most any journalistic beat, so I try to be quite judicious when I sling arrows in this arena. But some folks, some of whom themselves have to negotiate conflicts of interest from various masters they serve, were not shy about slinging arrows at you (Thomas Hauser).”—Michael Woods

“Suck it up kid.”—Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. to Yuri Foreman after Foreman badly injured his knee against Miguel Cotto in June 2010

In July 2007, Michael Katsidis and Czar Amonsot waged a brutal 12-round closet classic in at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Czar suffered a subdural hematoma—bleeding on the brain—thus ending his boxing career in the United States. During the same bruising card, Oscar Larios suffered a similar injury against Jorge Linares. Larios eventually returned to boxing fighting thrice in Mexico and twice in Japan before calling it quits in March 2009 with a 63-7-1 record. Meanwhile, the Czar, after an 18-month layoff, also returned and has gone 7-0-2 against moderate opposition since his war with Katsidis in 2007. Six of his fights have been in Australia and three in the Philippines. This is boxing’s version of Russian roulette and it’s just as dangerous.

Maybe what first ignited the shift and aroused my cynicism was when things metastasized after “Plaster Gate,” and Antonio Margarito (one of my fallen favorites) was allowed two big paydays to fight Manny Pacquiao in 2010 and Miguel Cotto in 2011. It was a crass case of revenue vs. morality, and morality never had a chance.

Around this same time, the boxing world was hit by four tragedies in 2009. Within a short period of time (and particularly during the month of July), the successive deaths of three former world champions, Alexis Arguello, Vernon Forrest and Arturo Gatti shell-shocked boxing fans around the globe. Arguello and Gatti had committed suicide. Then, Darren “Daz” Sutherland hanged himself on Sept. 14, 2009. The likable Daz had an Olympic bronze medal and was looking forward to a promising pro career in the U.K.

The horrific Edwin Valero tragedy (another of my fallen heroes) occurred in 2010 despite warning signs that were flashing on and off like a neon sign, but they were ignored. Where was his family? Why wasn’t he kept in rehab long enough to rehab him? Where were the Venezuelan authorities? Perhaps the brain injury, his notable and documented anger issues, and a severe substance abuse problem coalesced to contribute to Valero’s tragic end. These tragedies stopped me in my tracks and gave me solemn pause.

And over a lengthy period of time, Thomas Hauser criticized a major sports network HBO in blistering fashion and then, just like that, he was hired by Richard Plepler, co-president of HBO, to be a “consultant.” I asked myself at the time, 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 me at least) to be the mother of divergent interests. In any event, Hauser’s veneer of credibility took a big hit.

This, of course, is old news and has been vetted but the example it set bothered me. However, what bothered me even more but seemed to fly under the radar was when Michael Woods, editor-in-chief of The Sweet Science for which Hauser writes (among other online sites), attempted to justify Hauser’s actions in a March 7, 2012 piece titled, “Regarding Thomas Hauser’s Role With HBO, and TSS.” Woods states in part, “I never gave more than a half second thought to telling Hauser that I’d rather he no longer contribute to TSS. Even when the pundits and fellow members of the fraternity weighed in, many harshly, I didn’t reconsider. Mainly because I acknowledge that everyone who does this for a living has conflicts. Everyone.  And if they choose not to acknowledge that, then that’s on them…” 

And acknowledging it makes it right? Sorry, but I beg to differ. Conflicts don’t belong in politics, academia; or in business—nor do they belong in my values set. In some cases, they are even illegal; for example, an attorney, an accountant, a business adviser or realtor cannot represent two parties in a dispute and must avoid even the appearance of conflict.  But then maybe boxing ethics is an oxymoron; maybe the culture of boxing allows for such exceptions…

The Something

“If everyone’s a champion, no one’s a champion.”Pete Meyers, May 16, 2012

Whatever the case, something narcissistic and cliquey has now found its way into an already toxic mix composed of too many pay-per-views, too few promoters and managers who prioritize their own individual short-term interests, ticket prices that are too high, multiple world titles at every weight, manipulative executives and promoters, greed-driven sanctioning bodies and payment of exorbitant fees, rigged ratings, the feud between HBO and Showtime, horrific craniocerebral injuries and even needless fatalities, lack of rules uniformity, no Federal Commission, hack-filled state commissions, politically-connected referees and other officials, ethical breaches, widespread conflicts of interest, inconsistent weigh-in practices, Performance Enhancing Drugs, indefensible boxing decisions, cronyism at all levels especially among the journalists, so-called writers making fools of themselves through the social media, and worst of all blatant exploitation of the boxers, et cetera, et cetera.This unnamed something feeds on itself with impunity. It’s what has me teetering and seething; yet I have difficulty articulating it except to say that it seems to have immunity from strict moral boundaries as it slithers along unchecked.

In many way, the noble combatants—the boxers who make this entire enterprise possible (except for those on top of the pyramid)—are treated like tenants at the mercy of slum landlords. I know “bad” when I see it and this is bad.

As Jack Newfield states at the end of his compelling and lengthy “The Shame of Boxing”:

“It would not cost the taxpayers anything to regulate boxing at the same level every other professional sport is policed. Only the will is lacking. Nobody important cares enough. But the rest of us should, whether we are boxing fans or not. It’s easy to avert your eyes and say, ‘Abolish the sport. But that won’t happen. Instead, we should help these voiceless workers obtain the justice they deserve.”

My ability to refrain from colluding in this will be in direct relationship to keeping my moral compass in the right direction and in avoiding any moral culpability.

What Next?

While I am not quite ready to embrace the following words of Pete Hamill’s classic article “Blood on Their Hands: The Corrupt and Brutal World of Professional Boxing,” I am keenly aware that:

“Old loves are a long time dying. They can survive deceptions and separations, petty cruelties and fleeting passions. But, eventually, they give way to the grinding erosions of time. And suddenly, one cold morning, they are dead. For too long a time, I loved the brutal sport of prize fighting. But I’ve arrived at last at that cold morning. You cannot love anything that lives in a sewer. And the world of boxing is more fetid and repugnant now than any other time in its squalid history.”

The process of erosion has already begun for me. I’m no longer young; my time is beginning to run out and I genuinely care about which way my morality settles. I have limited choices. I can walk away completely on moral, medical, and religious grounds or I can stick around and remain a harsh critic. In the end, I’ll stick around and likely write less frequently, picking my spots and trying to keep my moral direction positive and steady. I’ll also greatly increase my efforts with certain organizations like Ring 4 and 10 in order to help boxers in need.

And yes, I’ll suffer some because I know the smell of a sewer when I’m near one, and like Pete Hamill says, “You cannot love anything that lives in a sewer.”

Moral Culpability: Part One
Moral Culpability: Part Two

Ted Sares is a private investor. He is the author of “Shattered: A Collection of True Crime and Noir Essays.” A member of the Elite Powerlifting Federation, Ted actively competes in the sport throughout the US and Canada and holds several state records for his age class.

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  1. Ted 05:48pm, 01/17/2014

    Yes, I think for a short period it was true.

  2. nicolas 01:56pm, 01/17/2014

    Thank you for your kind words Ted regarding my idea. It would be nice if you do write an article on this, well it would be nice if you put my name in the article. Also, I had mentioned earlier that even in the 1930’s, it appears that rounds were only two minutes long, is this true?

  3. Ted 01:30pm, 01/17/2014

    Thanks Tyler. Much appreciated.

  4. Tyler Adams 12:48pm, 01/17/2014

    I don’t know Ted, a lot of those tackles are meant to inflict punishment and wear the player down.  In any event,  in the case of boxing, the amateurs wear head gear. What does that tell you?  The constant jarring of the head is not healthy in any case.  Maybe we are becoming more compassionate in our old age, trying to make peace with our life.  There are a few things I wish I hadn’t done and feel guilty about.  You definitely have all thinking on this one Ted. Great article.

  5. Larry Link 12:41pm, 01/17/2014

    I have been doing some serious research and believe I have come up with a solid example of Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) as follows:

  6. Ted 12:26pm, 01/17/2014

    But Tyler, with all respect, there is a big difference between the two. In boxing, the intent is to incapacitate. In football, the intent is to make a good tackle but not intentionally to injure.

  7. Tyler Adams 11:21am, 01/17/2014

    Look when all is said, Boxing and football are dangerous sports.  We like the big hits, we like the spectacular slug fests.  I don’t believe there is any answer to the long term effects of these two sports.  Brain damage and dementia are the inevitable effects of shots to the head.  Short term, in boxing, the refs need to be on top of the action and stop it when one boxer is taking too much punishment and/or has no reasonable chance to win.  Football has enacted rules against late hits, and has rules to protect the quarterbacks etc.  Anything more I believe is going to spoil both sports.  Like a married man swearing off on other women, we need to decide the morality up front and either accept the reality, or quit being a fan of these sports.   

  8. dollarbond 10:31am, 01/17/2014

    Thanks Bull. I know a few people like that.

  9. Ted 09:50am, 01/17/2014

    nicolas, interesting idea and one that deserves some serious thinking along with Mike’s suggestions. I just might come up with a blog or article that incorporates these.

  10. Ted 09:47am, 01/17/2014

    Dollarbond, I sum it all up this way:
    Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.

  11. nicolas 09:12am, 01/17/2014

    I have for the longest time gone with the idea, that if all three judges had one fighter ahead by a margin after such rounds as 4, 6, 8, 10, and that the losing fighter at the time could not win the fight by decision, or even draw, even if he won the remaining rounds, that the fight would be stopped at that time, and called a decision for the winning fighter, even though it had not gone the scheduled distance. Now my feeling is, perhaps even if two of the three judges have it that way, and perhaps if it is the 9th round, we will stop the fight. In the case of the Perez fight with the Russian fighter, this fight would have been over in eight, and might even have been a split decision. I know some would cry that Rocky Marciano would not have won the heavyweight title in 52, but that is not true, as if he had won the last three rounds, the fight would have been a draw. It would also put the spotlight on judges more so as in the case of Alvarez-Trout, as that fight would have been over in eight, and once ‘respectable’ judges like Stanley Christodolou would have had some explaining to do. think about it, no 14th round for Mancini Kim, Holmes-Cobb back in 82 over in eight. Any thoughts.

  12. Ted 07:48am, 01/17/2014

    NYIrish, I await your post with eagerness.

  13. NYIrish 07:46am, 01/17/2014

    Below. Maybe we shudda had headgear.

  14. NYIrish 07:44am, 01/17/2014

    Ted, thanks for a piece that needed to be written. I seriously read all the posts while formulating a lengthy missive of my own on this weighty subject.
    Then I read the post credited to Gabriel Montoya and burst out laughing at the desk. Maybe later. Adios!

  15. Ted 06:19pm, 01/16/2014

    The sick thing is but it REALLY might be him because he is totally shameless.

  16. Gabriel Montoya 12:30pm, 01/16/2014

    Wet hotness running out of me ... I tighten and hold but it was not to be ... O God help me, or someone please ... I need a toilet to satisfy me.

  17. dollarbond 09:01am, 01/16/2014

    I just read this for the third time.  Now then, how would you sum up what’s wrong out there in a couple of paragraphs?  Just wondering?

  18. Larry Link 06:13pm, 01/15/2014

    This just in:

  19. Ted 04:44pm, 01/15/2014

    nicolas , Many of the later guys fought each other. Heck, Frazier fought Foreman twice, Jerry Quarry twice and Ali three times. Big George fought Norton, Jimmy Young and Ali. Young fought Ali, Earnie Shavers, Ron Lyle, Norton and Foreman. Lyle fought Ali, Forman and Quarry. Ali fought everyone (Foreman, Frazier, Norton, Quarry, Young and all the rest). It was incredible. It was a fan–friendly round robin the likes of which have not been seen since, but many of the warriors paid dearly, some even with their lives as the dreaded pugilistica dementia (boxer’s dementia) found its way into the equation.

  20. nicolas 04:32pm, 01/15/2014

    MIKE SILVER: Your comment about two minute rounds is an interesting one. I look at BOXREC often for fights of the past. It is very informative, even if there have been some questions about their authenticity. But I noticed that in Australia they had a lot of 15 round fights, but then I also noticed a lot of their fights, if not all in the 30’s I guess, and even earlier went only two minutes each. Perhaps the reason that Australia was not really on the boxing stage (also due to travel I am sure). Your comment that while boxers have less fights today but they have more damage to themselves because of poor defense is an interesting one. It has been suggested by some that boxers hit harder today, this by the way I heard on a video of boxing my ex-wife gave me were some Swedish people, lamenting the end of professional boxing at the time, suggested this. But one also has to wonder about lot of the fighters we saw in the 70’s and how many are now dead, the lastest Larry Middleton at 68. It has always been fascinating to me that from Jess Willard to Max Schmelling, all those fighters lived past 80, and the last two past 90. Since that time only Jersey Joe Walcott made it to 80.

  21. Ted 10:25am, 01/15/2014

    My final thoughts on this 110 pound poet pestilence can best be expressed by this link:

  22. Ted 10:18am, 01/15/2014

    dollarbond, good to see you back and around mate. Thanks for your prop, but I don’t think it’s my best. However, it’s one that I worked the hardest on and redid it about 6 times to my editor’s justified dismay. As for powerlifting, no all I do is compete and enjoy.

    Fact is, I think there may only be one Powerlifting journal out there. Facebook has taken over.

  23. Ted 10:14am, 01/15/2014

    Paul, John, Montoya and that bile-inducing faction of writers he seems to represent (according to him at least) is what makes a stomach pump unnecessary. But that all said, By calling me a “cunt” and “bitch” and telling me to “shut the fuck up,” this guy confirmed a lot of things for me.  He also made a very bad mistake.

  24. John 09:06am, 01/15/2014


  25. dollarbond 09:03am, 01/15/2014

    May be your best ever.  It makes a powerful statement on what’s wrong with boxing these days.  Do you ever write about powerlifting?

  26. Paul Magno 08:42am, 01/15/2014

    After reading some of Montoya’s stuff (erotic poetry as well as his homoerotic prose on Max Boxing), I’m feeling the “wet hotness” of this morning’s breakfast as it churns in my stomach…

  27. Ted 08:40am, 01/15/2014

    I am laughing out loud. literally splitting mu gut on that one John but be careful, she might like it. hahahahahahaha

  28. John 08:34am, 01/15/2014

    With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I’m going to ask Gabriel Montoya to write me an erotic poem for my sweetheart.

  29. Ted 08:28am, 01/15/2014

    Tyler I get it. You have a thang with the poet, but I will restore you. I need all the friends I can get.

  30. tyleradams 08:10am, 01/15/2014

    Ted,  I goofed and accidentally hit the remove me from your list, or the thread.  Please make sure I still receive your columns.  Too many punches to head I guess. LOL, Thanks, Tyler

  31. Ted 07:49am, 01/15/2014

    Steve, FCW, it’s people and “WRITERS” like him who make me cynical of late. They hide behind their keyboards and throw out all kinds of garbage and hate, yet when you uncover them you are astonished at just what they really are all about. It almost demeans me to mention the person. He represents the arrogance I see all too frequently in those who are on the periphery of boxing, of those who have no sense of what the history of boxing is all about. Instead, he is in it for himself.. He has found PEDS and friendship with Victor Conte to be his traction. They deserve one another.

    By the way, in addition to being a porn poet, he also is a wannabe actor. In this link, you can see him giving his Keanu Reeves-like emotional range. Fast forward to 1:38. Ugh,

  32. Gordon Marino 07:48am, 01/15/2014

    I’m sure people were just as bloodthirstY back in the ‘30s but I think because boxing was so popular then there was a little more knowledge and appreciation of the science. Fighters like Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom had no problem getting bouts. Beau Jack was a diesel in the ring but he also had great technique. Yes, Louis was a knockout artist but also an amazing boxer. But you’re right - Americans loved rockem sockem. But the marketing is different and in a different galaxy today.

  33. Ted 07:24am, 01/15/2014

    Pete, I am humbled.

  34. Pete The Sneak 06:17am, 01/15/2014

    Toro, I’ve read your article several times over the past couple of days and really don’t know what else to say.  Words like brilliant, thought provoking and smashed face truth come to mind…With that, all I can really say is I hope that ‘cold morning’ never arrives on your doorstep. I mean after all, it’s boxing voices such as yours (and unfortunately ‘only’ a few others) that while not totally making that sewer smell go away, at the very least it makes the air more breathable and tolerable to inhale….Absolutely great stuff and please keep it coming…Peace.

  35. FightClubWriter 11:29pm, 01/14/2014

    Montoya is sick in the head. He acts like he’s the morality police and if anyone writes about PEDs he takes offense to it because they don’t know as much as him. He once wrote on Twitter that he wanted to do an experiment where he would take PEDs and fight one pro fight to see what he can do in training camp and during a fight. He says he wants to clean up the sport and that was the best idea he came up with? And yet he aligns himself with a convict and drug dealer like Victor Conte and has the audacity to pat himself on the back for helping some Canadian promoters come up with the “best” testing protocol in the world? He can’t even write a complete sentence and he’s consulting on drug testing protocols? Every single one of his PED stories always end up being about him. Whether it was the slime ball way he threw that Mayweaher rumor out there or how he attacks Conte’s enemies on Twitter, he is a guy that believes he’s untouchable and on some moral high ground. His writing is atrocious and he needs to crawl back into the sewer he came from.

  36. Steve 08:57pm, 01/14/2014

    Ahhh yes, Gabriel Montoya the head-hunting PED crusading erotic poet. I once sent him a respectful email challenging one of his error filled “articles” and he got snippy with me. He said he may not have been trained to be a writer but his hardwork and balls made up for it. He also challenged me to meet him at a boxing gym.

  37. Thresher 07:21pm, 01/14/2014

    John I hate to name names, but here is a link to his erotic poetry where you can do a torqued puke after reading it.

    He removed it from his tumblr page, but a message board has it up.

  38. Ted 07:07pm, 01/14/2014

    John so is business ethics.

  39. John 06:48pm, 01/14/2014

    Boxing morality is an oxymoron.

  40. John 06:45pm, 01/14/2014

    Nicolas: Re your comment: “I don’t think that people were all that different those many years ago.” I agree with you.

  41. nicolas 06:01pm, 01/14/2014

    GORDON MARINO: I have to take issue with your comment that today that is all people want are slugfests. I don’t think that people were all that different those many years ago. Look how people back then raved about hard punchers like Jack Dempsey or Joe Louis. if you have ever seen the movie ‘GOLDEN BOY’ with William Holden, the fight scenes show an audience that only seems to want to see blood. The former middleweight champ of the 30’s Gorilla Jones I believe got himself disqualified because the ref felt he was not trying hard enough. Beau Jack was very popular in the 40’s because of his non stop action, and I believe because someone was going to fall. I know that Benny Leonard was very popular back then, but I think that was because while there were many Jewish fighters, proportionately there were not as many Jewish champion, and he was certainly the best of all time, also some of his fights ended in knockout famously I believe. As for the religious outlook on the sport, in the early years of boxing history one of the greatest arguments against boxing came from religious groups who felt that it was a barbaric sport.

  42. John 04:14pm, 01/14/2014

    Ted: Question: In an earlier post, you mentioned a BWAA writer that wanted to be removed from your e-mail list and later called you a bitch and a c**t? What’s his name? If you don’t want to reveal that information, I understand. The reason I ask is I have a couple of other boxing writers that I receive articles from and if it’s one of them I want to be removed from their e-mail list. Thanks.

  43. Ted 04:06pm, 01/14/2014

    Mike, I like some of your suggestions, especially the one about having accumulated 100 rounds. But two minute rounds by be a cure that worse than the disease.

    My own preference is that fights should be stopped sooner and those notorious refs who ignore this constantly should be banned. When Kirkland fought Tapia an announcer commented that if you asked what Ref they would like best to see work this fight, it would be SS—-and he let that one go too far. But he is not the worse.

  44. Paula Jones 03:26pm, 01/14/2014

    I resemble that remark!!!

  45. Ted 03:19pm, 01/14/2014

    Kerrigan vs. Harding and then some Clinton throwaway Paula Jones got into a boxing match with Harding that was televised. Perhaps the worse fight in the entire history of boxing as the Clinton thing turned her back and ran from the low life Harding who continued to pummel her on the back of her empty skull. That was nadir—the very bottom.

    Jones was so ugly she would have made a train go down a dirt road.

  46. John 02:52pm, 01/14/2014

    The only time I tuned into women’s fiqure skating was directly after the Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding scandal.

  47. Ted 02:37pm, 01/14/2014

    Some have suggested that no punches above the neck should be allowed. That wouldn’t get it in my opinion.

    I’m now hope from Dorchester where a big bunch of us celebrated Tony DeMarco’s 82nd birthday. He is as sharp as a tack and still at his fighting weight. Great guys, great time, great memories—-to be cherished.

  48. John 02:12pm, 01/14/2014

    That’s the nature of the beast!

  49. John 02:04pm, 01/14/2014

    The professional rules of boxing could also be changed to include headgear and 16-ounce gloves. Put a distinctive color on the striking area of the glove which will give the fighter landing a clean punch a point. Pro football could also be changed from tackle to the use of flags. Additionally, Indy cars could have governors installed on motors which will keep the car from exceeding, say, 60 mph. Change the course to include many more curves so a driver will need to use more technique. I like amateur boxing, but that’s not what I want. Face it, Hagler/Hearns was one hell of a fight. So was Corrales/Castillo (one of my favorites), Foreman/Lyle, Morrison/Mercer, et al.

  50. Gordon Marino 07:18am, 01/14/2014

    Dorchester Ted is right about Graziano Zale - there have always been slugfests in boxing but today it seems that’s all people want. Why else would they start this barbaric bare knuckle boxing with the circle etc? Also, as the tragedy of the Mago vs Perez bout suggests, docs, refs, and trainers have to be ready to stop some of the rockem sockem fights.

    Love the comment about how this one is the young Ted vs the old Ted - go Ted.

  51. Ted in Dorchester 07:08am, 01/14/2014

    But was Graziano-Zale any different from Gatti-Ward? The thing is, boxing brutality has not changed in decades and that’s its biggest indictment IMO. The more things change the more they are alike.

    But Mike is correct, there is no defense to speak of and when there is, everyone notices it because it stands out so starkly.

  52. Gordon Marino 06:03am, 01/14/2014

    I agree! Gatti Ward has become the paradigm for a great fight - great technique doesn’t sell. And certain commentators romanticize the rockem sockem fights above all else. As you say, no one seems to be teaching defense.

  53. Mike Silver 10:01pm, 01/13/2014

    Right now professional boxing is a human demolition derby and barely justifiable. Fighters today are being damaged in less fights than their counterparts of previous decades because of the abominable training they receive that rarely focuses on defense. The brutal brawls, devoid of defense, and mostly aggression is not what this sport was meant to be. Instead of just adding up the stupid “punch counts” what should also be counted is the number of punches that miss. A fighter who constantly absorbs punches should be warned by the referee and then termed the loser if he cannot avoid punches. The rounds should be shortened to two minutes for all prelim fighters and no fighter should be allowed to fight more than six rounds unless he has accumulated 100 rounds. Other rules can also improve the safety. If boxing becomes too tame for some then those fans can switch to MMA or WWE.

  54. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:23pm, 01/13/2014

    We’re all morally culpable and that includes the fighters too….the fighters who resort to PEDs to gain an unfair physical advantage over their opponent as well as those that employ dirty tactics during a match in order to inflict physical damage on their competitor… Mike Perez did to Mago with the illegal use of his forearms, elbows, shoulders, head and repeated low blows that resulted in a deduction of one Goddamned, stinking point. Do some fighters try to kill their opponents ?......Yes they do and some succeed don’t they….what was Griffith trying to do to Paret?....KO him?....oh really?.....or more recently Ical Tobida scurrying around the referee (who had already waved the fight off) like some rabid animal trying to get one more bite out of a dying Tubagus Sakti.

  55. Ted 04:23pm, 01/13/2014

    Geezus. I am speechless, err wordless. But I get what you are saying and it is well-thought out.. In fact, I actually did some fighting (and losing) under the auspices of the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization).

    BUT, each person’s view of morality is different. It is a boxer’s intent to incapacitate his opponent. Sometimes that results in unintended but grave consequences. On top of that, most boxers are at the mercy of managers and promoters. On top of that, few receive any benefits like health and medical and retirement. Now you stir that up, and my sense of morality says that that’s a bad scenario. Any guilt I might have in relations to that scenario will come from my colluding in it. And to avoid colluding in it, I must pick my spots and be a harsh critic where I see criticism justified.  So I’m good to go for now. Though maybe I’m kidding myself.

    Now regarding too many belts, I’m not so sure that’s a bad idea anymore and I am coming around to a different position on that. I will comment on that tomorrow when I can use my many home monitors simultaneously.

    As for Dors, anything you say, I’m in agreement. I like them blond and hot and wild.

  56. Clarence George 02:42pm, 01/13/2014

    I’ll put in my long-awaited two cents.

    Nothing pertaining to man is morally neutral—no thought or action or endeavor.  All result in consequence and therefore all contain the inescapable component of right and wrong.  To contend otherwise is in and of itself intellectual and moral bankruptcy.  In the modern era, the argument (well, ideological fiat) that human behavior is more a matter of irresistible impulse than anything else is nothing less than an attempt to dismantle responsibility itself.  How can one be culpable if one was “born that way”?  And without conscious decision, there can be no guilt.  Guilt over what?  After all, social scientists (tee-hee) have proven (anyway, dogmatically declared) that there’s no such thing as sin.  And without sin, it’s impossible to offend one’s fellow man…let alone God.  I’m OK, you’re OK.  Groovy, right?

    So much for the somewhat stuffy but necessary preamble.  How does all this pertain to boxing?  It doesn’t, so maybe the preamble was something less than necessary.  So, is boxing morally neutral?  Of course not—nothing that pertains to man is (ah, I knew that preamble would kick in).  But what one must keep uppermost in mind is that its wrongs are ancillary, however inherent (Original Sin, don’t you know).  It’s not the objective of the sport to cause either serious harm or death.  If it were, the “sport” would be evil by definition (rather like the gladiatorial games of old), and all who participated in any way or to any degree would be morally wrong in doing so.  True, a given boxer may deliberately seek to kill his opponent or a particular spectator may attend a match hoping to see death in the ring.  But it is they, not the sport, who must atone for such moral depravity.

    I abandoned boxing long ago and for many years.  Not for moral reasons, but because I grew tired of a self-destructive sport that had made itself ridiculous.  Numerous “champions” per division?  What a splendid idea!  But I returned because, well, “Many of his disciples walked no more with him.  Then Jesus said to the twelve:  ‘Will you also go away?’  And Simon Peter answered him:  ‘Lord, to whom shall we go?’”  To football?  No, boxing doesn’t have the words of eternal life, to be sure, but I won’t make the same mistake a second time.

    Speaking of which…Father McCormick doesn’t speak for the Church.  My fellow Catholics can take comfort in the knowledge that unless and until the Bride of Christ declares (which she won’t) boxing an affront to morals and the Faith, they are free to remain fans in good standing, guided by their hopefully well-formed consciences.  Indeed, in the good old days, how many boys learned to box in their parish schools?

    After that massive pontification, I have an irresistible impulse to examine a photo of some scantily clad sultress.  And it just so happens that I have to hand just such a photo of Diana Dors.  Ah, how that warms the, er, cockles of my heart.

  57. Ted in Dorchester 01:42pm, 01/13/2014

    Thank you kindly John. I did work hard on this one and my goal was to proke an interesting discussion. I got a great play on it in Facebook so I’m happy with the results. I will puruse all the and Fcebook and Email responses and then draw a conclusion as to where it all fits, but Robert’s point was a good one. Better to fight than walk away. And quitting has never been in my DNA.

  58. Ted in Dorchester 01:38pm, 01/13/2014

    November 05, 1962

    Here it is Gordon. You can google it.

    Is Professional Boxing Immoral?
    Boxing is under fire these days from portions of the press, government and clergy—because some fighters have been badly hurt and a few killed, and because criminals allegedly control large areas of the sport. Much of the criticism is naive or self-seeking, but some has come from such esteemed sources as the semiofficial Vatican newspaper ‘L’Osservatore Romano.’ Recently SPORTS ILLUSTRATED invited Father McCormick, a distinguished Catholic moral theologian and teacher, to discuss the moral aspects of professional boxing. Here is his considered judgment
    Richard A. McCormick, S.J. SI Vault-November 5, 1962

  59. Anonymous 01:29pm, 01/13/2014

    FightClub Writer, great, great stuff. I won’t comment much on Hauser because I have a personal animus towards him. That said, however, the issue of conflicts was out there for all to see and he was skewered by most writers for what he did re HBO. And that was a BIG BIG turn off for me because I had respected him to some degree up to that point.

    I will say that I think he is overrated as a writer and has lost the marvelous edge he once had. His accusatory overly lengthy investigative stuff reads like a legal brief except there are no case citations. His piece on Mago was a month too late and 500 words too long. He called it “The Dark Side of Boxing.” Right, the one that has given him handsome monetary rewards. The guy writes for at least three online sites so his influence over others is considerable and get this, he sits on the BWAA application committee so how could he possibly be fair to people who apply from sites that compete with the ones he writes and edits for. No conflicts there huh???

    I’d really like to see what his duties are at HBO and what his contributions have been thus far. Maybe he has done a fine job but let us know about it.

    And one other thing, I will never ever be one of his sychophants who grovels for his attention. Yuck!!

  60. Ted in Dorchester 01:15pm, 01/13/2014

    Great post Robert. I agree that it is better to fight and lose than to simply give up. It’s just that I hate colluding in something designed to inflict damage to men and women who are then left grasping for straws when they leave the business. But I get your point and it is taken.

  61. Ted the Travelling Man 01:09pm, 01/13/2014

    Gordon, I am travelling so I can’t give you the quote but if you look up Morality and Boxing, I think you will find it. Might have been in Sports Illustrated. It’s a long article and I think it dates back to 1962.

  62. John 09:57am, 01/13/2014

    Yesterday, while I was reading this, I was watching the playoffs on TV. Several brutal hits resulted in players being helped off the field. I think about concussions in football. I’m reminded about personal choice. I remember a 1990 quote by Jerry Quarry about his career: “When I started in 1965, I was changing Greyhound Bus tires for a living, bringing home $99.50 a week. You damned well know I’d go back into boxing. Yes, sir!”

  63. Gordon Marino 09:33am, 01/13/2014

    I wrote an article for CHRISTIANITY TODAY that is coming out in March - on whether or not it is immoral to watch boxing/mma. I would like to splice in the quote from Father McCormick—do you have a reference? Thanks again for another great piece.

  64. John 09:28am, 01/13/2014

    One of your most thought provoking pieces, Ted. This one is sure to be a classic.

  65. Gordon 09:01am, 01/13/2014

    I agree with you Robert. What troubled me a little about Cosell was the fact that he built his boxing career on boxing—- but then again, maybe he just saw the light. I dunno

    But thanks to Ted for opening this discussion - and let’s hope that with your leadership we can make some positive difference in boxing.

  66. FightClubWriter 08:57am, 01/13/2014

    The world of sports has always been a great escape for me. Coming from a world where walking to and from school was life and death. Playing in your front yard was life and death with the constant threat of gang drive-bys. Having close friends and family going to work and not knowing if they will make it through their shift alive.
    So for me the fake tough guy personas from many in the “boxing media” is too much for me to stomach. The arrogance and lack of self-awareness is too much. These wanna-be writers/journalists like expoliting fighters life and death risks and try to make it about it themselves. Again, for me boxing and every other sport is an escape from the real world. It’s enjoyable to watch and discuss. Writing and journalism has been a passion of mine since elementary school. But these so-called boxing “writers” make it difficult to enjoy with their arrogance and self-serving BS. And I will go on to call out Hauser’s “journalistic” work. All of his PED stories were in rumor, hearsay and unnamed sources. In fact, going back to his undercover HBO pieces those were based on anonymous sources. And what heinous things was he “reporting” about HBO that he couldn’t report on say the sanctioning bodies? Athletic commissions? Promoters? The dirty side of boxing media like certain BWAA writers that like to plagiarize? Or say the selection process for the very BWAA he is a part of? He had an axe to grind with someone at HBO and is now being paid to keep his mouth shut about them. And when you look at the whole picture anybody that takes money, advertising or otherwise from a promoter, manager or fight network is doing the same. They are keeping their mouths shut about the wrongs that take place and repeat the company’s propaganda. As for the one’s that say they want to expose and clean up boxing? It’s very hard to do so when they are fed talking points from convicted felons and drug dealers.

  67. Robert Ecksel 08:53am, 01/13/2014

    Gordon—Walking away is an option, and one that I and others on this thread have exercised in the past, but what exactly are we walking toward? Perhaps we should walk away and leave the sport to the jackals and hyenas; nothing would make them happier. It may be as Howard Cosell said of boxing, “Mud can never be clean.” But those of us capable of making a distinction between morality and amorality can, if we choose, use boxing as a vehicle, by letting our voices be heard, by speaking truth to power, to expose the crooks and incompetents that degrade our sport for what they are. It may be a fool’s errand disguised as responsibility, since nothing is likely to change. But to have fought and lost is better than to have never fought at all.

  68. Gordon 08:50am, 01/13/2014

    You’re right about the women - but very different sensibilities in Europe about boxing. Nothing is going to cure the ills of this sport but we have to make it better/safer.

  69. Ted 08:47am, 01/13/2014

    Well, by extension, that is why a Fed Comm is questionable. You can’t have a global one or even a North American one. As for Denmark, all I can think of are the amazing women. OMG!

  70. Gordon Marino 08:44am, 01/13/2014

    hey guys we also need to distinguish between the culture and meaning of boxing in the US and the rest of the world. I lived in Denmark for three years and can assure you that there it was much more regarded as a sport among sports than as a war. Americans are much more inclined to think in terms of “fights” than “bouts”

  71. Ted 08:33am, 01/13/2014

    Not sure I should step in here and not sure war is the proper analogy. The first Gulf War was not about jingoism. The second one was. If you or an ally is attacked, you defend and attack back. Preemptive strikes make me cringe but not retaliatory ones on moral grounds.

    But I get your points and they are very thought-provoking.

    I do like the following:

    “Boxing writers, heavily Caucasian, upper middle class, and focused on manly fairy tales of noble warriors who live in a world beyond mundane things like having to pay one’s bills, have always bristled at the young black man who talks big and lives flashy. In their eyes, grunting warriors with dirty sweatpants and furious slave anger are considered the ‘real’ heroes; Smiling and confident boxers with a ‘new-rich’ lifestyle and an ‘I’m just as good, if not better than you’ swagger are cads (or, as the managing editor of one major website said in reference to Mayweather, ‘Uppity’), who need to be brought down a few pegs. From Jack Johnson to Muhammad Ali to Mike Tyson, the media rejoices in the fall of ‘uppity’ fighters who ‘don’t know their place.’

    “And the line is long to bring Floyd Mayweather down. It’s been long ever since he left the protective, siphoning embrace of Bob Arum for a run at independence.”

  72. Gordon Marino 07:50am, 01/13/2014


    Many thanks for your thoughts.  The question is not for me - what do we do? But what should we do? It might be “natural” to be attracted to certain things, like a fight in the parking lot,  but that does not make it right to watch.
    I don’t know that we celebrate war so much as we celebrate some of the virtues that war brings out - or at least that is what we pretend to do. But the truth is, many of us find anything with the let’s you and him fight theme interesting.

    I am, however, not much on the boxing is war motif. I have not been in battle but I have a feeling that there is a profound difference between gloves flying at you and bullets. Though boxing was legalized in the US to help prepare people for war, it is a far cry from the battlefield.

    There are different degrees of choice and many young people with few choices have made a good choice in taking up boxing - otherwise I would not be spending a part of everyday training kids. But as you and I know, many a terrible and exploitive things happen at the pro-level - people with no business in the ring, put their brains on the line, just because they have no other way of getting a paycheck. And promoters let them do it - and maybe we watch the fights. That seems wrong to me.

    Where boxing is fair and safe, I think it can be worth the risks , but when it is not - shouldn’t we walk away?

  73. Tex Hassler 07:42am, 01/13/2014

    It does not take much brains to know boxing is not a perfect sport and it is extremely dangerous!  Years ago I worked on a construction job in Arkansas building a paper mill. Three men died in three different accidents on the job. No one is talking about abolishing construction work, but it is dangerous.
    If boxing was placed under a federal commission I doubt that the Federal Commission would run it any better as the government cannot even successfully run the post office or a lot of other things.

  74. Robert Ecksel 07:32am, 01/13/2014

    Gordon—Your question, “Is it immoral to be a boxing fan?” is nothing is not salient. But boxing is and has been, for better or worse, around forever, as entrenched as, and a reflection of, the cult of war. Mankind celebrates war, day in and day out, century after century, even as it hides the horrors behind jingoism deifying death. Boxing, at least in principle, is a fair fight. Boxers have chosen to box, perhaps because they had no choice as you point out, but it has given them an opportunity to experience “winning” in a world where they’ve been designated, because of racial and socio-economic stereotypes, “losers.” If it’s immoral to be a fight fan, wouldn’t it by the same token be immoral to commemorate war, however “necessary” we’ve been led to believe it is? Savagery is a beast with many tentacles. Boxing may be the least of it.

  75. Gordon Marino 07:11am, 01/13/2014

    Thanks Larry - gonna check it out!

  76. Larry Link 06:52am, 01/13/2014

    Gordon, this hits on your point:

  77. Ted 06:36am, 01/13/2014

    Another post that digs deep and makes me reel and teeter.
    The amazing thing about Father McCormick’s great point is that he said it 50 years ago.

  78. Gordon Marino 06:32am, 01/13/2014

    “It is never easy to question the moral character of our own pleasure and entertainment.”—Richard A. McCormick, S.J,”
    Thanks for your thoughtful reflection Ted. I think Father McCormick is right when he says the above. If we are going to spar with this question it should only be in the context of sincerely being open to the idea of walking away from the sport that is so much a part of the substance of our lives. I don’t know whether I’m there yet.

    And we have to start with the premise that when it comes to the prize ring so many of the people who entertain us come from very marginalized economic circumstances, where hitting and being hit it is the only way to make half-way serious money. So are we using vulnerable people to get our kicks? In that sense boxing reminds me of the sex trade a little.

    And on top of that so little protection for the Mago’s of the world.

    Have to think some more about your provocative piece - which perhaps can be understood as pegged to the question - Is it immoral to be a boxing fan?

  79. Ted 06:27am, 01/13/2014

    Thanks Tyler. Great post

  80. Tyler Adams 08:20pm, 01/12/2014

    Ted a great description of the moral dilemma of being a die hard boxing fan.  The smoke filled rooms and fixed decisions have always been a staple of boxing in one form or another.  That I can live with, as it is has always been and always will be.  The deaths and permanent injuries always haunt us from time to time.  I think I have been gradually pulling away from the sport for the last ten years for a different reason.  Most of the pay per view fights, should be on regular HBO or Showtime.  It seems there are fewer and fewer great matchups, and promoters are more cautious than ever in matching up their cash cows.  Pac and Mayweather should have happened 2-3 years ago.  Like music, I am becoming more unwilling to suffer through all the garbage fights to get to that one above average or good one.  I’m 61 and have done a lot of thinking about what you write about.  It seems that as fans we all go through these periods and pull back from the sport for awhile.  Can’t help but remember Howard Cosell retiring from broadcasting after the Tex Cobb-Larry Holmes fight.  Cobbs big heart and tremendous chin kept him in a fight that should have been stopped way early.  Those kind of senseless beatings demean us and the sport.

  81. Ted 05:52pm, 01/12/2014

    Steve-O, That’s what I’m talking about! You have the beat.

  82. Steve-O 05:43pm, 01/12/2014

    I am here to say that if these guys had sound management that included financial protection (and I don’t mean a meat head business manager ala Koncz or promoter ala King) they wouldn’t have to fight to put meat on the table.  Many need to dump the entourage and get real. I feel horrible about guys like Abdusalomov who was about to get to the big time.

    The seedy grimy pimps that ooze faux empathy and caring should be taken by boat out to one of the water intake cribs in Lake Michigan and dropped off naked in January with nary a life jacket.  Unfortunately these panderers of human flesh, blood and souls make the wheels go around.

    The recent judging conflict only further exacerbate the problem by screwing the guys that give their all to entertain and take care of their current and future financial needs . A win is another bump in a pay day a shot as a contender and a chance to go all the way.  Giving gifts to guys like Quillin, Chavez Junior or Broner just cheat fans and fighters alike and prolong the inevitable.

    The couch surfing morons that watch these fights and call a fighter that is less than an A fighter, or one that falls short in the eyes of the biased fans a “bum” needs to be thrown in a den with lions as well. To hear derogatory comments about Abdusalamov or comments about Provodnikov or his mother were pathetic.

    Slick promoters that force feed us with gimmicks and charge for a night of sub par fights on PPV or try to promote a night of mediocrity as a PPV need to sit in the seats we do and watch the same fights we do without getting paid.

    I am just getting started so I better stop. I am all over the place ut this problem is a big one and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

  83. Larry Link 05:39pm, 01/12/2014

  84. Ted 05:25pm, 01/12/2014

    Arghh, down below I meant “the one thing I will NOT stand is someone trying to tell me wrong is right

  85. Ted 05:24pm, 01/12/2014

    nicolas, there are stats but I have not looked at them in a while. I do know that there has not been much of a notable change globally speaking. Indonesia in particular is a bad place in which to box. Thailand has had issues as well. So has Japan. Fact is, Asia is possible the worse but I can’t prove that off the top of my head,

    Today’s fatalities, like everything else, are given much more publicity thanks to the internet..

    This from my friend Peter Silkov:

    “Sadly, boxing has been touched by tragedy again, in just the first week of the New Year. Japanese Super-flyweight boxer Tesshin Okada, 21, died on okada Monday after becoming ill following his 4th round tko defeat by Masafumi Kamiyama, 32, at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall, on December 20th. Both fighters had been making their debuts in what was a scheduled 4-rounder, and the referee stopped the fight in the last round. Okada was taken to hospital following the fight’s conclusion, and was operated on for a brain hemorrhage. This is another example of the risks involved in boxing, and why all boxers deserve our utmost respect, no matter what their achievements, how many fights that they have, or how many wins or losses they might score. RIP Tesshin Okada.”

  86. nicolas 02:03pm, 01/12/2014

    TED:  You talked about the needles deaths in boxing, but I was wondering, How does this decade compare to past decades in the amount of ring deaths, or even serious ring injuries? I could find no statistics.

  87. Ted 12:54pm, 01/12/2014

    Years ago, I walked away for a while because of the decision in the Briggs - Foreman fight which I always believed was of the top 5 worse decisions of all time. The Pac-Bradley one was another one that had me reeling. But it will take more than that to do me in.

  88. Ted 12:44pm, 01/12/2014

    Thanks Gutter. I readily acknowledge that a lot of what I write might not square with a lot of people, but the one thing I will stand is someone trying to tell me wrong is right.

  89. Gutterdandy 12:33pm, 01/12/2014

    Excellent Part 2, Ted.  Was glad to see you mention Vitali, who is to my mind one of the most dominant heavyweights of all time—never been knocked down, much less out, never trailed on the scorecards of ANY fight, even his “losses” due to injuries, came back after 3+ years out due to injury to reclaim his WBC title by making the champ (Sam Peter) quit on his stool (a fact seldom mentioned). 

    As for the morality issue, you are right on, and some of those comments amaze me.  The Woods comment especially seems like a cop-out of epic proportions.  He’s speaking for himself, not for everyone who writes about boxing.  And he should acknowledge that, but doesn’t.  Fuck him and the horse he rode in on—he deserves a kick in the ass.

  90. Ted 12:19pm, 01/12/2014

    Jill Diamond , that was very nice of you to say and I won’t for now.

  91. Ted 12:18pm, 01/12/2014

    Agreed Matt. It ‘s just that I have followed this thing so long and it has finally gotten to me. thanks’ for your prop,


  92. Matt McGrain 11:24am, 01/12/2014

    None of that stuff bothers me.  Not even a little bit.  You know what I don’t like?  Heroin dealers, people who hit their dogs and mistreat their children.  Boxing is a huge part of my life but a tiny part of who i am.  My moral compass is defined by far, far more important things than fighting.

  93. Jill Diamond 11:17am, 01/12/2014

    I love/hate the side of me that enjoys boxing. I acknowledge that primal aspect of who I am and continually enter into heated dialogues with myself about my involvement.  I feel this way about all contact sports. One thing I know for sure. Whether I agree with you or not,  you have an articulate and important voice.  Don’t turn it off. Don’t turn it down. Don’t!

  94. Matt McGrain 11:10am, 01/12/2014

    Ted, that was good.

  95. Ted 10:24am, 01/12/2014

    thanks Paul

  96. Ted 10:23am, 01/12/2014

    Robert, I get your point but this is about my ability to avoid moral culpability in boxing as a writer.

    In terms of law, government, academia, and finance, I have fought that battle over the years as well. I have lost some and have won some and I have colluded a whole lot along the way . Issue of morality exist everywhere but they are a far more blatant in boxing, IMO,  and insofar as conflicts go, I will never, ever defend them TWO WRONGS (OR SIX WRONGS) DO NOT MAKE A RIGHT.

    I also have a set of values that I try to maintain and right now boxing does not fit into them quite so well, I can accommodate my values to the business world by simply trying to do the right thing in each situation. It’s hard, but I really do try.

  97. Paul Magno 10:23am, 01/12/2014

    Ted, I hear you…I get snarky emails all the time from supposedly well-respected writers (several from the same person who wrote to you). I think that being excluded from the “fraternity” has helped me much more than the blacklisting has hurt…I (almost literally) never made a dime in this business until I separated myself from the creeps and pansies in my profession…I think there’s a growing group of fans that appreciate independent media and can now recognize the difference between a writer who is deeply compromised and one who is speaking from his heart…This is a trend that I hope continues…Don’t give up on the sport and don’t give up on writing about it. Use their bile to drive you…Anger is a gift.

  98. Ted 10:14am, 01/12/2014

    Thanks Paul. I think keeping your self away from the slime can actually work against you at times such as being blacklisted. But I know you and several others can hold your heads high and avoid swimming in the notoriously filthy Gowanus Canal that boxing has become.

    I had a BWAA guy ask me to remove his name from my “spam list” the other day. The article I accidently sent him was The solemn “How it Was-1945.” He called it spam so I said “gladly, you twit.” He writes back and tells me to stfu, calls me a bitch and cunt.  It’s this attitude that is driving me away from this sewer. But I am on the precipice of saying adios because it just isn’t worth the effort of shoveling sand against the tide, Kind of like Fort Apache in the Bronx. If you can stop one crime from happening, you are ahead.


  99. Robert Ecksel 10:06am, 01/12/2014

    In boxing’s defense, it never presumed to be other than what it is. The same can’t be said for law, government, academia, finance, etc. They are equally brutal and corrupt, but unlike boxing, they wash the blood from their hands.

  100. Paul Magno 10:04am, 01/12/2014

    Another great one, Ted…As a writer, I tend to focus on the reporting/journalist responsibility in all of this…The sport, itself, hasn’t really been cleaned up, but it COULD…Like Old Vegas becoming New Vegas, the corporations and other rich cats with comparatively clean hands could move in and muscle out the scumbags…BUT…when there’s no support from the media in doing this…when writers are all hustling for side deals and sleep in the pockets of the scum that currently run the sport, there’s not a chance in hell this will happen…When the sport’s entire media is subsidized by the power brokers who desperately want to keep their power, then it’s easy to understand why nobody is out there ruffling any feathers…and the few of us who dare to bring these things up get blacklisted by the other writers and bloggers, who become more outraged by somebody daring to bring up ethics in boxing media than by the rotten shit that happens to the fighters on, pretty much, a daily basis…Simply put, there can be no reform without a strong and independent media…I’m trying to do that over at The Boxing Tribune…Ted is doing his share as well…And “Woodsy” can take a flying leap off Mt. Fuck-You..HE accepts that he and all of his colleagues are conflicted. That says a lot about him and who he chooses to associate with…Nobody on my team is conflicted, I’ve never taken a favor from nor done a side gig for a promoter/manager….You can live in the business without bending over and spreading ‘em…Being a creep is a choice…

  101. Larry Link 09:55am, 01/12/2014

    Here is a great article

  102. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:36am, 01/12/2014

    Ted Sares-I am not tech savvy worth a shit….if I were I would find a way to forward this brilliant piece to Senator John McCain’s office (the highest level of our government to express any interest in this matter). I contacted him years ago by snail mail and he (his office) responded in a fashion that led me to believe that he would sponsor legislation that would bring about some semblance of direly needed reform…..this is one instance of expanding “Big Government” that I would heartily support.

  103. Ted 09:34am, 01/12/2014

    nicolas, if it existed back then and still exists today, what does that tell you? The only thing that is missing is organized crime.

  104. Bob 08:34am, 01/12/2014

    Ted: I’ve been enduring the same inner conflict about boxing for many years. Early on it was all of the sleaze and shenanigans, as well the fighting, that appealed to me. But as the years went by and a truer sensibility emerged within me, I found it harder to justify.  A wise man once told me that boxing, as well as a few other things, is like a prostitute. No matter how much you love it, for whatever reasons, good or bad, it will never love you back.

  105. peter 08:06am, 01/12/2014

    This piece is like a prizefight—two tough guys battling it out. The only difference is that it’s one tough guy battling it out with himself. It’s young Ted Sares vs. old Ted Sares. Well, Ted Sares is going to win in the end. Or it might end up a draw.  Thank you for this excellent article.

  106. Mohummad Humza Elahi 04:02am, 01/12/2014

    Superb piece.

  107. nicolas 03:02am, 01/12/2014

    I don’t know if boxing is more fetid and repugnant now than in any other time of history. I read of Joe Gans having to weight for the lightweight title in a suit or something, so that Battling Nelson can have an advantage in the ring. I read of Ike Williams being robbed of his money by his mob boss manager, and still having to pay the taxes on his so called earnings. Ray Arcel being assaulted by what a man with a club, and then being out of boxing for years because of what happened to him. Or a greedy manager of Benny Kid Paret allowing his fighter to go into the ring some 3 months after his KO loss to Gene Fulmer, and losing his life. Talk about conflict of interest, did not Fritzie Zivic’s people buy Charlie Burley’s contract so that Zivic would never have to defend his title against him?, and what of all the many black fighters back then denied title shots? When asked about all the different organizations that had world champions if it was bad for boxing, Jake LaMotta said that he thought it was great, as it meant that deserving fighters could become world champs, something that did not always happen in the past.

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