The Conundrum of Boxing Journalism

By Ted Sares on November 18, 2011
The Conundrum of Boxing Journalism
"Too often they write not like professional journalists but like fans or volunteer publicists."

While the internet has greatly leveled the playing field, web writers still often cross the line between being reporter and being participant…

“George Kimball…knew how to trace the devious paths taken behind the scenes by the money and interests that rule boxing. His passing and the passing of the scene of the professional boxing writer that it portends, is as great a loss as the death of the estimable Joe Frazier.”—Carlo Rotella

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

“…too many have to do it as a hobby, or for the insider thrill of being at ringside.”—Rotella

“Boxing is the red light district of sports.”—Jimmy Cannon

Manifestly, the business of boxing has been shortsighted in that the embrace of PPV and the fragmentation of world titles have led it from being a popular American sport right up there with baseball to a niche activity. Along with this decline, those boxing writers who used to do it as a trade have become close to extinct. Writers like Reg Gutteridge, Jimmy Cannon, and Budd Schulberg are no longer around, though 81-year-old Jerry Izenberg can still turn out a righteous piece.

However, the advent of the internet has changed everything. With readily available records, BoxRec, video footage via YouTube, and the ease of electronic communications to various sources, there is absolutely no excuse for a lack of awareness on the part of the web or online writers. Moreover, the accuracy with which Hall of Fame analysis is now done has been enhanced greatly and the proof of that pudding may have been the induction of South Korea’s Jung Koo Chang last year and the possible induction of Japanese great Yoko Gushiken or South Korean flyweight Myung-Woo Yuh in 2012. This in no way is meant to marginalize the international historians and particularly the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) which does an astounding job of meticulous research and is a great resource in and of itself.

While the internet has greatly leveled the playing field, web writers still often cross the line between being reporter and being participant. In so doing, they risk coming across as fans. Though clearly knowledgeable about boxing, they should strive, first and foremost, to be writers in the tradition of the old pros who were classically trained journalists who knew what writing was all about.

Boston College Director of American Studies Carlos Rotella recently wrote a compelling piece in the Boston Globe in which, after paying deep tribute to Kimball, he asserts in part:

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

And yet I have heard writers say that they like being on the inside without perhaps realizing that being on the inside might put them in a compromising position. Look, you can’t have it both ways. If you are going to remain objective, then you need to be detached. 

In an interview on the BWAA website that contained a number of interviews, Tim Graham, in a response to the questions, “What constitutes a ‘bad’ boxing writer? What are some ‘no-nos’ that an aspiring fight writer should steer clear of?” states it perfectly:

“What it boils down to is ethics and professionalism. A journalist cannot accept gifts, travel arrangements or preferential treatment from the people they cover. He or she cannot blindly back a fighter because that fighter knows the writer’s name or his promoter pays the Web site. A good journalist cannot take pride in being in somebody’s back pocket. Credibility cannot be maintained this way.

“A young sports writer would be wise to avoid getting caught up in the trap of the excitement. Always appreciate and respect the sport you’re covering, but your days of being a rah-rah fan should be over.”

Many writers don’t see their job as being a muckraker and I quite agree, but I do think a writer should approach boxing with a healthy degree of cynicism and skepticism. After all, there is a dark dimension to the business of boxing that should never be ignored, though plenty of dirt exists in other sports.

So what does all this mean? Well everything eventually will go to the internet (actually, most of it already has) and boxing will be covered by websites devoted specifically to the sport. Accordingly, the on-line sites will need to maintain the appropriate level of journalistic credibility if the transition from newspapers, magazines, and even books to the internet is to be a relatively seamless one.

Postscript: I submit that I’m delighted to be associated with Boxing.com which I believe has made the transition.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Jung Koo Chang vs German Torres I-(part 1)



Jung Koo Chang vs German Torres I-(part 2)



Jung Koo Chang vs German Torres I-(part 3)



Jung Koo Chang vs German Torres I-(part 4)



Jung Koo Chang vs German Torres I-(part 5)



Yoko Gushiken vs Alfonso Lopez (1/3)



Yoko Gushiken vs Alfonso Lopez (2/3)



Yoko Gushiken vs Alfonso Lopez (3/3)



George Kimball On The Four Kings



Steve Bunce Tribute To George Kimball



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  1. the thresher 12:26pm, 12/17/2011

    Thank you for that.

  2. the thresher 07:20pm, 11/27/2011

    “Tapping into one’s higher (highest) self will.”


    True

  3. the thresher 07:19pm, 11/27/2011

    But you need to learn the basics like grammar, etc. Kimball was very precise on this. Creativity that is sloppy and does not reflect meticulous research is not enough. You learn the basics and then let it flow.

  4. Robert Ecksel 07:11pm, 11/27/2011

    It’s good to learn from others, and Putnam and Kimball were as good as they come. But in the end, as with all creative endeavors, answering the muse when she comes calling is the only way to go. Slavish imitation won’t release the shackles. Tapping into one’s higher (highest) self will.

  5. mike schmidt 07:09pm, 11/27/2011

    you have me laughing so damn hard I can’t fill out the application. adios

  6. the thresher 07:05pm, 11/27/2011

    This appears to be the thread that won’t die. :)

    I can see how this article might have come across as a bit elitistic (is there such a word). But that was not my intent. Just that if you are going to write, make sure you know how to write before you write. Follow one of the masters for a role model. Pat Putnam, Kimball, etc. You could do worse.

  7. the thresher 07:03pm, 11/27/2011

    I just don’t want to get myself in a position where they can foook me over. But you are right, there are lots of good guys in there like Adam Berlin, Lee Groves, etc. It’s just 4 or 5 that I don’t care for because of their phoney elitism.

    Never was an elitist and never will be one and that’s something I am very proud of.

  8. Robert Ecksel 07:00pm, 11/27/2011

    If narcissism is your thing, I’ve got a muddy pond that would like nothing better than to return your reflection for a small fee.

  9. mike schmidt 06:47pm, 11/27/2011

    Only one guy. I am foooked. Now for the Masons. I have a friend who is a member and I got the tour of the inner sanctum. I had trouble not giggling so no luck on that one. As for the mafia, well already told to lose any smart ass attitude on that - no warning necessary. Back to the BWAA—I think you should join, and then let me use you as a reference. Think of the fun we could have at the annual grand poooba thing—this could be better than Fred and Barney at the Royal Buffalo Lodge and the great gazoo. Seriously though, as before, like any group I am sure there is the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. As for rejection, ah what the hell Ted, I get that from good old Bronson every time he thinks he is getting scraps off the dinner plate-no-followed by teeth baring growls.

  10. the thresher 06:16pm, 11/27/2011

    And all it takes is one guy who hates your guts. Like the Masons or Mafia.

  11. the thresher 06:15pm, 11/27/2011

    It’s sickening. You feeling me on this, Mike? It’s sickening I tell you.

  12. mike schmidt 05:50pm, 11/27/2011

    BWAA has a six member group of evaluaters to your application- as well there is a question sheet to fill in. The only question on the hit list I found somewhat questionable to me was “What is your ‘day job.’ I understand Thomas’s day job is as a lawyer so I should pass that question ha ha Ted. Yound David passes that one as well I understand. You have to also provide some of your best work for review by the panel- and why not.

  13. mikecasey 11:40am, 11/26/2011

    Ah yes, Ted, the ridiculosly overrated Mr. Hauser. I understand now. Glad to be out of it.

  14. the thresher 11:20am, 11/26/2011

    It’s different now. You have to genuflect to Hauser and pay homage to Farhood by sending in a bunch of information, but my sense is that if they don’t like someone, that someone is f—ked.  The hypocrisy and blatant conflictss make me take pause. And I do believe they have had internal issues in the past but am not certtain of that.

     

  15. mikecasey 10:56am, 11/26/2011

    When I joined the BWAA, they offered me ‘honorary membership’ as an Englishman. I waited patiently to see what the conditions were. Then Steve Farhood sent me the price of admission and a rather tacky membership card through the post. And that’s all you have to do. I don’t even know if I’m still a member. I haven’t visted their website in years.

  16. The Thresher 01:01pm, 11/22/2011

    Thanks Mike and Don,

    Ted fom Boston

  17. mike schmidt 09:17am, 11/22/2011

    Yo Adrian, I coulda been a pretender. I do not know the members ( no jokes please) at the BWAA but no doubt you have the good, bad and ugly. Nice work Threshman-a few weeks back Lyle so and so wrote an article on a website that Joe Frazier was not a Hall of Famer…. I would have to go back (if need be ha ha) but 1967-1971, four fights of the year, four fighters of the year, rounds of the year and probably the biggest sporting event (not boxing) in Ali - Frazier 1 EVER- for those that lived that era that was THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY INDEED. It is what it is amigo in terms of what is posted and don’t even get me started on press pass items. At the Pacman fight I had opportunity to speak to a young Pinoy press lad who most certainly did not have a clue who Carlos Monzon was… I could go on and on of course. Luckily I have you lads and our fearless Editor to smack my work into some type of order and maybe that is what should be looked at closer- who are the editors of the various dribble- if it is that bad politely explain and clean it up or toss it out. See ya.

  18. Don From Prov 07:38am, 11/22/2011

    “All they did was give each other awards”

    Well, you’ve just described the fiction—and especially—poetry world as I’ve seen it up close.  And you’ve probably described pretty much exactly the world of politics and just about everything else in front of us in our moment.  But those are other stories and belong in Scotch and Cigar Clubs, not here.  Good stuff, Ted.  Mr. Casey nailed it a bit ago when he noted that you’d said everything quite clearly and we were taking some roundabouts that didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    But then, I’ve seen that before—
    Yes?  And in a place best now ignored.

  19. the thresher 05:41am, 11/22/2011

    I belonged years ago but resigned because I didn’t like the landscape and I particularly didn’t like a couple of the “in crowd elite.” All they did was give each other awards. Just not for me—not my style.

  20. Dave Wilcox 05:37am, 11/22/2011

    I was butt hurt initially when they denied me, but I understood and as I thought about it further, I probably didnt fit their criteria. Id rather be in your club anyway, Ted.

    If I recall correctly, the only vote I got was from Fischer. haha

  21. the thresher 05:24am, 11/22/2011

    Welcome to the club, Dave. And great post. Oh for the good old days indeed.

  22. Dave Wilcox 05:14am, 11/22/2011

    “But if you are not accepted into the BWAA, you are a “pretender” according to Steve Farhood”

    damnit, Im a pretender then, too.

  23. Dave Wilcox 04:54am, 11/22/2011

    Very interesting and well done piece by “The Bull” Im kind of on the fence with this issue. Ive been described by others “in the business” as both “great” and propbably more have put me in that other category as Ted describes. Even a hack like me shakes my head at ringside when I see who has crededentials, but I also see what I like to refer to as “boxing snobs” I’m not sure which one I despise more. I both love and hate the internet. Without it, I would have never been able to express my opinions as a writer or cover fights. But I would give it up in a second to be able to go to The book store (you remember those, right) and pick up 5 or 6 Boxing magazines and a newspaper with Boxing on the front page on a Saturday morning. Once done reading i could sit back and watch Boxing on NBC,CBS and ABC on a weekly basis….Oh, the good old days.


    The reality is that this is the future and we need to embrace it and improve it. From what Ive read, Boxing.com has developed a good model for websites to follow to accomplish just that.

  24. mikecasey 02:52pm, 11/21/2011

    You too, man. God bless.

  25. "Old Yank" Schneider 02:44pm, 11/21/2011

    Mike—I know we’re both McCartney and Wilson fans.  You and I agree; where the talent comes from is immaterial—when someone has “it”, they have “it”.  It appears I’ve read too much into the sentiment of “the tradition of the old pros who were classically trained journalists who knew what writing was all about.”  Is it just classically-trained, old pros who know what “it’s” all about?  That my good friend is where the clarity of the bell got muffled for me.  As you said, one-off talent comes along that has “it” from time to time (even all the time)—some go on to write for The Times of London and others to write “Pet Sounds”.  Some cynicism and elitism was read into this piece and I suspect David read it as well.  I’ve not yet heard the author suggest that it was unintended.  If it was intended, then he got the point across.  If it was unintended, then perhaps I’ve made to much of it.  My bottom line is I’ve enjoyed the bohemian-like tussle here.  Running deep from time to time is good for the soul and necessary at times if you’ve going to catch fish.  Peace brother.

  26. mikecasey 01:48pm, 11/21/2011

    But Yank, Brian and Paul were the one-off talents I’m talking about. As you know, I’m a terrific fan of Brian. But Bri wrote music brilliantly. He had a talent for it. He didn’t write rinky-dink tunes and fancifully call himself a ‘musician’. You see what I mean? I’m not having a bullfight here with you, pal. I just think we can get too deep on these issues sometimes. That being said, I must admit I’m enjoying these good-natured tussles - and I still rate Bri’s ‘Pet Sounds’ album as the greatest!! Best, Yank!

  27. "Old Yank" Schneider 01:35pm, 11/21/2011

    Mike – I get the thrust of this piece and it has stirred a great conversation.  I would query of you, if Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney “[strived], first and foremost, to be [musicians] in the tradition of the old pros who were classically trained to be [composers] who knew what being a [composer] was all about”, would we have gotten all the rule-breaking and ground-breaking results out of them that we got?  Again, a tone was picked up in this piece that, in my opinion, is tough to ignore—and it muffles the clarity that you expect me to hear.

  28. "Old Yank" Schneider 01:28pm, 11/21/2011

    Mike—I hear you, but cannot ignore that the clarity of a bell you hear was muffled by being placed underwater.  Here is but one line from the article to make my point: “they should strive, first and foremost, to be writers in the tradition of the old pros who were classically trained journalists who knew what writing was all about.”  This is a far cry from your young man who just had “it”; it smacks of noir-like elitism.

  29. mikecasey 01:18pm, 11/21/2011

    I can’t quite understand why this thread keeps spinning out. I’m beginning to feel like an asthmatic ant trying to push some heavy shopping up a steep hill. The question here is not about elitism - it’s the ability to write good English coherently. As an ex-trade editor, I never gave a damn where my talent came from. The best young writer I ever employed was a kid who just had ‘it’. His old man was a raging drunk and his mother left home after the old man kept batting her around. But the kid wrote like an angel. He went on to join The Times of London. As previously stated, I think the author has made these points with the clarity of a ringing bell. Christ, let’s not get Freudian about it.

  30. "Old Yank" Schneider 01:14pm, 11/21/2011

    Ted – I hear you.  I’m more optimistic.  Cynics are often realists in the moment—they are cynics because they don’t see reality changing.  I suppose fireside storytellers lost their luster when the printing press was invented.  I hear they made a big comeback using the new medium.

  31. "Old Yank" Schneider 01:12pm, 11/21/2011

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  32. the thresher 01:01pm, 11/21/2011

    Happy Thanksgiving mates. I’m on the road again.

  33. the thresher 12:20pm, 11/21/2011

    “Cynical?” Not at all. I’m realistic. Pat Putnam wrote for Sports Illustrated for 20 some odd years but ended up on a web site. Please, can we be realistic here. Last I saw Hauser was on BoxingScene not that he needs it because he has done very well with his books. But the point is that the ‘cream” will not rise too the top electronically.

    And boxing IS a tad different from music.

  34. "Old Yank" Schneider 12:10pm, 11/21/2011

    Ted—There was a music free-for-all on the web for a long time; copyright be damned. iTunes managed to figure it out and at least artists are back in the game with a tiny slice of the pie.  Any bozo with a laptop and recording studio software can and does record music—and this puke gets out on the web—and fools consume it – mostly for free.  But again, the iTunes model was a step in the right direction for protecting copyrights and getting artists back onto the revenue side of the game.  Perhaps I’m not as cynical as you and have faith in the future finding a way to reward the cream of the crop.

  35. the thresher 11:42am, 11/21/2011

    “Markets have a way of sorting these things out.” Not on-line boxing web sites. These things eventually will be totally dependent on advertisng (they are now, actually) and the profit margin for the guys who own them will be extremley wide unless the writers rebel and that won’t happen because of the enourmous pool of “writers” out there. No, I don’t see the marketplace leveling this one out. Hope I’m wrong but as long as you have someone who can puke on a page and as long as you have someone who will read that puke. The model is what it is and it’s not likely to change.

  36. the thresher 11:36am, 11/21/2011

    But if you are not accepted into the BWAA, you are a “pretender” according to Steve Farhood. Now that’s hubris, chutzpah, and arrogance wrapped up in an egg roll. I grant you, Steve knows his boxing and is a fine announcer and has a great background. But for God’s sakes, this love affair with the BWAA is enough to gag me with bile. Some of us have no desire to be in any organization of any kind, particularly one that is so self-congratulatory. 


    Some of us prefer to be fiercely independent. At least I do. The days of the secret handshakes are long gone —at least for me they are. Call me a hypocrite for belonging to IBRO, but IBRO does not play games with exclusivity. Plus, it’s a great place for me to research history.


    No, I’ll remain a pretender than you very much.

  37. "Old Yank" Schneider 11:21am, 11/21/2011

    They say about financial markets, “The markets can remain irrational longer than an investor can remain solvent”.  This conundrum or challenge of how quality boxing writing is going to find a way to the marketplace in this age of the web, will sort itself out—perhaps not before some of us die.  In the last real estate and building boom, anyone with a hammer, tool belt and pickup truck called himself a contractor.  Today, anyone with a keyboard can call himself a writer.  Markets have a way of sorting these things out—rarely on a timetable of our personal satisfaction.  I have every faith that a few have already been born with pens in fist that will earn our respect just as George Kimball did.  Not to be too shameless a promoter for this site, but perhaps a few live here.

  38. mikecasey 09:43am, 11/21/2011

    Lovely, Don! Reminds me of the classic Noel Coward comment when he was approached by a highly pretentious guy who loudly announced to all and sundry who he was. “Of course you are, dear boy,” Coward replied, “of course you are.”

  39. Don From Prov 09:37am, 11/21/2011

    I went to a school where the writing program staff liked to announce themselves as members of the avant-garde.  Who the hell announces themselves as any such thing?  What I’m saying is that some folks love themselves and their purity so fully that they do NOT need the rest of us to love them AT ALL. 

    Or to paraphrase an artist: He would have been a good man if it had been someone there to shoot him every minute of his life .

  40. mikecasey 08:07am, 11/21/2011

    Sorry, my dear Yank. My peepers ain’t what they were!!

  41. "Old Yank" Schneider 05:05am, 11/21/2011

    Mike—“A voice from the crowd yelled, ‘Who’s that old guy in the robes with Mike Casey?’”  Damn Mike, you coulda a least given me a wave from the balcony!

  42. "Old Yank" Schneider 04:51am, 11/21/2011

    Adam—In spite of my exceptions, your points are appreciated and I do see the truth in them.  For example, I used to write for another site.  They now allow just about anyone to submit an article and it gets published.  Today the site is more full of garbage than writing.  The sad part about it is that a few good writers still write for the site—their articles buried in the garbage that surrounds them.

  43. "Old Yank" Schneider 04:40am, 11/21/2011

    Raxman—Michael Moore is a great example of a man with a small, loyal following who is fawned over by his disciples to such an extent that he’s come to believe that he’s capable of owning and delivering some higher truth.

  44. "Old Yank" Schneider 04:38am, 11/21/2011

    Adam—Your point about sand-lot touch football is a good one for sure.  But please explain the British music invasion that was pulled off largely by a collection of people who had not learned how to read or write music.  And Margaret Mitchell?  Grandma Moses?  A friend (and great boxing fan, by-the-way), is a high-end luthier.  His hand-made guitars begin at a price north of $8,500 and the sky is the limit.  He taught himself how to make guitars when he was a teen—somewhat eschewing the classical apprenticeship training route.  As a result of stepping outside the box he invented several new approaches to guitar-making.  He is a former production manager for a major guitar brand and now not only makes his own hand-made guitars but he also has a successful guitar manufacturing line and a guitar hardware business—built from his own patented designs.  He owns a ton of patents.  And we know the list can go on and on.  As I said, it is absolutely helpful to have formal training at a craft—more than helpful; desirable.  But art and academic training are not the hand-in-glove that is painted here.  The mind is a beautiful thing and the shear number of amazing artists without formal training that exist (or existed) lends proof to something about art that transcends training.

  45. "Old Yank" Schneider 04:26am, 11/21/2011

    There’s been a “bohemian” quality to this discussion that’s been quite enjoyable.  The only thing that would have made it more so is over a glass or two of one’s favorite beverage and in person.  Peace to all.

  46. raxman 03:53pm, 11/20/2011

    old yank - i’ve come to this party late and as much as i enjoyed ted’s article i only have to time to comment on your first comment - michael moore - i think the interesting thing here is that he only started sucking when started making money as a film maker - roger and me is great, has heart, soul and humour. but as michael moore became more succesful the worse he got. the more money moore made the more he started to suck - i know totally off topic on a boxing site but since you raised him i had to put in my two cents worth (or more)...can’t… stop,,, saying.. more!

  47. David Matthew 02:15pm, 11/20/2011

    LOL

  48. mikecasey 01:44pm, 11/20/2011

    Lord, it’s hard to be humble, Davd. But I’m doing the best that I can. That bloody Jennifer Lopez woman is still stalking me. These people don’t realize what it’s like for an ordinary working stiff who has to get out of his warm and cosy sack at six in the morning. I keep telling her that I’m perfectly happy with my sexy wife, Mildred Beatrice Crapper.

  49. David Matthew 01:29pm, 11/20/2011

    excellent quote pull re: writing, thresh.  Half of the reason this site is so intriguing and high-level is because of this very discussion - and the fact that we have so many interesting writers from a variety of backgrounds (as I just learned even more about thresh & Adam’s respective backgrounds)

  50. mikecasey 01:21pm, 11/20/2011

    Bless you, my son. Sleep in peace at the sacred Gates of Nicklaus.

  51. the thresher 01:13pm, 11/20/2011

    Those 9 holes were all par 3’s, but it still was astounding for me to do that. One bogie and one birdie to even it out.

  52. the thresher 01:12pm, 11/20/2011

    The Pope is Old School. Ya gotta like that. Now I’ve just returned from playing a remarkable round of golf (9 holes)—all pars. Time to nap but I’ll be back.

  53. mikecasey 01:07pm, 11/20/2011

    The other day, I spent some wonderful quality time in Rome. The Pope requested an audience with me and we stood on the balcony surveying the masses. A voice from the crowd yelled, “Who’s that old guy in the robes with Mike Casey?”

  54. the thresher 01:06pm, 11/20/2011

    For those who don’t know it, Adam is a Professor in the English Department of John Jay University in New York. He earns his living, in part, by teaching people how to write.

  55. the thresher 01:02pm, 11/20/2011

    David, I submit that when you are called upon to write cases, briefs, and arguments regarding legal matters, you will need to write with precision and circumspection. Your livelihood will depend on it. My first job from 1961-64 was as a Labor Relations officer where my primary duty was to prepare cases for arbitration. My boss was a PhD. out of Minnesota and he taught me more about writing than I could ever hope to learn in a life time. He was amazing.


    To borrow from an external source, my sense is “Writing as an art is ideally an open-ended medium of expression intended either as a more lasting form of communication, a lingering personal interaction, or as a succinct means to convey ideas and feelings to others, now and in the future. As an art form, it requires motivation (a reason to actually go to the trouble), a facility with words (wordsmithing, i.e. the brush strokes of writing), a dash of creativity, and just enough attribution (and/or plagiarism) to add spice and to suggest to the reader that the author actually reads the works of other authors! ”


    The part about plagiarism is a curious one. On rare occasion I have seen another person’s work viewed as as an ice cube. I have then seen a skillful writer revise it until it has completely melted, but yet it still retained the essence of the ice cube. That, in my humble opinion, takes skill.

  56. David Matthew 12:47pm, 11/20/2011

    very good points by Adam as well, thresh.  I’ve also observed the same unprofessionalism at fights where general boxing people are disguised as “media.”  However - I think when you are dealing with a profession that is largely pro-bono (that is - boxing writing) - you will get all types of variances in terms of the quality/seriousness of those in the profession.


    While I agree that one should be a writer in order to be a boxing writer—- and I agree with the point about developing the craft by writing on a myriad of topics/subjects (not just boxing alone) - I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary for somebody to be classically trained in writing in order to pen excellent work.


    For some - the allure and fascination with boxing may prompt one to pursue the craft of writing - and I think that’s a beautiful thing.  Regardless of what one pursues—be it law, medicine, dancing, painting, writing—I think they should enter the profession because something fuels them passionately about it….not simply because it’s a profession and they just want to write for the sake of being a writer—- I think when one is fueled by something more personally definitive and passionate than just a want to be a professional - then it is a genuine and pure endeavor.


    That said - I do think one must train and perfect the craft of writing - just like they should in any other activity.

  57. the thresher 12:43pm, 11/20/2011

    “As a result, it’s become much more of a challenge to weed out the pretenders from those who really deserve BWAA membership.”


    Can you believe this?


  58. the thresher 12:42pm, 11/20/2011

    Here is what Steve Farhood said, in part, on the BWAA webpage interviews:


    “Do you think the sport will be totally absent from the daily papers in the future? How has the move to Internet coverage affected your duty as membership evaluator?”


    “I see boxing becoming more and more marginalized. With that said, a charismatic American heavyweight champion could change a lot of things. The vastness of the Web allows anyone and everyone to write. As a result, it’s become much more of a challenge to weed out the pretenders from those who really deserve BWAA membership.”


    Hmmmm. Very interesting. Hmmmm.

  59. the thresher 12:38pm, 11/20/2011

    Hear hear

  60. Adam 12:37pm, 11/20/2011

    I wasn’t shooting for elitist condescension.  I’m simply saying that most boxing writers may be boxing enthusiasts, but they’re not writers.  To play with your analogy, track and field stars are true athletes—they have practiced for years—and so they have the discipline to cross over into another sport like football.  Certainly you would agree that a guy who plays touch football on the weekends with his buddies does not have the makings of a pro.  I’m also not asking for sheepskin diplomas.  But if a writer has not worked at writing, long and hard, and if a writer does not have the discipline to revise his or her work until it resonates (and I’m not even talking about grammar and punctuation) then you end up with apprentice writing, the kind of writing that is all too common on the internet.

  61. "Old Yank" Schneider 12:09pm, 11/20/2011

    A twist: The main problem with pro football players today is that they simply can’t play football.  The so-called old school football players were trained players who learned and perfected their craft.  Someone then please explain to me why some of the most amazing wide receivers in pro football today were culled from the ranks of field and track—not football!  “Gone With the Wind” was penned by who?  A trained writer who learned and perfected her craft?  The Beatles were trained musicians?  They were “more popular than Jesus” and could not read music!  The elitist condescension dripping here is truly hard to take!  I can’t define art.  I do not believe that there is a formula of training that allows one to “learn and perfect their craft” that results in producing “art”.  Is it helpful?  Absolutely yes!  However, most of us have sufficient discernment to know good boxing writing when we read it—I’ve never asked a boxing writer to produce his sheepskin from journalism school in order to recognize and separate talent from non-talent.

  62. the thresher 11:44am, 11/20/2011

    Repeat post.


    Adam got the intent of my message.


    Adam09:57am, 11/19/2011

    The main problem with many boxing writers today is that they simply can’t write.  A boxing writer should be a writer first.  The so-called old-school writers were trained journalists who learned and perfected their craft.  Today, thanks to the internet, there’s no real vetting process.  Everyone has a venue where they can puke on the page.  If sites paid writers, then more professional writers would cover boxing and the quality of work would increase.  There have been nights sitting at press row when I’ve looked around at my fellow “writers” and wondered how these so-called journalists ever got credentials.  They’re not taking notes.  They’re not paying careful attention to what’s happening in the ring.  And their generic write-ups the next day prove how incompetent they are.  It’s all pretty depressing.  There is such a close link between boxers and writers—the solitary work unites these two professions—but lately, too many boxers and too many writers are mere apprentices.


    Like he says , anyone can puke on a page.As for those who might disagree with my piece, I respect disagreement even when it pours piss on my parade but by the same token, the emails I have gotten have been overwhelmingly favorable. What I don’t care for is when someone assumes what others might be thinking.


    I just wish I could convince some of those people to sign up on Boxing.com though I am pretty damm proud of the number of crossovers I have been able to get thus far. And I’m not through by a long shot.

  63. David Matthew 11:33am, 11/20/2011

    I’ve really enjoyed reading all the various perspective in this thread….and ultimately - what I extract from this article and the comments thereafter is that while many strive for objectivity in writing (and other human endeavors) - the nature of the human experience is largely a subjective adventure.  That is not to say that one shouldn’t strive for objectivity in some respects - but it also means that a disproportionate emphasis on “objectivity” can sometimes strip one’s individual signature away from their work product in exchange for a perceived standardized way of doing things….


    I largely agree w/ this point made by Yank:


    “Journalism is largely dead because the passion to write from a place that is founded in some personal truth has been sterilized out of the pen via formulaic technique.  Anyone who is convinced that the formula excludes what is essentially fan correspondence is, in my view, out of touch with truth. “

  64. "Old Yank" Schneider 11:12am, 11/20/2011

    This article is not about boxing per se.  It is a well-played device that shows that boxing is a microcosm of society.

  65. "Old Yank" Schneider 11:04am, 11/20/2011

    Mike—There is no problem.  Matthew and I (and I suspect we are not alone), picked up a tone that was not at all flattering of the “new breed”—perhaps even condescending or even disrespectful.  I don’t know if it was intended to be a tone woven into the piece or not—perhaps Ted could shed some light on that for us.  It’s not a problem; it simply drew attention—it struck a nerve.  Is it possible to pay respect and homage to an icon without disrespecting the “new breed”?  I would hope so.  Ted calls it a conundrum—the connotation to me being a new path that creates barriers for entry for any future Kimball wanna-be.  I think young writers like David Matthew might see it as more of a challenge than a conundrum.  The challenge being how to get good, new sports writing into the marketplace in the age of the web—without a conundrum of seeing it complicated with a bunch of fan and publicists posing as writers.

  66. "Old Yank" Schneider 10:54am, 11/20/2011

    Mike Casey is a part of my new religion—few sources of bringing boxing history to life are as capable at it as he.  History is my weakness and Mike (and others on this site, including Ted Sares) are my crutch.

  67. "Old Yank" Schneider 10:53am, 11/20/2011

    Ted—I was going for a different connotation in the word “move” than shouting “fire” in a theater.  Frankly, I find it difficult to imagine how it was missed.  To play on your words, I thought any idiot would know the difference.  Let the games begin.  I like David Matthew’s early post on this article—he picked up on an underlying tone (perhaps a tone of condescension) and I get his point.  I lived outside Boston in the early 1980’s (Westborough) and read Kimball religiously.  His loss was a blow to boxing and he was a member of a dying breed.  But as you say, the web has changed everything.  A musician’s work can be spread for free in milliseconds—robbing him of an income and robbing all of the old music food-chain of income as well.  There are genuinely BRILLIANT writers and musicians and artists of all sorts who ply their craft because they don’t know how to stop doing what they are passionate about doing.  The new way to capitalize is in monetizing via the web—publishers be damned, music labels be damned—and site owners have no need to share the wealth because artists have not found the formula to demand their fair share.  And I will venture to say that many icons of old might never have risen to the top in today’s age of instant exposure.  It is a very crowded world today and attentions are easily divided.

  68. the thresher 10:48am, 11/20/2011

    For those who don’t know it, Mike Casey is an outstanding artist.

  69. the thresher 10:47am, 11/20/2011

    I think where I might have made a mistake is that journalism per se is not dying—it’s simply being communicated differently via the internet, It’s the means more than the what I guess.

    Each writer tends to have his own favorites—but each favorite has his own flaws. Mine was Jack Newfield but he had flaws as well. Izenberg is also a superb writer.

  70. the thresher 10:32am, 11/20/2011

    Pug, Yes, When you got to Fort Sheridan it was all over but the shouting.

  71. mikecasey 10:31am, 11/20/2011

    If we lose journalistic integrity, we lose everything. That’s the simple point of it all. We can’t get into ‘anything goes’ territory here. I can’t paint like Caravaggio, Da Vinci or Michelangelo. But I can paint you an abstract which any old trendy twit would hail as a classic of the genre. We’re going way too deep here. I think the author made his case very coherently and understandably. I don’t see what the problem is.

  72. pugknows 09:49am, 11/20/2011

    Thanks for that answer, Ted. I remember when you got married and had the reception at the Officer’s Club in Fort Sheridan. That was a mustering out base, was it not?

  73. the thresher 07:15am, 11/20/2011

    journalism as we knew it is dying because of the internet.

  74. the thresher 07:13am, 11/20/2011

    “But I will be DAMNED to bow to the notion that an ability to collect a check is the measure of good writing.”


    Man, you have a way of taking things out of context and making them sound stupid.


    What I said was that Kimball is the last of a breed who knew how to write and who knew boxing and who knew the business of boxing.Therefore, he provided a check and balance on the slimy types. There are few if any who can do that any longer.


    As for writing, there is no formula for creative or historic writers except what you are taught by guys like Adam Berlin. If you go with your heart and just throw it out there, you do so at your own peril. Writing is an art and so is music, but music is dependent on diffrent variables. Writing is not. You either get a publisher or sponsor or you don’t write. Music depends on a lot more complicated things. I also know the music business and I know what is involved. Many great talents sit frustrated while horrible talents drive around in limos with their smarmy entourages. It is one of the great tragedies of the talented musician and can drive him or her to suicide.

    Boxing iwriting, in the scheme of things, is not that important. But any idiot can move their readers with words, Hell, yell “fire” in a crowded theater and see what happens.

  75. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:59am, 11/20/2011

    Once a year The Town Crier Cafe in Pawling, NY holds a songwriter’s “competition”.  I’ve stopped going.  The formula method of churning out commercial music reached the point of breaking my heart—the apparent measure of talent being the level of commercial appeal to the jingle-like quality of a song.  The arts is no place for any person bent on commercial success.  From the music industry to writing, selling out to commercialism can help one make a living at the cost of selling their soul to the devil.  Perhaps I’m too much of a purist to feel good about the middle ground.  Journalism is dead because it lacks a healthy respect for counter-culture; the ability to look in the mirror and actually see the flaws of self that cultural self-indulgences allow us all to be blind.  It is indeed hard to make a living writing; especially hard to do so as a boxing writer.  But I will be DAMNED to bow to the notion that an ability to collect a check is the measure of good writing.

  76. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:48am, 11/20/2011

    Cultures fall in and out of love with the arts; at times willing to pay up and at others too self-absorbed or preoccupied with “events” that hold sway over the mind to hold the arts in any high esteem.  Journalism (not just boxing journalism) is dying because the craft is totally disrespected in how it is taught by those who see themselves as the modern vanguard of journalistic thought.  There might be a great parallel here to boxing—fighters and trainers taking short cuts to entertainment at the sacrifice of what once made the sport great.

  77. the thresher 07:27pm, 11/19/2011

    “It is a genuinely decent reflective piece.”

    Hmm. I’ll try to do better next time.

  78. "Old Yank" Schneider 07:26pm, 11/19/2011

    Ted—No need for it to be about me—as I said, I do not see this as personal and appreciate your comments.  Look Michael Moore makes a living making movies—I think he sucks.  It takes more than a man’s ability to make money at his craft to convince me a man is a gift to us at his craft.  Absolutely nothing taken personally—just stating my opinions.  PEACE

  79. the thresher 07:26pm, 11/19/2011

    Thanks Sharkie, always nice to hear from you, amigo.

  80. the thresher 07:21pm, 11/19/2011

    Yank, this is not about YOU. I already stated that. If you think it is, your ego needs some real work. This is about my view on the current and future state of boxing journalism. Period kerplunk.

     

  81. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:55pm, 11/19/2011

    The Trapps—RIGHT NOW—live from Joe’s Pub in the East Village.  Streaming—http://www.livestream.com/joespub

  82. Sharkie 06:52pm, 11/19/2011

    This was an excellent piece Ted! As a former boxing scribe, I think of how I was both a fan and a critic of the establishment aspect of this sport. It kills me that boxing is not what it would be if smarter people administered it. This era of the crappy ppv with the shitty undercard will soon find that the market for predictable matches is dried up and dead. Wishing won’t make boxing a better run sport and it will require the fighters to form some sort of union that puts them in a position to have some power within the structure and hopefully, power to make boxing a real sport based on merit instead of favoritism. With so much to say on this topic, I’ll just leave it at that and thank you for a very good read!

    Sharkie

  83. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:39pm, 11/19/2011

    Mike—I do not take this article personally.  It is a genuinely decent reflective piece.  There is nothing complex for me at all here.  If my goal was to write to please critics, I’d stop writing.  I write because I can’t stop.  I am newly amazed and genuinely grateful when my pen pleases or moves or evokes any emotion in another.  How many ways can a common vocabulary be strung together and transcend the simple meaning of words and take us to another place beyond a simple phrase?  Journalism is largely dead because the passion to write from a place that is founded in some personal truth has been sterilized out of the pen via formulaic technique.  Anyone who is convinced that the formula excludes what is essentially fan correspondence is, in my view, out of touch with truth.  That’s all.

  84. the thresher 04:14pm, 11/19/2011

    Thanks Tex. I appreciate that.  And yes, let’s not complicate something that does need to be complicated.

  85. the thresher 04:12pm, 11/19/2011

    Here, go after these guys. http://bwaa.org/jschool.htm

  86. the thresher 04:10pm, 11/19/2011

    Kimball was one of the last who made his living by writing about boxing. He was a dying breed. No one out there today makes thier living like that. I fail to see why you feel the need to diss him. He was a great writer and historian who knew his craft. He did not know how to be a broker just like you do not know how to make your living being a writer. Kimball was able to do what none of us can do. THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE. If you are going to pick on the elite, pick on ones who are still living and can defend themselves.

  87. mikecasey 04:08pm, 11/19/2011

    THAT’S the point, Ted. None of us pretend we are snobs. We just resent the hell out of any old fool who calls himself a ‘writer’. Yank, I understand what you say. Mozart is a hero of mine. But let’s not complicate this. Best as always.

  88. TEX HASSLER 04:08pm, 11/19/2011

    Great article from one of the best and that is Ted Sares. It it hard to be impartial in boxing but I know Ted works hard at being that and fair at the same time.

  89. the thresher 04:00pm, 11/19/2011

    Prior post

    the thresher08:04am, 11/19/2011

    Thanks lads. BTW, I recently chastised Old Yank for saying he was a fan, but this had absolutley nothing to do with that. Old Yank is a fine writer who brings a unique perspective and who is not afraid to be cynical and skeptical.

  90. the thresher 03:58pm, 11/19/2011

    I think what some of us are saying here is that first and foremost, you need to be a writer and that means command of grammar and other things. The other things that are important to me are knowledge of what you are writing about and knowledge of what might be behind what you are writing about. Writing is not just something anyone can do. It takes a certain amount of skill and expertise. Citing those rare exceptions of Matt Damon and Bonnie Raitt simply confuse the issue and your response. Break it down in more simplistic terms because I am having a difficult time grasping it.

    If by the elite, you mean the BWAA, I quite agree. If you mean a guy like Kimball, I disagree.

  91. "Old Yank" Schneider 03:39pm, 11/19/2011

    Cynicism, skepticism and all the isms in the world cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.  One either has a sense of writing integrity or he does not.  The only thing I can draw on here is what drives me to a keyboard; so I will speak for no one but myself.  I am drawn to the rivalry between Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Both were well-trained at their craft.  One did everything right in personal exposure—wrote fine music, knew all the right people, swayed people of influence with his tongue.  The other was more of a fan of music than a composer—constantly rejecting the formulas for success in deference to what drove him to compose.  And what drove him was a passion and love of music that was capable of destroying him—his personal truth was more important than his personal success.  Mozart died at age 35—his body lies in common grave.  He broke nearly every rule in the book.  He’d have failed for certain under the critical and watchful eye of George Kimball.  Hum for me a few bars of ANY Salieri piece.  Now let’s review a few famous Harvard dropouts: Matt Damon, Robert Frost, William Randolph Hearst, Buckminster Fuller, Bonnie Raitt.  When the elite try to dictate what is worthy of being called “art” or “journalism” I take it with a grain of salt.

  92. mikecasey 02:39pm, 11/19/2011

    Yeah, that would be nice, David. Best wishes, pal!

  93. David Matthew 02:28pm, 11/19/2011

    semi-related though - we really should have a boxing.com staff meet-up sometime…perhaps around a fight.  Dec. 3rd Cotto/Margs boxing.com gathering before the fight in nyc?

  94. David Matthew 02:27pm, 11/19/2011

    LOLOL

  95. mikecasey 01:24pm, 11/19/2011

    Fellas, some guy called Jimmy The Greek has just come in to me to say how impressed he is with Boxing.Com and its team of writers. Jimmy lives in Monte Carlo and has invited us all out there on an all expenses paid trip just to shake our hands. We would have free access to his stunning wife Francesca and her three sisters, limitless booze, a yacht each, as well as fifty million dollars paid into the bank accounts of our choice. I told him to get lost because we’re busy. Please tell me I made the right decision.

  96. the thresher 01:03pm, 11/19/2011

    Great school. Great choice.

  97. David Matthew 01:00pm, 11/19/2011

    thanks good sir.  Howard University School of Law here in DC

  98. the thresher 12:58pm, 11/19/2011

    Good post, David. Change is good.

    What law school did you attend?

  99. David Matthew 12:57pm, 11/19/2011

    Couldn’t agree more thresh—- everytime i’m home I feel like i’m in an enchanted world—‘The ‘Shire’ as we call it.  In fact - I’ll likely be in Breaking New Grounds inking a new piece next week.

  100. David Matthew 12:56pm, 11/19/2011

    Don - I hear you.  Loud & clear.  I think it’s very important for young writers such as myself to have mentors and to be schooled by some of the more seasoned writers.  I just graduated from law school - and have been a writer for a political/culture publication for years.  Writing about boxing has been a pleasurable experience - but I’m learning with each piece and articles like this from Ted help to guide young writers.  I am not about drawing a division between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ - rather, I am about generating a more robust perspective/writing style that learns from the pen wizards who’ve been doing it for a long time - while at the same time crafting my own distinctive style/perspective.  After all - the goal of the next generation is to learn from the past - but not to merely replicate it.  We are charged with putting our own stamp on the game - but that shouldn’t be in conflict w/ those who have paid dues before us—- it should be in unison with such.

  101. the thresher 12:56pm, 11/19/2011

    David, Portsmouth has to be one of the best towns in the country. It has everything a town should have.

    We will be in Boston. I’ll beep the horn as we pass the Portsmouth turnoff on 16.

  102. David Matthew 12:52pm, 11/19/2011

    Thresh - New Hampshire you say?  I grew up on the Seacoast (portsmouth) - where I’ll be visiting the fam for thanksgiving.  Small world.

  103. the thresher 12:50pm, 11/19/2011

    Adam said it better than I could.

  104. the thresher 12:48pm, 11/19/2011

    Thanks Carl

  105. the thresher 12:47pm, 11/19/2011

    err foul sweat

  106. the thresher 12:46pm, 11/19/2011

    Thanks Don, It’s interesting that most of the blues players coming up are white and I think I know why. IT’s a socio generational thing. I can hardly think of a new harp player who is black.

    And white blues players represent an enigma because most whites have not experienced the kind of blues that were experienced by those who came up from the Delta to Memphis, St. Louis and Chicago.

    It’s like young web writers. They can get stuff off the videos, but they still don’t know how hot it was in the Chicago Stadium, or what the betting was like in the hallways, or what the crowd was like. or what the ambience was like. Yeah, they can see the fight on youTube but it still is not the real thing. You can’‘t smell the cheap cigars, cloying perfume, foul sweat, warm and sloshy beer, and hot dogs awaiting a splatter of mustard and onions.

  107. Don From Prov 12:37pm, 11/19/2011

    Good stuff, Mr. Sares, I like the honesty and straightforward approach.  To MR. MATTHEW: You make an argument that’s hard to get around.  We were all young once and became sick of hearing about “the day”; however, things actually DO change, and not always for the better.  It is pretty safe to say that we are not in boxing’s Golden Years (even if some of us are in ours).  Like young blues fans, people such as yourself do need to keep the energy going: It WOULD help, in the little world of my analogy, if there were more blues players coming up, but. ....  Anyway, to the second heart of the piece: As Goucho or Wood Allen or someone said (in wide paraphrase): No club that wants me as a member. Uh-uh.  I don’t trust anyone who wants badly to “sit at the table.”
    Again: Good stuff!

  108. mikecasey 12:17pm, 11/19/2011

    Nicely expressed, Bull. I had a chance to join the Freemasons a while back. I have nothing against them at all, but it didn’t sit comfortably with me. I just find it all a little creepy. Golfer Tom Watson - a wonderfully noble man in my opinion - resigned from his local club in Kansas City some years back because they wouldn’t admit his Jewish friend. Creepy. Sorry for any typos here, lads. My diabetes tinkers with my eyesight on bad days.

  109. the thresher 12:01pm, 11/19/2011

    Well, I just got back from playing 6 holes of golf. Can you believe it. 11/19/11 in New Hampshire and I’m still out there making up for October when I was grounded by pneumonia.

    Now then Pug, the reason I wrote this piece was because I was so impressed by Rotella’s article in the Globe which Dollar Bond was kind enough to send me in the mail. But also, I wrote it because as an indirect and maybe even obtuse answer to a certain arrogance displayed by an “in-group” at the top of the BWAA that I simply can no longer abide. When someone implies that unless you are in the BWAA, you probably are one of the “bad writers” out there, that induces in me both puke and bile. There are many great writers in the BWAA (Adam Berlin, Tim Graham, and Lee Groves, for example) and there are many great writers who neither want or seek anything to do with that organization (Mike Casey or Robert Ecksel , for example). It’s kind of like the thrill of being at ringside because you are a member of the “press.” Now you can be a member of a group that includes some famous writers. WOW! But sooner rather than later, most of these guys will need a well paying day job because boxing journalism as a profession is on the way out. That’s harsh but it’s true. And guys who volunteer or who write for peanuts will constitute the order of the day notwithstanding the BWAA’ s efforts to get in front of this. I do note that they are taking in many web writers these days and that’s a good thing, but to think that only BWAA members are “writers” is bullocks of the worst degree. And oh yes, unless you are a member, this “in-group” will not give you the time of day.

    So Pug, those are the reasons I did this piece. I don’t like exclusivity but I can understand why others do. I Never did. I didn’t like officers clubs (even though I got married in one at Fort Sheridan, Il), College Fraternities, Eagle Scouts, Masons, K of C, Lions, Rotarians, Kiwanis, Elks (unless it’s the only place in town in which to get a drink), H.S Athletic Halls of Fame that create a social pyramid, and even La Cosa Nostra. And I particularly don’t like the idea of rejection or acceptance based on a set of criteria that may be politically biased.  Just one man’s opinion.

  110. mikecasey 11:12am, 11/19/2011

    Oh well, must be going….

  111. pugknows 10:54am, 11/19/2011

    This is an astounding piece of writing Ted. It is one of your very best, but what prompted you to do it?

  112. mikecasey 10:37am, 11/19/2011

    Adam, I came up in that traditional school, starting out at 18 in 1974 - you are exactly right. I was 25 before I got my first important gig writing for Harry Mullan at Boxing News. To be called a ‘writer’ is a sacred thing to a genuine writer and professional journalist. You earn it and it takes years of experience to claw your way to the top of the ladder. You learn to write about every subject under the sun, you learn to write to the required word count, you learn how to edit press releases, etc, etc. Some of these ‘writers’ now have to bust their chops to squeeze out 200 words. Then they hang it on the board of a so-so website and it is still pocked with grammatical and historical inaccuracies. Then they wail if they get criticized. Well, if you want to be loved in this life, then don’t imagine that you are a writer or that journalism is a cool profession.. In the Christmas of 1964, I appeared in our Nativity play at junior school. My kindly old headmistress said I gave a good performance. But I don’t go around calling myself an actor.

  113. Adam 09:57am, 11/19/2011

    The main problem with many boxing writers today is that they simply can’t write.  A boxing writer should be a writer first.  The so-called old-school writers were trained journalists who learned and perfected their craft.  Today, thanks to the internet, there’s no real vetting process.  Everyone has a venue where they can puke on the page.  If sites paid writers, then more professional writers would cover boxing and the quality of work would increase.  There have been nights sitting at press row when I’ve looked around at my fellow “writers” and wondered how these so-called journalists ever got credentials.  They’re not taking notes.  They’re not paying careful attention to what’s happening in the ring.  And their generic write-ups the next day prove how incompetent they are.  It’s all pretty depressing.  There is such a close link between boxers and writers—the solitary work unites these two professions—but lately, too many boxers and too many writers are mere apprentices.

  114. jofre 09:54am, 11/19/2011

    Ted, Great piece. I am in complete agreemeent with you.  What will excite boxing fans is competitive matchups. If you and the others writing for this website can put pressure to create competitive matchips that would be great. Whats being shoved fown our throats right now are alphabet created belt holders like Chavez and Alvarez who do nothing but cheapen the sport. And, I for One, refuse to watch whats being thrusted upon us now.

  115. the thresher 08:04am, 11/19/2011

    Thanks lads. BTW, I recently chastised Old Yank for saying he was a fan, but this had absolutley nothing to do with that. Old Yank is a fine writer who brings a unique perspective and who is not afraid to be cynical and skeptical.

  116. David Matthew 07:54am, 11/19/2011

    Your point is well-taken, Thresh.  Particularly about the point re: the need for checks-and-balances.  I am honored to be a part of the team assembled here as I have learned so much not just through the creative process as a writer - but in reading your articles and the articles of other colleagues.  Also - I wasn’t referring to you as “old’ lol - was just noticing that there is a difference in style between (most) younger writers and older writers - and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing…I think it’s exciting to merge diff. generational approaches to writing and boxing itself.  Thanks for your insight.

  117. mikecasey 07:37am, 11/19/2011

    One hundred per cent agreed, Ted. You and I and a few others know the frustration of this. But yes, I think we’ve finally found a good home here. Very good and relevant article.

  118. the thresher 07:11am, 11/19/2011

    “There’s sort of a melodramatic nostalgia that leaks out of this piece - ” That may have to do with my feelings about Kimball since he was a one-of-a kind.

    The point here is that the internet now rules and that being the case, writers need to be writers first and foremost. Otherwise, what we will get is no check and balance. Writers need to understand 1) boxing and 2) the business of boxing and 3) how to WRITE about it. Being a fanboy does not allow for this.

    Though the last place I would go for support would be the BWAA web page, there is a link to a page that might help you understand where I am coming from. http://bwaa.org/jschool.htm

    Also, Tim Graham is a very YOUNG guy. As for me being “old” that’s a mindset I have not yet embraced.

  119. David Matthew 06:51am, 11/19/2011

    interesting piece though I do have disagreement w/ the tone of this article.  I’ve noticed a general pessimistic vein running through many of the older writers - there’s sort of a melodramatic nostalgia that leaks out of this piece - which is a wonderful piece and Ted’s work in general is always fantastic.  However - I think it’s a mischaracterization to refer to writing that is more positively engineered as being somehow fandom or publicist-driven.  People (especially fans) need to be excited about boxing again - they don’t need to constantly hear how boxing doesn’t matter anymore like it used to - or how nothing in the game today can hold water to how things were done (both promotionally and journalistically) in the olden days.  It’s a new day in the sport and it’s time for fresh energy to infused itself into boxing to create a more enthusiastic and optimistic slant on the Science.

  120. the thresher 06:43am, 11/19/2011

    Bob, I am humbled.

  121. Bob Mladinich 05:53am, 11/19/2011

    Ted: In your opening paragraph you state that “81-year-old Jerry Izenberg can still turn out a righteous piece.” So can you, my brother. Always a pleasure to read your unique, insightful and interesting work. You would have been well-suited as a journalist during the days when boxing really mattered.

  122. Carl Jackson 05:33am, 11/19/2011

    Here, Here!!!!

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