Something Rotten

By Adam Berlin on July 29, 2013
Something Rotten
Golden Boy awarded a ten-thousand dollar bonus for knockout of the night. (Naoki Fukuda)

Gone perhaps are the days when mobsters bought and sold fighters and fights. Today’s strings are pulled by money men of a different sort….

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. 

On Saturday night, boxing fans were treated to a great night of boxing on Showtime, a trio of fine, competitive fights. In the opener, American Keith Thurman stopped Diego Gabriel Chaves, after sapping the Argentinian’s strength with a well-placed shot to the body. In the second 12-rounder, we saw a candidate for Fight of the Year as Texan Omar Figueroa and Japan’s Nihita Arakawa pounded each other without pause—this fight was so relentlessly brutal, so full of literal blood and figurative guts, that everyone (fighters, commentators and spectators) felt exhausted when the final bell rang. And in the main event, Jesus Soto Karass beat up and then stopped a very game Andre Berto in the 12th. The six men in the ring displayed the best of boxing. They were supremely conditioned. They entered the ring believing they would win. They showed grace under pressure. And they fought hard—taking shots to give shots, ignoring cuts and injuries and hellacious blows, working through pain to move forward in their careers.

But the beauty of tonight’s card was tarnished by the influence Al Haymon wields in the sport of boxing. Al Haymon is the unseen man behind too many fighters, a manager who seems to hold powers far beyond his official capacity. He is a close friend of both of the big fight networks, HBO and Showtime. He is often accused of acting as both manager and promoter, something supposedly illegal according to the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. And far too often he seems to have judges and referees and commissions well secured in his deep pockets.

On Saturday night, you wouldn’t have known there was anything rotten lurking just under the ring if you listened to Showtime’s telecast. But that’s to be expected—Showtime’s decision to put Al Bernstein and Mauro Ranallo at the helm is a blueprint for corporate safety. Bernstein, despite his many accolades, is nothing more than a paid patsy. His commentary is never insightful—what he brings to the fights are a litany of easily-researched facts from and a recitation of punch stat numbers that, as any true boxing fan knows, do not tell a fight’s true story. His patter is homogenized. He glosses over every controversial call. In sum, he’s the Yes Man’s Yes Man. As for Mauro Ranallo, one need only listen to his incessant blow-by-blow commentary to recognize this man knows nothing about the nuances of boxing. Ranallo is a circus barker, but at least a circus barker knows an elephant’s an elephant and a clown’s a clown. Paulie Malignaggi rounds out Showtime’s triumvirate, and, frankly, I feel sorry for Paulie. The skilled welterweight in the ring has shown himself to be an astute analyst outside the ring. But Paulie, who can fill most rooms with his rat-tat-tat diatribes, is no match for the inane, non-stop spewing from the mouths of Bernstein and Ranallo.

Unfortunately these crappy announcers never called attention to Saturday night’s crap, the stench of which too often permeates boxing. Here’s the real deal:

Tonight three Al Haymon fighters were on the card and all three were favored to win: Keith Thurman, Omar Figueroa and Andre Berto. I’ll get to Thurman later, but let’s look at the other two fighters in their respective fights.

Omar Figueroa has heavy hands, and his punch was certainly harder than his Japanese rival’s. But to listen to Showtime’s blow-by-blow, Figueroa was the only man in the ring on this balmy San Antonio night. The underdog Arakawa didn’t win a majority of rounds, but he certainly won at least three rounds. He was often coming forward and he often had Figueroa pinned against the ropes—ring generalship. He often landed more punches than Figueroa—punch volume. And if part of scoring (perhaps a more nebulous part but a part nonetheless) is about which man you’d rather be (or not be), well, there were rounds when Figueroa’s face, leaking blood and taking punches in bunches off of nose, brow, ears and jaw, made me identify with Arakawa. What were the final tallies for this fight? Omar Figueroa, Al Haymon’s fighter, won with scores of 119-107 and 118-108 twice. Really? One round for the Japanese fighter on one card. Two rounds on another. But not a peep out of anyone. (If you watch the replay of the fight, listen closely to how many times Mauro Ranallo mentions Figueroa’s name during the blow-by-blow. It’s as if there were one man in the ring, Haymon’s man, hitting an anonymous heavy bag.)

Thankfully, Soto Karass didn’t have to rely on the judges. He won virtually every round until the eleventh when Berto hit him with a blow that may have been south of the border. Soto Karass went down and the ref started counting. And I started doing my own math. Since I knew Soto Karass was the opponent, since this fight was in Texas, notoriously corrupt, since I knew Berto was Hayman’s fighter, any round that was at least a little close, would go to Berto. With this in mind, I’d had to temper my scoring throughout the fight—this is sad but true. Forget the adage about a challenger having to take the fight from the champion (an adage I never subscribed to because once that bell rings each fighter should start with a tabula rasa). In a fight where Al Haymon’s fighter is the favorite, the challenger not only has to take the round to win the round, he has to dominate the round completely to squeeze out a 10-9. So when Soto Karass went down in the eleventh, I recognized that the fighter who would soon deserve to win the bout might not. Soto Karass did what he had to do to insure victory—he knocked out Al Haymon’s fighter—but if he hadn’t, and if Berto had fought just enough to survive the twelfth, Soto Karass may very well have lost. What were the scores after eleven rounds? Michael Mitchell had it for Soto Karass 105-103. Was the fight really that close? Not at all. But at least he had the right man ahead. Hubert Minn had it tied up at 104-104. Really? This fight was even after 36 minutes? No! And then there was judge Cathy Leonard who had it for Berto 105-103. This judge is guilty of being either blind or stupid or corrupt.

Did Al Bernstein or Mauro Ranallo highlight this criminal scoring? Again, the answer is a definitive No. Had Teddy Atlas been ringside, you can be sure he would have singled out judge Leonard’s incompetence. But Teddy’s nobody’s Yes Man. And without his strong voice (and because there are not enough strong voices in boxing) this night’s injustices will evaporate like, to use one of Teddy’s analogies, a shallow pond on a hot day. Unfortunately, boxing’s pond of corruption is often Dead-Sea deep. 

One final note about the night’s ugly side before I get to the Thurman fight. Whenever an Al Haymon fighter wins and takes his place in front of the camera for his interview, the Corona ring card girls are replaced by two foolishly-smiling faces: father Sam Watson and son Marcus Watson. Sam Watson works for Al Haymon, and the biggest part of his job description seems to be whispering into the winning fighter’s ear to remind said fighter to thank Al Haymon. Al Haymon may not be present in the ring, but he makes sure his name is mentioned after every single fight. Be aware of this the next time you hear a Haymon fighter getting interviewed. With a riff on the great quote, After God, Shakespeare created most, is this: After God, Haymon is thanked the most.

So what about the Keith Thurman fight? The rightful winner won. Nothing rotten there. But wait a moment. At the end of tonight’s card, Golden Boy Promotions awarded a ten-thousand dollar bonus for the knockout of the night. In an earlier undercard fight, Anthony Dirrell dropped Anthony Hanshaw with a clean right hand. This was a good knockout. In the main event, Soto Karass nailed Berto with a beautiful shot that sent Berto’s fire-hydrant body spinning and falling. It was a shot from which Berto couldn’t recover. This was a good knockout too. Who got the ten grand? The Al Haymon fighter, Keith Thurman. How did Keith Thurman stop his man? In round nine he landed a good body shot. Chaves went down. Then Chaves got up. When Round 10 started, Chaves came out of his corner, but his mind was no longer in the fight. While Ranallo loudly called the phantom punches Thurman “landed” on Chaves, the truth is Chaves was never hit cleanly. He just went down and stayed down. This was less a knockout by Thurman, more a choice by Chaves to stop fighting. But where did Golden Boy’s money go? To their featured rising star, who flies under the Al Haymon banner. Thurman didn’t earn knockout honors, but he got them anyway.

Three fights. Three instances where something was not quite right. And everything that was not quite right benefitted an Al Haymon fighter.

Too often, boxing’s injustices are brushed away too quickly. Incompetent referees continue to ref. Corrupt judges continue to judge. Well-connected fighters continue to win, even when they don’t deserve to win. Gone perhaps are the days when mobsters bought and sold fighters and fights. Today’s strings are pulled by money men of a different sort. But the strings are there. And like puppet masters, the money men often remain invisible even as their deft hands are all too apparent. 

Let’s remember this—and this is a call to all boxing writers and commentators and fans. Sam Watson is not standing behind us whispering in our ears. And so we don’t need to thank Al Haymon. What we need to do is call out the people that pollute boxing. What we need to do is call out all the blatant wrongs that litter the sport we love. If we don’t, the sweetest science will continue to leave a sour taste. And that’s more than sad. It’s easy. And as every fighter knows, and every fight fan should know, taking the easy way can have devastating, sometimes irrevocable, consequences.

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  1. brian 03:48pm, 06/03/2014

    Great article. I want to feature some of your articles on my blog if you are ok with it. Get at me. I completely agree with your assessment. i was blinded before, but clearly Al Haymon has his hands in way too many jars of cookies that is. Laws were meant to be placed to protect the fighters. Al Haymon brain washes his fighters to think he has their 100% best interest in mind that is simply not the case. The fact that he doesn’t pair his fighters up with non-Al Haymon fighters lends the sport to corruption and BS Politics. Now that Al Haymon is going to use Floyd and Schaeffer to get away with his illegal antics - mark my words, this shit will become WWF instead of real boxing. I hope Oscar doesn’t give up. He was the true hope of the sport.

  2. Ted 03:18pm, 08/13/2013

    fightfan1, good points

  3. fightfan1 06:35pm, 08/10/2013

    Bodyshot so you are saying that Berto would have won the fight if it went to the cards just based on Berto is an Al Haymon fighter. I feel that you are being totally disrespectful toward these fighters that get in there and risk their lives for YOUR PAID entertainment. As you sit your a** on your couch these men are giving everything they got to earn a living….its people like you that put a black eye on boxing on myths and assumed cheating…..when the judges don’t have a fight going YOUR way because your a PAYING CUSTOMER you assume theres a fix on….casual fan….sorry just because you see a fight going one way doesn’t mean everyone sees it that way….people have many different opinions on how fights go….and one thing is different from watching it on tv and actually being there live….you writers take EVERYTHING away from these warriors when there’s the very slightest of an assumed cheat because the paying customer sees it that way and hurry to point fingers at the ones that make these fights possible for the casual paying customer as yourself. I would assume you just say THANK YOU to the guys that made this happen and the fighters that risked their lives and put on one HELL of a show for your entertainment….your being totally disrespectful for the guys that go out there and fight there hearts out to win. Once again I seen NOTHING wrong with any of the judges score cards in the Karass Berto fight…and to even assume there was foul play is absolutely ridiculous.

  4. Ted 05:49pm, 08/10/2013

    The third paragraph of this piece is simply marvelous and shall be stolen forthwith.

  5. Traveling Man caught in monster traffic jam. 04:09pm, 08/03/2013

    Magoon, you multi positing again?

  6. Magoon 03:11pm, 08/03/2013

    Kind of gassy, Traveling Man.

  7. Traveling Man heading south from Quebec on #93 11:54am, 08/03/2013

    Why would anyone be afraid? What is the worse thing that can happen? Would a writer no longer be comped? Would he no longer be credentialed?  Would the BWAA frown on a “muckraking” writer? Would it deny him entry if he sought entry?  Would this piss off Bernstein?  Hayman, Watson? The Annoying Watson Twins? Showtime? Mauro?

    The day a writer has to be “afraid” of expressing his or her well-founded boxing beliefs should be the day we all pack it in. That said, however, few writers have the courage to do what this one did—even if it means reasonable responses from Fightfan1 who also should be respected for his views.

    Good debate is what this site should be all about. And if that debate centers around the perceived rotten core of the boxing establishment, all the better.

  8. Kerry Daigle 04:49am, 08/03/2013

    Wow….Someone not afraid to investigate Al Haymon. Also someone who believes
    that there are 2 fighters in the ring, not just 1. Will follow these writings with interest
    And share with our base of 100,000 boxing fans emails.

  9. Clarence George 05:44pm, 08/02/2013

    Hear that Maidana may sign with Haymon.

  10. Bodyshots 01:36pm, 08/02/2013

    “I agree with you 100% about the political problems in boxing but until its regulated what else can we do…”(?). At the very least, condemn it whenever and whereever it appears and NOT shrug our shoulders in resignation. As a paying fight-fan, I have the luxury of challenging or condemning any hint of impropriety by the Players of my favorite sport. They have the obligation to satisfy my lust for combat and ensuring a level playing-field that preserves the integrity of my favorite sport. I also won’t tolerate pissing, whining, moaning, or self-righteous posturing in response to my concerns. We may not have the national regulating body that we all want and promoters resist but we do have the court of public opinion to expose and shame the dirty players who taint the sport’s credibility with their “official scorecards” that are held in such low regard that they are considered little more than a formality that nobody hesitates to question or disregard at their own discretion.

  11. fightfan1 12:08am, 08/02/2013

    Bodyshot….I will not deny that there is and will always be dirty players in the game….i never denied that…its just difficult to be proven….if the writer of this article is going to trash and bad mouth the ones that make these shows possible for the fans. They need to do both sides of the story….yes there is bad in every promotion..TR, DiBella, GBP, Goosen…etc…plus there is a lot of good that NEVER gets recognized…Its just I’m sick and tired of the biased writers expressing their opinoins when they are NOT factual. The assumption is always going to be there but until its proven that there is corruption and cheating going on I would just assume they keep the false accusations to themselves unless proven. I am NOT by any means defending any promoter/ manager/ advisor….but in all actuality these are the ones that make it happen and when the show is as successful as this one it deserves praise….not oooh Al Haymon was screwing this person or that person….I feel Berto was definitely in this fight…I have watched it several times…the knockdown by Berto made the fight even closer….granted it could have been called low but the ref counted it as a knockdown…like it or not it had to be scored that way. Just because the fight was a little close at the end everyone started assuming there’s corruption going on…you must remember take away the knockdown by Berto that had to be called a knockdown and Karass was comfortably ahead on the scorecards….I just don’t see this writer justifying his case to corruption…I’m not a boxing fan….boxing is my job….I agree with you 100% about the political problems in boxing but until its regulated what else can we do…with the state of boxing the way it is today boxing writers should do EVERYTHING possible to promote it not degrade it!!! This is one of the reasons boxing is in the state its in… the media and all their false accusations…not proven accusations!!!!

  12. Bodyshots 07:13am, 08/01/2013

    “the ko bonus was 100% deserving to Thurman . . .” defending the status quo distinguishes you as a paid shill with no capacity for honest or objective analysis of the political state of Boxing. you’re defending individuals at the expense of the entire sport, which makes you an enemy of the hardcore fight-fan. Btw, do you think that fighters and promoters have an exclusive monopoly on effort and sacrifice? it’s at least voluntary for the pro-fighter. most of us have to make it without a choice or the benefit of a wealthy sponsor. i came up in L.A. and I’ve known plenty of fighters and not a single one is worthier of success than myself and some are conspicuously unworthy of any fan’s devotion including their own family members but that’s all-right because it’s not personal with me either. it’s entertainment. like a favorite sitcom and when it goes off the air, it’s on to the next show.

  13. Bodyshots 06:55am, 08/01/2013

    “if that the way you think I would not want you as one of my fans as a fighter . . .” suit yourself FIGHTFAN. however, it’s not your call or that of your fighters. you don’t choose your fans but we DO choose the fighters whose performances we’re willing to pay for. anyway, I don’t know If you’re a plant to illustrate the shilling that Berlin has described or truly oblivious about the fight-scene among hardcore fight-fans. we don’t have time for sentimental attachments. give us the best fights between the best opponents and fair scoring in lieu of a KO, which is the most convincing outcome. you can sentimentalize all you want about the sport but it’s guys like Arum, DLH, and Hyman that insist on treating it like a BUSINESS not a cause or social service. although, I am aware of several charitable and sustained actions by DLH in the L.A. area but he is the exception that proves the rule. when these promoters sponser FREE holiday exhibitions for a worthy cause, i’ll believe they give a crap about the fans that provide their income.

  14. raxman 11:51pm, 07/31/2013

    yes fightfan1 you’re the only person on here that has any understanding of the sport. you should leave and never come back. you’re much better suited to the “you don’t know shit about boxing” comments on Eastside.
    i truly don’t know who is proven more naive by this article, Adam for writing what is essentially obvious or you for denying its point and arguing for all but the canonizing of Al Haymon?
    Which ever, at least Adam Berlin commands the language, and is creative with it, despite the subject, as mentioned, leaning to the obvious. you on the other hand can only litter your slapped together passion points with obscenities and hackneyed recriminations.
    promoters have always had their house fighters and this is no different - and anyone who follows the sport can see that Adam is right when he accuses uncle al of sailing far too close to the edge that separates manager and promoter.
    why don’t you be honest fightfan1 as you clearly have a dog in this fight. what is your relation to Al Haymon? what is it that has your knowledge,(of this matter in particular and the sport itself in general) so much greater than ours

  15. fightfan1 07:50pm, 07/31/2013

    Bodyshot….if that the way you think I would not want you as one of my fans as a fighter and would want you to keep your hard earned money you obviously have NO clue what these fighters go thru to get where they are at….and if it weren’t for the hard work of the managers and promoters you would not get these type of matches to entertain you….you should be kissing the promoter and Al Haymons a** as well. I have no problem with the way the Karass fight was going it was a back and forth battle and the rounds were closer than you think….I was there live and in person it looked a lot more closer live than on tv…also the ko bonus was 100% deserving to Thurman Berto got up Chaves didn’t and for the Al Haymon influence for the bonus is preposterous…Oscar himself made the decision….so blame him!!! Bunch of amateurs on here!!!

  16. Bodyshots 05:00pm, 07/31/2013

    DON FROM PROV, i still reserve my regular contributions for the wild wild Eastside but appreciate the welcome of your familiar voice on this side.

  17. Bodyshots 04:50pm, 07/31/2013

    FIGHTFAN1, i could care less what Hyman is doing for his fighters. particularly if that includes lining-up sympathetic judges or rigging KO contests. we’re all familiar with the way promoters recruit their refs and judges and their ability to heavily influence the decisions of those whose fee and expenses they’re paying. you won’t even acknowledge that the Soto Karass scorecards were ridiculous or that Thurman earning KO honors is debateable. those are huge red-flags for this fight-fan. consequently, you may be no less of a paid shill as some of the pundits that Berlin is criticizing. Btw, the fight-game is entertainment. neither fighters, trainers, or promoters are curing cancer or promoting world peace. if it weren’t for the fact that they’re competing in my favorite sport i wouldn’t even know they exist like they don’t know i exist even though i contribute hard-earned dollars to their purses. you’re not going to get any fighter-worship from this fight-fan. after all, boxers are paid performers and nothing more. i value a good carpenter, plumber, or electrician more than i do a good boxer who only values his own career and compensation, which is fine. as long as they take my favorite sport serious and give me my money’s-worth.

  18. fightfan1 04:21pm, 07/31/2013

    Leighton your absolutely wrong I was at this fight and had the pleasure to talk with Diego Chaves after the fight and he told me it was a clean glancing blow on the temple and he also never recovered from the body shot in the 9th….as far as me getting kicked off this site I don’t care but when a writer is clearly saying that Al Haymon is corrupt I beg to differ….I happen to be associated with a fighter that has ties to Haymon and in my 20 yrs in boxing I have NEVER seen what Al Haymon is doing for his fighters from ANYONE…so before anyone accuses Haymon in the manner they are they really need to see what the man does behind the scenes for his fighters….guarantee everyone will change their mind about him….after all the fighter comes 1st and thats the way he sees it

  19. Leighton 02:44pm, 07/31/2013

    Actually, fightfan1, you can clearly see Thurman’s hand strike Chavez’s forehead, not temple.  It was hardly a flush shot to a critical area like Thurman’s earlier body shot.

    That said, I did think Thurman deserved the KO of the night, given that Thurman earned his victory. A knockout of a one-armed Berto doesn’t much impress me.

    Excellent writing, Mr. Berlin.

  20. Carlos Danger 11:04am, 07/31/2013

    B.P. Yang, I trust you are a female??

  21. B.P. Yang 05:43am, 07/31/2013

    OMG! I just googled Adam Berlin—He’s hot!

  22. Don from Prov 03:59am, 07/31/2013

    Ah, Bodyshots, I really miss hearing your voice on a regular basis

    Peace to you as well, my friend

  23. raxman 08:35pm, 07/30/2013

    Fightfan1 - back to eastside for you. we’re not into your adolescent tantrum raves here. the writers and readers of this site can express a point of view with passion whilst following the site directive of remaining ‘“above the belt”. get thee hence!

  24. fightfan1 08:03pm, 07/30/2013

    In all honesty Adam Berlin you should be kissing Haymons and GBP a** and thanking them for putting on such a great show….these warriors need praise for laying it all out in the ring not disgracing them with accusations of corruption and cheating….you as a writer need to do some soul searching and give credit where credit is due….this was one hell of a card from top to bottom and deserves to be recognized as one….its ridiculous how the media can disgracefully take the excitement out of a show….praise these warriors dont disgrace them!!!!!

  25. fightfan1 07:39pm, 07/30/2013

    Hey jacka** writer why don’t you do some fu***** research before you rant about Al Haymon do you really know what he does behind the scenes for his fighters. I guarantee you don’t… before you open your big a** mouth do some fu***** research!!! As for Thurman he deserved the bonus because he bounced a right hand off of Chaves’ s temple that you can clearly see in the replay you freakin jerk of a writer….this type of sh** article and writing is what’s wrong with this sport the falsely accused accusations that writers make that they don’t know sh** about

  26. Springs Toledo 06:55pm, 07/30/2013

    Finally, those “foolishly-smiling faces,” the Watsons, are called out. Haymon is as much of a dufus as his stand-ins if he doesn’t know by now that thousands of boxing fans are swearing at the TV every time those clowns stick their faces over shoulders of deserving fighters. I’m close to pulling an Elvis and shooting out the TV the next time I see them -especially daddy clown. The above was an overdue spotlight shined in the shadows, looking for Al Haymon. The next time I see Adam Berlin walk into a room, I’m standing up.

  27. Mel 06:18pm, 07/30/2013

    Wow!!!!!! Adam just gave Mr. Haymon an upper cut!
    I have to ask, at what point do we just enjoy whatever Haymon is setting up? This year has been filled with cray cray fights. Just like the rest of winners that have been walking out of these bouts…......... “I’d like to thank Mr. Al Haymon for managing, promoting, setting up deals, taking care of your boxer$ and allowing us (Boxing Fans) to witness these awesome fights because if the boxers are thanking you…, you must be doing something right.” Oh, one more thing Sam Watson and his kids, are probably considered like family to their boxers. I don’t see Golden Boy or Tom Ranks members cheering their champions as they enter the ring.

  28. The Travelling Man at the Auberge 05:47pm, 07/30/2013

    Bingo and then some. The Watson’s (all three) and Haymon are totally despicable and you said it perfectly!!!

    True slime.

    Bernstein is MR. Weathervane who will tell anyone what they want to hear plus his ego is beyond belief.

    Mauro doesn’t even warrant wasting my breath. stuff, Adam.


  29. raxman 03:58pm, 07/30/2013

    took out the big stick and went WHACK! its a good piece AB but its not just the Haymon fighters that get the one sided commentary - one of the reason I stopped being a pacquiao fan was because of HBO’s ridiculously one eyed calls for his fights. so i’m not convinced this is entirely an uncle Al (as paulie called him) problem. I think these networks have their favourites, they cultivate them early and they stick with them. there will always be, as there always has been, house fighters. its part of the game

  30. Bodyshots 02:13pm, 07/30/2013

    Arakawa’s unrelenting (monotonous?) offense was admirable and his resilience was surreal considering the flush-shotS he was absorbing from Figueroa. however, what made Arakawa’s offense less-than-scintillating is that he appeared to be punching by rote. i detected no strategy or fight-plan other than leaning forward and punching non-stop with both fists. neither can i recall more than seven notable punches by Arakawa over 12 rounds. consequently, despite a determined effort, Arakawa’s fight-profile emerged as conspicuously Flat. award him 3/12 or 4/12 rounds if you must but it’s still a lopsided win in favor of the equally resilient Figueroa . . . Peace to Don from Prov.

  31. Bodyshots 02:01pm, 07/30/2013

    Bullseye! every blue moon the stench emanating from Boxing’s underbelly becomes so nauseating that even the usually complicit “writers” and pundits have to stand up and cry “Foul!” however, even I must concede to having become numb to Boxing’s rotten-as-usual business practices. usually, the silence is so deafening that I begin to question whether I’m the only one who cringed at the scorecards for Soto Karass or rolled my eyes at Thurman being awarded the KO honors? in fact, you’ll find none of the righteous outrage expressed by Mr. Berlin in any other pundit’s articles. just the same complicit “go along to get along” attitude that Mr. Berlin attributes to the likes of Bernstein(?!). Btw, i get Mr. Berlin’s disgust with the passive or active complicity of analysts like Bernstein. perhaps, Bernstein should be more of an activist on behalf of Boxing’s integrity but i never pegged him as the crusading type. strictly speaking, i appreciate the commentary of Bernstein, Paulie, and Tarver. at worst and IMO, they appear neutral when it comes to promotional politics. unlike the HBO crew of promotional cheerleaders whose anlaysis and commentary are frequently and predictably favorable to the promotional darling. whether or not it corresponds with what fight-fans are watching with their own eyes. Btw, Atlas may call’em as he sees’em but the stench of bias emanating from his commentary is just as unwelcome, e.g., you can always count on Atlas to 1) favor the east-coast fighter 2) favor the “American” fighter and 3) overstate the performance of the east-coast American fighter while literally ignoring what the opponent is accomplishing until they win by KO. at which point, Atlas invariably attributes their success to something the east-coast “American” fighter didN’T do(?). IMO, the only difference between Atlas and the “paid patsies” that Berlin condemns is that Atlas’ bias is about personal ego and resentment at NOT being one of the designated and well-paid PPV patsies. this resentment is his primary motive for appearing independent but he’s no less biased than the rest only less prominent. Excellent article. Bold insight. if only the entire community of pundits hammered the same points home, Boxing could reclaim it’s status as a legitimate and glorious sport.

  32. Don from Prov 11:14am, 07/30/2013

    Complete agreement about the Soto Karass scorecards—ridiculous

    And the KO of the night—I saw Soto Karass earn that too
    What realities about Haymon underlie what went on, especially in the scoring of the Karass fight, or how deep those realities run throughout the sport—

    Well, I don’t know, but this article may cause many of us to pay attention

  33. The Fight Film Collector 10:51am, 07/30/2013

    Right on the button, Adam.

  34. Jim Crue 10:41am, 07/30/2013

    never trust the honesty of a fight in Texas. The commissioner and his ref son are not to be trusted.
    EXCELLENT article

  35. Michael Hegan 07:12am, 07/30/2013

    very insightful article.  Texas has put forward a lot of shows…..and some of them are more memorable ....because the wrong guy got the win…..more than some of them actually.

    ditto the KO of the night , as the author so rightly pointed out.

    Keep ‘em coming Adam….please

  36. peter 06:02am, 07/30/2013

    Excellent article. Adam Berlin has become a force to be reckoned with in the boxing world. This ugly sport needs more muckraking than any other sport. With more muckraking like this and a bit of disinfectant boxing might once again become honorable.

  37. Kurt 05:37am, 07/30/2013

    Great article.  Finally someone has the balls to say what many of us think.  I have wonder what purpose that Watson dude serves . The dad reminds me of an old comedy TV show character from the 1950’s.  I bet he does whisper in the ear of some of your fellow writers. I have noticed a subtle uptick in Haymon fighters coverage the past year.  Haymon needs to prepare for the post Mayweather days. I doubt if Berto will be around.

  38. David Slater 12:01am, 07/30/2013

    You are a brave man to say it like it is. Thank you for this marvelous exposé on the unseemly underbelly of boxing today.

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