What Is Responsible Journalism?

By Robert Ecksel on April 19, 2014
What Is Responsible Journalism?
The details of Greg Leon’s new alliance are meaningful only insofar as envy is concerned.

I recall the esteemed Michael Katz admonishing his soon-to-be former colleague, “You have to decide which side you’re on…”

“The lowest form of popular culture—lack of information, misinformation, disinformation, and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people’s lives—has overrun real journalism. Today, ordinary Americans are being stuffed with garbage.”—Carl Bernstein

Broadly speaking, journalists come in two sizes. I’m not referring to small and large. I’m alluding less to shape than intention. Journalists either question authority, on the assumption that the truth will never be spoken by those who have something to lose, or they become mouthpieces for the powerful so that access and the blandishments that come with it will be theirs for the taking.

Everything is a trade-off. Embracing an adversarial position, due to temperament, independence, or respect for one’s readers, instead of fawning obeisance, is a surefire way to get nowhere fast, unless of course it’s a scheme to attract attention for a hard-earned payoff down the line.

The latest writer turned wannabe power broker is Greg Leon, publisher of Boxing Talk, one of many boxing websites that trade in gossip instead of literacy. No one has taken Boxing Talk seriously for a long time, if ever, as it’s as uninteresting and it is unreadable. But when Leon first decided to dip his toe in the promotional waters a decade ago, I recall the esteemed Michael Katz, former boxing writer for the New York Times and Daily News, admonishing his soon-to-be former colleague, and I paraphrase, “You have to decide which side you’re on.”

There’s nothing mysterious about Leon’s actions. Leon decided, as many before him have decided and others will decide in years to come, that his responsibility is to himself, and in turn his paymasters, and not to the fighters or sport on which they feed. But what is mysterious, or would be mysterious if were it not so transparent, is that he is being cheered on by a presumably serious journalist who, however earnest, ought to know better.

In celebration of Greg Leon becoming CEO of Jean Pascal Promotions, a well-known writer, speaking for God knows who, says, “He gives hope to print guys, and web guys and Bronx residents.”

As far as Bronx residents are concerned, hope comes in small doses and maybe small doses are better than none. But the aforementioned “print guys” and “web guys” to which he is referring must be those on promoters’ payrolls, those who’ve decided that free airfare, hotel suites, ringside seats, and all-you-can eat buffets are the outer limits of their profession and frankly their due.

The details of Leon’s new alliance are meaningful only insofar as envy is concerned. Responsible journalism would preclude singing his praises, but responsible journalism comes at a cost, a cost which is apparently too steep for some to contemplate.

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  1. Robert Ecksel 12:37pm, 04/26/2014

    The site has a moderator, Andrew. C’est moi. One person’s “petty drivel” is another person’s heartfelt discussion. It may be “bickering” of a sort, but at least it’s intelligent bickering.

  2. andrew 11:11am, 04/26/2014

    This site needs a moderator to spare readers this kind of petty drivel. Keep your boring bickering to yourselves please.

  3. Thresher 06:06am, 04/26/2014

    EMAIL on the way but my intention is to keep the exchange between you and me and not on this thread.

  4. Cliff Rold 05:34am, 04/26/2014

    No need to email anyone else. Just email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  5. Thresher 05:28am, 04/26/2014

    email me Cliff, and I will tell you in no uncertain terms. Anyone can put Cliff Rold up as their screen name. EMAIL me because if you are the real Cliff Rold, I will be more than happy to spell it out. The editor can give you my email address.

  6. Cliff Rold 05:22pm, 04/25/2014

    Thresher: Curious what our interaction was?

  7. Thresher 09:39am, 04/25/2014

    Like I said, (which was, of course and understandably ignored in the tsunami-like exchange), if the TBRB got rid of Cliff Rold or if he did the honorable thing, my strong support would likely resume. But the guy is so conflicted up that just about anything he does is highly questionable. Just can’t have it both ways. He heads up the BWAA Application Committee, he is one of three founders of the TBRB, and worse of all, he is managing director for Boxingscene and thus is employed by fellow BWAA member and site manager Rick Reeno. How do you spell C-O-N-F-L-C-T?

    In all fairness and as a disclaimer, I don’t know Rold on a personal basis but my only electronic interactions with him has been strange one and are a matter of record.

  8. Magoon 09:37am, 04/25/2014

    To be categorized under ... “SCHOOLED!” Subsection ... “BITCH SLAPPIN’!”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_p6fJ8Si0g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zs3vtz836s

  9. Lee 08:05am, 04/25/2014

    Well. I for one am slightly disappointed that the respective parties didn’t decide to settle their beef honorably, appoint a ref and timekeeper, wear 8 oz gloves etc.

    Can anybody clarify-for the record- if the preceding ‘discussion’ we just witnessed comes under the site’s definition of ‘good natured exchanges’ or ‘salty language…?’

  10. FightClubWriter 10:24am, 04/23/2014

    I have, last!

  11. Matt McGrain 10:15am, 04/23/2014

    I wouldn’t lay any money on that…

  12. FightClubWriter 10:13am, 04/23/2014

    Last!

  13. Matt McGrain 10:01am, 04/23/2014

    “Now I SUPPORT the WBC? Haha…I guess Boxing.com also supports them because they list their rankings…McGruff the lapdog is desperate…”
    Of course Boxing.com support the WBC.  I’ve had discussions with Robert about the very issue. They recreate their rankings for their readers.  Wtf how can you whinge ENDLESSLY about TBRB being all over various websites and then NOT accept that the WBC being the same means the same?
    Why DO you despair of TBRB so much more than the WBC?
    Paul - give me your email address.  I’ll send you our rankings and logos “for better or worse”, you can pop them up on your site!

    “In his mind he’s a conquering hero because he signs off on someone else’s work and reads a few positive emails from people likely misinformed about the actual rankings process, fooled into thinking it’s an actual consensus poll…”
    It IS a consensus poll you fruitcake, that’s exactly what it is - and you have absolutely no proof at all that it is otherwise.  Know why? Because it IS.
    ” I’ll do the same before leaving this sad man to wallow in his own shit like a fat, overgrown baby with shitty diapers:.”
    You’re a very, very strange man Paul.
    I’ll admit, I’ve enjoyed our discussion.  It shocked me, though, to see corruption revealed on YOUR part.  I knew I would have to defend TBRB from unfair criticism, and that’s fine - it’s actually healthy.  But finding out that you yourself are a corrupting influence was a surprise.  I guess you were right Paul, and I was wrong.
    “Everything in boxing that CAN be corrupted, WILL be corrupted.”
    Including you, my dude.  Including you.

  14. FightClubWriter 09:51am, 04/23/2014

    To sum it all up?

  15. Paul Magno 09:51am, 04/23/2014

    Now I SUPPORT the WBC? Haha…I guess Boxing.com also supports them because they list their rankings…McGruff the lapdog is desperate…It’s sad that he is so naive about, really, everything…In his mind he’s a conquering hero because he signs off on someone else’s work and reads a few positive emails from people likely misinformed about the actual rankings process, fooled into thinking it’s an actual consensus poll…Sad…Maybe this character has even fashioned a cape and tights for himself…Super Rankings Boy! I almost feel sad for the guy now. I think he may be a bit “slow.” And since McGruff loves to quote me,  I’ll do the same before leaving this sad man to wallow in his own shit like a fat, overgrown baby with shitty diapers: “See, all it really takes is a few pin pricks to get at the truth. Ultimately, for guys like McGrain, this is a my club vs. your club debate…It’s not really about helping the sport, it’s about satisfying ego and, for some, possibly making a power play (we shall see about that)...That’s how they can justify a 3-man rankings passed off as a true consensus… I’m not in a rage or jealous about anything, I’m fine and will keep doing what I always do—challenge authority and take the piss out of idiot lapdogs and arrogant pricks…It’s just that you have to rattle the cage a bit in order to get them angry enough to actually reveal the truth about their own character..It’s telling that McGrain’s fall back position is that I somehow, secretly, want to be like him and his group…apparently, according to McGruff the lapdog, the TBRB has taken over and I’m crying because I haven’t been let into the ruling party…Wow…”

  16. Matt 09:37am, 04/23/2014

    “See, all it really takes is a few pin pricks to get at the truth. Ultimately, for guys like McGrain, this is a my club vs. your club debate…It’s not really about helping the sport.”
    No, you possibly insane, definitely weird liar, it’s about putting together really good rankings of boxers.  People love it.  They really do.  It’s been an overwhelmingly positive response, sorry Paul but it has, and your petty jealousy doesn’t change that.  You’ve been exposed for what you are - keep talking to your imaginary audience, it won’t help friend.  And you’re not jealous according to me, it’s according to you.  And I quote:
    “What if I did my own rankings, using this system?”
    It is incredible to me that you can become so blinded by hate that whilst supporting the WBC - DIRECTLY - who gouge fighters you can seriously consider removing from your site a link to another site that lists TBRB rankings.  You’re completely lost, and all the name-calling, whining and faux-freedom-fighter nonsense in the world can’t spare that message now.

  17. Paul Magno 09:31am, 04/23/2014

    See, all it really takes is a few pin pricks to get at the truth. Ultimately, for guys like McGrain, this is a my club vs. your club debate…It’s not really about helping the sport, it’s about satisfying ego and, for some, possibly making a power play (we shall see about that)...That’s how they can justify a 3-man rankings passed off as a true consensus… I’m not in a rage or jealous about anything, I’m fine and will keep doing what I always do—challenge authority and take the piss out of idiot lapdogs and arrogant pricks…It’s just that you have to rattle the cage a bit in order to get them angry enough to actually reveal the truth about their own character..It’s telling that McGrain’s fall back position is that I somehow, secretly, want to be like him and his group…apparently, according to McGruff the lapdog, the TBRB has taken over and I’m crying because I haven’t be let into the ruling party…Wow…

  18. FightClubWriter 09:26am, 04/23/2014

    In conclusion?

  19. Matt McGrain 09:17am, 04/23/2014

    “Since McGrain seems intent upon remaining disingenuous about everything, I’ll clarify: First, The Boxing Tribune links to the alphabet websites using this caveat: “For better or worse, Boxing’s Four Sanctioning Bodies”.”
    There is nothing disingenuous about what I said.  WBC and WBA rob fighters of their cash AND deliberate “in secret” AND compile their rankings based upon a system of politics but you link them on your site.  Meanwhile, our organisation DOESN’T rob fighters, DOESN’T elect fighters based upon politics - but you are talking, seriously, about withdrawing support from boxing.com because IT supports TBRB.
    It reveals the personal nature of your problem with TBRB and your personal hpypocrasy, inarguably and for all to see, and it doesn’t matter how much time you spend talking to an imaginary third party (really -wtf?), this is now in the book.  You’re a corrupt influence that allows personal bias to twist your personal views on boxing.
    “Second—I never claimed that TBRB members were being paid off by promoters. That’s a stretch from a desperate liar trying to save face.”
    It is not a lie that you were asked to clarify, and did not do so.  I’ll ask again - who are the members who work for promoters who are also paid by those websites?  Which promoters pay those websites?  Take your time.
    “this panel of 30+ “experts” is allowed to weigh in, but what remains vague is how much the board actually contributes “
    If it “remains vague”, why have you told the following bare-faced lies, in this thread?:
    “the chairs are making the rankings and you guys are just there to put a check mark on them. That’s not participation.”
    Makes no sense i’m afraid, Paul.  And, for the fiftieth time, it isn’t true.
    “Ultimately, the burden of proof when it comes to honesty and integrity is on the TBRB, since they are the ones insisting on the public’s trust…”
    The trust is in the rankings.  If they’re crap, or biased, people will know.  Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.  Nobody is interested in your smoke-filled coffee house crap about secret cabals etc.  Mostly, they just want good rankings.  That’s why it’s caught on so fast.  And it’s very, very clear you’re extremely jealous of that fact.  You’ve basically said so:
    ” What if I did my own rankings, using this system? What if this system proved to be infinitely more accurate and efficient than yours? Nothing. You know why? Because the TBRB has already co-opted all of the these sites and because their members (in many cases) own or edit the sites, they will never give any real consideration of alternatives.”
    In a nutshell Paul, your posts can be summed up as follows: boo-hoo.

  20. Paul Magno 08:56am, 04/23/2014

    Since McGrain seems intent upon remaining disingenuous about everything, I’ll clarify: First, The Boxing Tribune links to the alphabet websites using this caveat: “For better or worse, Boxing’s Four Sanctioning Bodies”. Like it or not, they are still boxing’s sanctioning bodies and readers who want to be completely informed should know what’s going on there…Boxing.com also lists the alphabet rankings…Remember, we’re not the ones claiming to have a stranglehold on THE rankings for the entire sport…Second—I never claimed that TBRB members were being paid off by promoters. That’s a stretch from a desperate liar trying to save face. I HAVE said that many members of the TBRB work for sites co-owned by promoters or funded by advertising from promoters/managers/network interests…That is true as The Sweet Science, Seconds Out, and Max Boxing are co-owned by boxing promoters…Boxingscene is funded, at least in part, by promotional interests, and at least one of their members works for HBO..There may be more conflicts, but those are just the ones off the top of my head…It’s a shame that I have to do this type of fact checking for idiots like McGrain because this is all pretty much common knowledge…Third—Their secret rankings process, no matter how they fluff it up, is premised on the idea that THREE MEN have first and final say…this panel of 30+ “experts” is allowed to weigh in, but what remains vague is how much the board actually contributes to this weekly process, how many of the board members exercise their voice, and to what extent do the 3-man panel’s “suggestions” become confirmed by their own ultimate authority. Again, the actual back and forth is behind a member-only wall of secrecy, so there will be no independent confirmation of anything regarding the nuts and bolts of the actual ranking process…and, no, “I’m Matt McGrain, trust me” is not a valid proof of trustworthiness…Ultimately, the burden of proof when it comes to honesty and integrity is on the TBRB, since they are the ones insisting on the public’s trust…Yet, they belligerently refuse to offer any level of transparency when it comes to their process…Everything is about process and how it’s made…How else can any reasonable person decide whether something is worthy of long term trust or not? But the TBRB has already named themselves THE rankings and will continue to bend ethics in order to push their agenda…and they continue to buy off idiots like McGrain, who get sopping wet panties at the idea of being a member of a fraternal writing society and are willing to overlook the fact that they were only drafted for the sake of appearance…The core members of the TBRB don’t even want to see their rankings, they just want confirmation on what they already have in mind…That’s a laughable process when considering that they falsely advertise themselves as true consensus rankings…Can you imagine a political election held that way? “Yeah, we three Senators declare that Obama has already won, we’re just going to run it by the half-empty Senate floor and get a quick tally of support for our declaration…Then we’ll confirm.” Fucking nuts!...Are there smart members of the TBRB with good intentions? Of course, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be used as dupes and it doesn’t mean that good people can’t be compromised by a flawed process…Guys like McGrain, though, are a lost cause…He’s happy being a lap dog—it gives him something to feel special about, something to justify the fact that in his actual work, he takes no risks and challenges no real authority…Again, it all boils down to journalists acting like journalists and actually doing their jobs…

  21. Matt McGrain 07:59am, 04/23/2014

    ““Every Sunday, the three founders put their heads together and update the rankings to reflect the past week’s results; the updates are posted on a message board accessible only to members; the TBRB board members weigh in with disagreements and suggestions; the founders take the suggestions into account and finalize the ratings.” So, maybe Raskin is lying or McGrain has no idea what’s actually happening within his own group…”
    It’s neither, of course, what with you being the source.  YOUR description of the process is completely different to Raskin’s, you, lying, timewasting idiot.  YOU wrote, ” [B]merely[/B] passed by the other members for their approval”.  MY correction is not that they are not “merely” passed along for approval. MY correction stated that the chair’s suggestions are usually not approved at all, but altered.  Naturally, because this doesn’t jive with your world view, you have carried on to mis-represent it.
    “They’ll ATTACK, but never offer any real answers.”
    This is another lie.  I have answered every question you have asked.  You, on the other hand, have claimed that TBRB members are being paid off by promoters - and when asked about it, you avoided answering.
    “They dance around the issue, distract from the issue, but never actually address the issue.”
    This is also a bare-faced lie.  The process has been described to you once by Eric - you just quoted him ffs.  I’ve explained it to you too.  Here it is again, put as simply as possible: three chairs put together the rankings with assistance from oversight.  They agree upon a ranking, which is presented to the board.  The board suggest amendments - almost always - the amendments are debated by the group.
    “The Boxing Tribune linked to Boxing.com long before the TBRB was in existence and out of deference to Ted Sares and Robert Ecksel, who produce quality work…If they are also completely sold on the idea of the TBRB, then, obviously, we have to reconsider that recommendation.”
    Your website links DIRECTLY, to the WBC and WBA, two organisations KNOWN to be corrupt.  You facilitate them, DIRECTLY, despite that fact that they actually do everything you accuse us of doing - but because an excellent site like Boxing.com lists TBRB rankings, you are talking about cutting off a recommendation.  I was joking before about your possibly being in the pay of an alphabet organisation, but now i’m beginning to wonder.  You link their sites, but have an anathema to ours.
    Your bizarre, hateful, bitter bias is exposed, as has your hypocrisy in linking the ABC’s on your site whilst calling for other journalists to “join you” in a boycott.
    So are some of the direct lies your corruption has fostered in this thread.
    From now on i will only pick out and expose the bare-faced lies you tell in your diseased posts

  22. FightClubWriter 07:43am, 04/23/2014

    Last?

  23. Paul Magno 07:22am, 04/23/2014

    Just to show how actually disingenuous the TBRB can be when called on their BS…Matt McGrain, lapdog member, says I am totally wrong about the rankings process within his group…However, per TBRB member Eric Raskin: “Every Sunday, the three founders put their heads together and update the rankings to reflect the past week’s results; the updates are posted on a message board accessible only to members; the TBRB board members weigh in with disagreements and suggestions; the founders take the suggestions into account and finalize the ratings.” So, maybe Raskin is lying or McGrain has no idea what’s actually happening within his own group…This is the general BS and dishonesty that happens when you try to nail them down to actually speak about their flawed process…They’ll ATTACK, but never offer any real answers…I’ve privately confirmed my understanding of the rankings process with three members of the TBRB, yet when trying to address any of this publicly, the TBRB grand poobahs and their lapdogs refuse to acknowledge the truth. They dance around the issue, distract from the issue, but never actually address the issue—and do you want to know why? It’s because there’s no defense. What I’m saying is accurate and it sounds just fucking awful when it’s not fluffed up with their propaganda and sleight of hand…This is the same BS you’ll get if you asked the WBC to explain their rankings…No real answers and no real desire to let you take a look at the process, either. No wonder the TBRB insists on secrecy when putting together their opinion poll rankings…and as for Boxing.com…The Boxing Tribune linked to Boxing.com long before the TBRB was in existence and out of deference to Ted Sares and Robert Ecksel, who produce quality work…If they are also completely sold on the idea of the TBRB, then, obviously, we have to reconsider that recommendation…or, at the very least, offer a disclaimer…but the only militant lapdog of the bunch, I assume, is McGrain…

  24. FightClubWriter 07:00am, 04/23/2014

    LOL! Last!

  25. Matt McGrain 12:30am, 04/23/2014

    “OK, Matt, you have convinced me that you are a true moron.”
    Yes, I’m sure everyone who disagrees with you over a long enough period eventually becomes “a dog” and “a moron.”  It should be possible for adults to disagree without this kind of hysteria but personal insults is how you began this dialogue, so personal insults should probably be how you finish it.
    “A website posting its own rankings and adhering to those rankings is not the same as an organization leveraging its members’ influence into a multi-site seizure of rankings influence. Not even remotely the same”
    Why?  Let’s say that TBRB’s share of “mutli-sites” is as high as 20%, an arbitrary figure.  Ring, at one time owned about 90% of that market.  Boxing Monthly is the only source in Britain that prints any rankings of any sort at all.  They own a much larger market share as a percentage. You have some sort of hysteria regarding TBRB being available in a lot of places.  The fact that it is seen by fewer people than other ranking from history just doesn’t register with you because you’re so emotionally entrenched. 
    “…and if I’m incorrect about the actual rankings procedure within the TBRB, please let me know—Rankings are made by the three chairs and passed along for membership approval, right? Or am I missing something? Please do tell.”
    I have told you, several times.  You’re repeating yourself because you’re not getting the answer you like.  A week where the chair’s viewpoint is carried unanimously is almost unheard of.  Please try to register this before one of us dies.  You are completely incorrect about how it works.  You have been all along, though it hasn’t stopped you repeating endlessly this mis-truth because it suits you.
    “I mentioned the media could have a role in the short term, if necessarily, but under these terms:”
    Right.  YOUR terms.  In other words, it’s ok to do something like this, as long as it’s exactly how you want it to be.  If anyone does anything in any other way, then they’re a “dullard”, a “dog” and a “moron”.
    “It’s clear that I’m not advocating a three-man rankings based solely on opinion and merely passed by the other members for their approval”
    Nor are we.  You are possibly confused but probably repeating mis-truths and lies intentionally.  Below an article written about “responsible journalism.”  You’ve made direct accusations of corruption, been asked to produce proof, and not bothered to even try.  You’ve lied about the process by which the rankings are produced, been asked to produce proof and not even bothered to try.  It’s deeply ironic that whilst working yourself up into a towering hysteria about corruption you’ve proven yourself to be exactly that - happy to repeat lies over and over again in order to shoulder your agenda.  Your last post, especially, seems close to unhinged.
    “But this is just my suggestion. I would never have the ego and arrogance to force my ideas down anyone’s throat as the ONLY way to do things.”
    That’s probably why your ideas are stuck on an obscure corner of the internet.  TBRB produces something, and offers people the chance to use it.  We can’t make people use it.  We can’t “shove it down anyone’s throat.”  Lots, and lots of people have decided that they want to use it – including Boxing.com, who you link on your website as a trustworthy source.  So in a way, you support us too.
    Thank you Paul.

  26. Paul Magno 02:00pm, 04/22/2014

    OK, Matt, you have convinced me that you are a true moron. A website posting its own rankings and adhering to those rankings is not the same as an organization leveraging its members’ influence into a multi-site seizure of rankings influence. Not even remotely the same…and if I’m incorrect about the actual rankings procedure within the TBRB, please let me know—Rankings are made by the three chairs and passed along for membership approval, right? Or am I missing something? Please do tell. It’s actually somewhat charming when a dupe so completely falls into his “dupedom” that he angrily defends his masters…You are a nice, obedient house pet…Good Boy…You show yourself, once again, to be a bit of a dullard when trying to interpret my words, too…Boycotting the alphabets doesn’t mean BEING the alphabets…I mentioned the media could have a role in the short term, if necessarily, but under these terms: “Make the rankings based upon a fair, objective formula that takes activity and level of opposition within a given weight class into consideration. Publish the formula, make it simple enough to verify and keep it as an untouchable method of ranking fighters. When it comes to money issues, make all financial dealings 100% transparent.”...It’s clear that I’m not advocating a three-man rankings based solely on opinion and merely passed by the other members for their approval—behind a veil of secrecy. But this is just my suggestion. I would never have the ego and arrogance to force my ideas down anyone’s throat as the ONLY way to do things. You guys, apparently, don’t share that viewpoint. But this is all rather pointless, isn’t it? I could never talk sense into a good, loyal house dog looking to appease his masters…So, woof woof…Good Boy..Go back to saving boxing by doing nothing at all…If fluffing up egos and playing the pawn for someone else’s power play is your thing, then by all means have a good time…and when you grow up enough to realize how naive you are right now, get back to me…some lesson have to be learned first hand, I suppose…

  27. FightClubWriter 01:48pm, 04/22/2014

    Last!

  28. Matt McGrain 01:30pm, 04/22/2014

    Paul -
    You can interpret it any way you like, as will anyone else who reads it, but those words don’t really need interpreting.  It will be the third time I have quoted them to you, but the meaning really is very plain.  You call for other writers and “owners” of websites to join you in a boycott of the ABC’s (which you still bizarrely link on your site) and then you condone a media.  You do all of that here: http://theboxingtribune.com/2010/06/say-no-to-the-alphabet-soup-organizations-in-boxing/1345211437000/
    That is not “asking journalists to act like journalists”.  It’s what we did, with more hoping and less doing. 
    If you mean a journalist further rankings he or she is a part of creating, I don’t agree that it is “unethical”.  In fact, it’s normal for this industry, and when I do history I use Ring rankings relentlessly.  Those were rankings that were made by and reported on by the same journalists.  It’s fine.  No problem with it.  Boxing Monthly also have rankings that are excellent.  They publish them, support them.  No problem with that.  Fightnews creates their own rankings, support them.  No problem with that.  It’s a problem in your head, but it’s not really a problem anywhere else, or for many other people.  That’s the way it is.
    Having said that, some will have concerns and that’s healthy.  But this level of hostility is just bizarre.
    Your insistence that we will charge fighters fees is speculation, like almost all of your criticism.  No proof, and won’t happen.  Your belief that it is an ambition is baseless, and incorrect. 
    Which members of TBRB are drawing paychecks from promoters please?  I will look into it immediately.
    It is incredibly arrogant of you to level accusations of “dupedom” at these people, if that’s what you want to call it, entirely without evidence.  As you like it.
    Almost every accusation you level is baseless; you have failed miserably to produce any evidence for any of these accusations which you basically wish was true because you have your own system.

  29. FightClubWriter 01:19pm, 04/22/2014

    When I’m wrong I admit my mistake, just like I did when I assumed you were intelligent. Drunk, you know, just maybe? What’s your excuse? Low IQ. Again, it’s fact, repeat after me Matt, “journalists report the news, they don’t create it.”

  30. Paul Magno 01:16pm, 04/22/2014

    Maybe FightClub is referring to the press release by the TBRB affirming its greatness and printed as a front page news story on all the sites run by members. Or maybe he was referring to the softball interviews done by members WITH members..you know, the “Tell us why we’re so awesome” type of interview? Matt—I’ll keep this as short as possible: First—Thanks for trying to explain my own words to me, but ummm, no…I’m making a call to arms for journalists to act like journalists, not to become like the sanctioning bodies..That makes no sense—except, apparently, to you guys…Second—You still don’t seem to get how a journalist becoming an advocate and using his role as a journalist to further his particular agenda is blatantly unethical. It’s the same premise as a journalist managing a fighter and then choosing to report on that fighter. I’m willing to concede that right now, as little more than an informal rankings club, the TBRB is relatively harmless. However, If you ever do get any real traction (and I believe it is your group’s goal to be an actual sanctioning body with belts and fees at some point), that’s when the trouble begins. You’ve injected yet another cancer in the system, using flawed logic and powered by a dogged determination not to learn from past mistakes…Fans shouldn’t have to root around and do product comparisons when it comes to rankings—and they don’t. What you guys did was IMMEDIATELY and without bothering to actually prove your validity, classify your take as THE rankings in all the sites where members own or edit sites. Who anointed you king of boxing? There are many people in the TBRB who I don’t find to be all the knowledgable, others that I find absolutely compromised. Some, who are even drawing paychecks from promoters or from promoter/manager sponsorship. Why should I (or anyone else) trust YOU? Especially since you never actually even asked to earn that trust—you just shoved your ideas down the throats of the public as if their opinions didn’t even matter and you were beyond having to prove yourself. Third—The hybrid rankings model is not some fanciful invention in my head. It’s currently in use by the NCAA and it works quite well. Even some news agencies use a similar method to come to one consensus poll standing during election time. Hell, I even mentioned the name of the rankings system (BCS) in my reply to you—this just goes to show that you’re not even really paying attention to any view beyond your own…In short, it’s a system that uses the various rankings sources and methodologies to create one consensus ranking. In boxing, this could be easily applied, using the formula models as well as opinion models to come up with a consensus ranking for each top fighter in each division…The TBRB would even have a voice…it just wouldn’t be the ONLY voice, which is what the TBRB insists on being. It’s about bringing the sport together, not creating your own exclusive club veiled in secrecy…Fourth—Being a dupe has nothing to do with being intelligent. There are many well-intentioned, intelligent people used as dupes every day. If you think that you are doing any good by being asked to check out someone else’s rankings and sign off on them, then you are a dupe. You are being used. The world—as led to believe by the TBRB’s chairs and founders—believes that the TBRB issues real, consensus rankings from 30+ journalists and bloggers from across the world. But this is NOT the case, your input is not as valued as the main members’...Hell, they don’t even want to see YOUR rankings. Just shut up and comment on theirs. It’s laughably pathetic if you think that you’re anything more than a name on list they need to post publicly in order to keep up appearances…Finally—Whenever you get a group that wants power, insists on having your trust, but refuses to offer any level of transparency—well, that doesn’t actually inspire a whole lot of confidence…I know you have a pathological need to have the last word, so have at it…If there’s anything worth commenting on, I will reply..If not, keep enjoying the Kool-Aid…

  31. Matt McGrain 01:15pm, 04/22/2014

    Nah, you’re wrong/drunk.

  32. FightClubWriter 01:08pm, 04/22/2014

    And with the comment you prove why you need to go educate yourself. You know nothing. You are an ignorant lunkhead. I will never make sense to you because you lack basic comprehension skills. Just a total lack of self awareness. But in all seriousness, go do some reading on journalism. Real journalism, not that tabloid crap you call news over in the UK.

  33. Matt McGrain 12:58pm, 04/22/2014

    You don’t make a lot of sense to me i’m afraid.
    You also need to stop telling me to go and get an education, it’s odd.
    Finally, you are completely wrong.  Journalists do not “report the news, they don’t create the news.”  That is ludicrous.  Every newspaper - every newspaper that has ever existed - has ownership and editorial policy.  It also has a prescribed running order.
    Boxing Monthly (a magazine) do the best rankings in 2011; RIng Magazine (a Magazine) did the best rankings in 1950.
    So no, you are incorrect.

  34. FightClubWriter 12:52pm, 04/22/2014

    Yes go educate yourself, mate. You just don’t pay attention do you? Go back, if you could and read every single comment I wrote. Don’t try and use that misdirecting bullshit here. That shit may work with your kind, but I don’t easily fall for that shit. Again, let me spell it out for you.
    Journalists report news, they don’t create news. Ranking fighters (TBRB) creates conflicts of interest. Handing out awards (BWAA) creates conflicts of interest. It’s a matter of ETHICS and INTEGRITY. Something you clearly know nothing about. Stick to ranking which fighter was the best pound-for-pound fighter ever, Spider Rico or Union Cane.

  35. Matt McGrain 12:30pm, 04/22/2014

    So we were having a conversation about the TBRB…you inexplicably, in the middle of this conversation, started talking about the BWAA, which up until that point hadn’t been mentioned…and the BWAA don’t give out belts…and you thought I would know you were talking about the BWAA because i’m intelligent?  And you wanted me to go to journalism school to learn that?
    Is that right?

  36. FightClubWriter 12:17pm, 04/22/2014

    Again, my mistake. I assumed your were an intelligent bloke. The BWAA hands out awards, that’s what I was writing about. And no, your alphabet organization doesn’t hand out belts yet, but they rank and name champions for each division. It may be too much for your feeble mind to comprehend, but go back and read what YOU wrote. Yes, I know it doesn’t make sense, but the proof is in your writing. You prove without a shadow of a doubt that you are completely clueless. The one thing you haven’t been able to get into that thick skull of yours is this: people who cover boxing (journalists) should report the news, not create the news. The people who cover boxing and are in the BWAA or the TBRB should not put themselves in a position to be in a conflict of interest, whether it’s real or perceived. Get it now? I suggest you put away the whiskey and come back and re-read everything when YOUR mind is clear.

  37. Matt McGrain 11:26am, 04/22/2014

    Set out my knoweldge of boxing history?!  Where?!
    “Propaganda set out by that organisation”?? Where do you people get this stuff from?
    You drink before you come on here?  Have you accepted that we give out “belts and awards” or are you still labouring under that impression too??

  38. FightClubWriter 11:22am, 04/22/2014

    McGrain, you don’t know that you don’t know. This original article was about responsible journalism. Somehow, you tried to invoke your knowledge of boxing history to prove what exactly? Your responses are long-winded and parrot the propaganda set out by the very organization you claim to be a part of. I get it, you are not a journalist. Okay, so you are off the hook to rank fighters. I also get that you fancy yourself a boxing historian, so if I’m ever in the need to learn who the greatest fictional fighters of all-time are, I will be there to click on your story. But when it comes down to responsible journalism, corruption and conflicts of interest, you don’t know that you don’t know.

  39. Matt McGrain 10:32am, 04/22/2014

    “Fifth—your name calling of McCarthysim makes no sense whatsoever. Who’s abusing the public trust and corrupting the media discourse? “
    That is not what McCarthyism is, I’m afraid.  McCarthyism is “ is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence.”  This, very very specifically, is what you are guilty of.  You have absolutely no evidence of corruption, but you bleet about it endlessly.  Interestingly, you also seem to be something of a communist martyr (demanding that anyone involved receives no financial compensation AND quits writing) , where this matter specifically is concerned – making you a communist McCarthyist.  Which is incredible!
    “There’s really no reason for debate about any of this because the TBRB won’t change or reform or revise anything at this point.”
    This is incorrect.  TBRB is an ongoing process.  Things have already been “changed and reformed”
    “Really, you “members” are just there for the sake of appearance, so that the group can say “we have so many members from around the world.”
    This is incorrect.  There is a great deal of participation from members, from all around the world.
    “If they could’ve just done things with the founding members and their pals, they would’ve done away with the charade of full participation.”
    Who knows, this could even be correct, I don’t think it is – but if it was, it has backfired on them HORRIFICALLY.  I can’t tell you how it was conceived, I can only tell you how it works. The chair’s decision on ranking of Shawn Porter is being rejected as we speak
    “Stop fooling yourself, the chairs are making the rankings and you guys are just there to put a check mark on them. That’s not participation.”
    That’s right, because guys like Oliver Fennell (Thai Correspondent, Boxrec) and Carlos Aguirre (Zeta Weekly, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California) are such total fucking idiots, aren’t they?  Easy to pull the wool over the eyes of these ego-fuelled idiots, isn’t it?  You know Paul, you’re insulting a lot of smart decent people with these accusations for which, I would like to stress, you have absolutely NO evidence, none at all.  Remember your confusion about what McCarthyism is?  This is it.  It’s deeply, deeply unpleasant, uncalled for, and I’m afraid to say Paul, it typifies gutter-press.
    “You’ve said it yourself, that when it comes to the dark side of the sport, you and your colleagues “are in on the joke” and just essentially going through the motions…How does that inspire trust?”
    No, this is false.  I said that the British press was “in on the joke” referring, specifically, to the biggest problem in this country which is building prospects with 20 soft fights.  I didn’t name “my colleagues”, or myself, at all, and trying to imply that the TBRB is somehow implied in this is beyond laughable.  But thank you for this desperate reach, it helps me to understand more clearly exactly what you are.
    “ To assume that what is corrupt now will always be corrupt is the type of thinking that leads to meaningless organizations like the TBRB.”
    But that is exactly what you are – your words, “anything in boxing that CAN be corrupted, WILL be corrupted.”  You’ve been very clear on that.
    I sincerely wish you luck with your secret project though.  Anything that’s good is good.  How about a hint?

  40. Matt McGrain 10:31am, 04/22/2014

    PART THE FIRST!
    “ First—My call to arms is to writers and journalists to act like writers and journalists.”
    No, your call was to writers, and owners of websites to join you in a boycott, and then join you (presumably you wanted to be a part of it) in at least temporarily filling the void whilst you waited for a miracle.  The only difference between your call, and ours, is that yours wasn’t answered, and we aren’t hoping for a miracle.  We’re doing something.
    ““There’s a big difference between a corrupted website and a corrupted sanctioning body. If people find my work to be suddenly corrupted or twisted in some way, they just stop reading.”
    And if our rankings our corrupted, people can just stop using them, like they have with the WBC, WBA, IBF, IBA and are beginning to do with Ring.  Boxing fans aren’t as stupid as you think.  Secondly, and you know, crucially, the rankings aren’t corrupt.
    “Setting yourself up as the arbiters of “legitimate” rankings makes it so that your word is final”
    No more or less than any other set of rankings put together for a reason other than making money (if such a thing exists).  Do you think someone like Fightnews puts their rankings together and goes, “lets hope nobody takes these seriously?  Of course not.  This is a ridiculous “criticism”.
    “Third—The rankings model I suggested is NOT a computerized system. Rather, it’s a hybrid system with a series of checks and balances. It’s a way to completely minimize the impact of fallible human opinion—even my own.”
    Sounds very mysterious.  I presume it’s not available for investigation anywhere?  If it ever becomes so, I’d be interested in looking.  As it mostly seems not to exist at the moment in any real form, it’s not of any real relevance.  Is it fair to say that your main problem with TBRB is a resentment of the O2 its burning that you hoped would fuel your own idea?
    “But the TBRB is about the old way of doing things, whether you’ve attached a new name to it or not. It’s about fraternal brotherhood, ego, and putting your fingerprint on an issue. It’s not about an actual solution.”
    I’ve already explained to you what I think it’s about, and you’re ignoring me. You’re not a member but you somehow have an exact read on every member, which is astonishing arrogance.  It’s about none of those things for me.  I know most of the other people involved, but even I don’t presume to speak for them. And yes, it is a solution, for people who want a ranking system that isn’t owned by a promoter or crook.  SO it depends upon what you’re trying to solve.  I don’t think anything any of us can do will “run the alphabets out of business”, as you ask, but I think a viable alternative is absolutely crucial in doing so. That’s what we’ve provided, and I’m afraid you just have to accept that on at least one level.
    “This is not my paranoid opinion, but a finger pointing to the past and a warning that you guys are just repeating old mistakes.”
    You won’t hear me, but for anyone else who is still bothering to read, nothing like this has ever been tried before.  There has never been so many continents and countries involved in something like this.  Comparing it to Ring in size and scope is preposterous, calling it “Ring-Light” even more so.  You might end up being right, it might fail, but your ABSOLUTE DETERMINATION THAT IT IS ALREADY A FAILURE because of what you believe will happen in the future reeks of bitterness and paranoia.
    “if transparency and public accounting for one’s opinion is a deal killer for any writer, I suggest that maybe this person lacks the knowledge and/or the bravery to fulfill his duties as a member…”
    I’ve said it to you before, and from here on in I will be ignoring this point.  Because it IS transparent.  The rankings aren’t secret.  They are public.  THEY are what counts.  If they’re good, they’re good, and we’re doing our job.  If they’re not, we’re not.  A jury doesn’t sit publicly.  Secondly, it is absolutely unenforceable.  Completely, and inarguably.  Are you really telling me that with how much you dislike this project, you are going to believe us when we tell you we’ve published everything that’s been said? Of course you wouldn’t.  And you know what?  You’d be right.  Even if YOU were a chair, members would still talk to each other privately about how fighters should rank.  They probably do anyway – but there’s no need because they can speak privately AND publicly at the same time, for one-another.  I believe that this is not just the natural, normal thing, but the right thing.  You disagree, and that’s fine.

  41. Paul Magno 08:12am, 04/22/2014

    PART TWO: Fifth—your name calling of McCarthysim makes no sense whatsoever. Who’s abusing the public trust and corrupting the media discourse? Not me. Sixth—There’s really no reason for debate about any of this because the TBRB won’t change or reform or revise anything at this point. They have decided and declared themselves to be THE rankings and will continue to be unresponsive to dissent or reform within their own group. Really, you “members” are just there for the sake of appearance, so that the group can say “we have so many members from around the world.” If they could’ve just done things with the founding members and their pals, they would’ve done away with the charade of full participation. Stop fooling yourself, the chairs are making the rankings and you guys are just there to put a check mark on them. That’s not participation. Most of the power within the TBRB is within the small, core nucleus of the group. It doesn’t take a viewing of your secret message board to know that if the chairs and their group of pals want something to be a certain way, it WILL be a certain way…and, no, I don’t trust just because I’m urged to trust. You’ve said it yourself, that when it comes to the dark side of the sport, you and your colleagues “are in on the joke” and just essentially going through the motions…How does that inspire trust? Finally—There IS a way to overthrow the sanctioning bodies without compromising the integrity of the media. To assume that what is corrupt now will always be corrupt is the type of thinking that leads to meaningless organizations like the TBRB. What I’m saying is that if you follow corruptible paths, you will be corrupted in this industry..THAT is inevitable..There are many examples of corrupt industries being forced to get clean, but none involve doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different outcome—the shift from Mafia-run Las Vegas to corporate Las Vegas is just one example…I’ve been working on a project (with several major investors) for the last several months that would accomplish much of what the sport needs in the area of eliminating or at least minimizing the power of the sanctioning bodies…and it doesn’t compromise my integrity as a writer/journalist..and if it begins to do so, I will have the courage of my convictions to choose one hat or the other and not choose to shill for myself…The project will be revealed later this year and I guarantee that it will shake the sport to its foundations…But will it matter to you guys? Probably not. The TBRB core and its paper court are only focused on advancing their own power and boosting their own ego…It will be telling when real reform comes around whether any of you guys will even consider it…

  42. Paul Magno 08:09am, 04/22/2014

    PART ONE: Matt—I think the only issue standing in the way of our actually working together is your absolute misunderstanding of every one of the key issues involved. First—My call to arms is to writers and journalists to act like writers and journalists. NOT to create de facto replacement sanctioning bodies…Second—There’s a big difference between a corrupted website and a corrupted sanctioning body. If people find my work to be suddenly corrupted or twisted in some way, they just stop reading. You guys have set yourself up to be THE rankings and push this agenda using your own status as journalists—something that you have yet to realize is completely unethical, something that even King Tim Starks is careful not to do in his REAL job…Setting yourself up as the arbiters of “legitimate” rankings makes it so that your word is final (at least in your universe) and the public really has no say so in the matter and won’t ever be allowed to actually see the WHY behind the WHAT. That’s not reform, that’s a dictatorship…Third—The rankings model I suggested is NOT a computerized system. Rather, it’s a hybrid system with a series of checks and balances. It’s a way to completely minimize the impact of fallible human opinion—even my own. As it stands now, the TBRB is ALL fallible opinion….I don’t propose that this system is the be-all and end-all of all systems, just a good starting point and something that would’ve been worth discussing had your guys decided not to go with the coup d’état model…Minimizing the human element would also make the need for absolute transparency not such a pressing issues since one person’s (or small group’s) subjective opinion wouldn’t weigh so heavily on the final product…Remember, this is my job. I do risk management and elimination of corruption/theft as a business. I know how to create systems of checks and balances so as to eliminate any chance of corruption. But the TBRB is about the old way of doing things, whether you’ve attached a new name to it or not. It’s about fraternal brotherhood, ego, and putting your fingerprint on an issue. It’s not about an actual solution. Do you think the TBRB is going to run the alphabets out of business? And even if they did, what then? Who the hell is going to actually oversee the bouts? I’ll tell you who—another puppet organization created by the promoters. And if you DO somehow become a real sanctioning body, that’s when the issues of funding and corruption REALLY kick in. You’re a history guy, you know that failed writer rankings actual brought about the sanctioning body stranglehold on the sport. This is not my paranoid opinion, but a finger pointing to the past and a warning that you guys are just repeating old mistakes. Like I said previously, nobody likes the sanctioning bodies, but you can’t replace them by BEING them…It’s silliness and a waste of 30+ minds that would be of more help to reform by actually doing their jobs as journalists…Some of the members of the TBRB do that—but not many at all…As a matter of fact, this group seems to be like an absolution of sin and responsibility: “Well, I’m a member of the TBRB and vote on rankings, so I’m doing my good deed.” Journalists acting like journalists and not compromising their own integrity is the key to reform. If you guys could band together with that purpose in mind to the same degree and with the same dogged determination you show towards promoting and advancing the organization’s growth, we would be in a good place….Fourth—if transparency and public accounting for one’s opinion is a deal killer for any writer, I suggest that maybe this person lacks the knowledge and/or the bravery to fulfill his duties as a member…

  43. Matt McGrain 12:57am, 04/22/2014

    PART TWO - Four – I’m naïve?  Your insistence that “a system that requires as little human manipulation as possible…would be a system that is “incorruptible” is naïve.  You’re speaking about computers, formulas etc.  All just as corruptible as people, with an addition that it represents an abdication of responsibility – “hey that’s what the computer says.”  But I, PERSONALLY, would be interested to see how a computer might interact with the board – and what a “computer opinion” might be worth to our thing, weighted no more or no less than any other member.  Like I say, interesting and who knows what the future might hold.
    Fifth – if we are inarguably and inevitably corruptible, so are you.  Why should I listen to you?  It’s likely that The Daily Tribune, with its insistence for incorruptibility is a prime target for corruption.  What cash laden promoter wouldn’t want to buy off a website that presents itself as unimpeachable?  Your writers are as exposed as any others, and you, too, presumably have material needs and a price.  Why should people heed you any more than me in this world of inevitable corruption?  Seriously, you’ve criticised US for setting ourselves up as “morally superior” when that is exactly what you do.  Why is it the case that you get a pass but nobody else does?
    In the end, even if you are absolutely right about TBRB – and you are completely wrong in my view – there would still be far, far, FAR greater evils in fights.  If we are “silly” and “a waste of time”, I do wonder why you waste all this time with us.

  44. Matt McGrain 12:56am, 04/22/2014

    PART 1 - Well, whatever the reason for your personal hostility Paul, it obviously compromises our dialogue.  It is also extremely hard to have a conversation with someone who believes the fans of boxing “mostly don’t care” and who believes completely in the inevitable corruption of Boxing.com, his own website and every other associated organisation, website and writer.  It’s McCarthyism, it’s nihilism, a combination that basically makes dialogue almost impossible.

    Nevertheless:

    First - You say “the problem is in the way you’re trying to crowbar your way into prominence and the pointless endeavour of trying to the same thing that has always failed in the past.”  Does this mean you?  You yourself have attempted to get a rejection of what you have called “the alphabet soup” of boxing organisations wiped out.  You wrote: “The Boxing Tribune is spearheading the campaign to discredit and eventually eliminate these blights on the sport. We urge all fans and websites to join in and support the cause for the betterment of the sport.”  This is an explicit call for other websites to join in.  You have attacked TBRB for recruiting writers to their ranks, but you attempted to do exactly the same thing: “If you have your own website or write for one, we encourage you to do the same.”  You even call for the media to replace boxing rankings organisations “while another one is formed.”  On the formation of this new organisation you write: “Maybe this is the greatest of pipe dreams.”
    Paul, quoting someone’s words at them to fishhook them makes people angry.  You’re already very angry, and so you’re likely to be no different, but take some comfort in this: you are absolutely right about most of this.  You are right that a new organisation is needed.  You are right, too, that the formation of a new organisation somehow independent of boxing people is a pipe-dream.  There is no model, literally none, that I can think of where people who are not writers AND who don’t make any money from the process to be employed to sanction boxing.  How would it work?  Who would they be?  You seem to want writers to be involved, but for them to never write again when they join.  Why, then, would anyone want to join?  These are REAL WORLD PROBLEMS THAT NEED REAL WORLD SOLUTIONS, not towering fury that completely hamstrings your ability to actually do anything.  Who are these people that will work this magical rankings organisation for you without compensation if not writers?

    Second – my statement that I trust three people very much does not “show that maybe I am naïve about the business as a whole.”  Trusting people one finds trustworthy – in this case people out of about thirty – is not indicative of anything apart from a conservatism with trust on my part, and humanity. 
    Third – you’ve been consistent about wanting public discussions on rankings.  I credit you.  You have not raised this issue to undermine us, it is a firm belief of yours.  I accept that and commend you for it.  Other than that, I have nothing really, to add to what I have already said aside from this – it would prove nothing.  If the main discussion function for the board was made public, there would just be MORE phonecalls, emails and chat in private before new ideas are offered up. It’s inevitable, inarguable, and unquestionably damaging to creativity.  More than that it damages transparency because the peer-to-peer review among members is undermined.  Small groups would form.  Guaranteed, 100%, it’s human nature.  You could have the 12 disciples in the TBRB and Peter would be on the blower to Paul asking what he thinks about Naoya Inoue. 
    Third – you say “Guys like you (and the TBRB crew) immediately fall back on “well, what do you propose—anarchy? Why try anything, then?” when your ideas are challenged, as if your answer was the only real and legitimate one.”  This is disingenuous and in no way representative of our actual discussion.  I reject it utterly.  I defend my ideas and our ideas, despite your hostility.  I have at no time challenged you to produce your own ideas.  But I will say this -  your ideas are interesting. At every opportunity you undermine and attack TBRB, usually unfairly and based upon McCarthyism and cynicism, not a reality I recognise.  What is most sad about this is that it seems to undermine any chance of our working together at any stage.  TBRB won’t exist forever in its current form.  Who knows what is possible?  But I know it is almost certainly impossible for you and us to ever work together now.  This makes me sad.

  45. Paul Magno 07:00pm, 04/21/2014

    Matt—I have no hostility towards you because you are a member of the TBRB…I didn’t even know you were a member until we started this back and forth…I have a few friends who are actually members of the TBRB…You see, it’s not the group, itself, that is the problem…The problem is in the way you’re trying to crowbar your way into prominence and the pointless endeavor of trying to do the same thing that has always failed in the past…It’s a waste of everyone’s time, effort, and good intentions—not to mention the wasting of another decade or so that could’ve actually been used to push for some real reform…I can’t believe that the best a group of writers could come up with a was a new name for a system that has failed over and over again….Your statement saying that members are “as close to incorruptible as it is possible for people to be” shows that maybe you are naive about the business as a whole…I can understand your take if you just don’t know any better. Otherwise, I find your blind allegiance to Ring Magazine Light puzzling…And I still don’t get what the big deal is about allowing the public to see the actual rankings process. What’s to hide? We aren’t talking nuclear secrets here. If Dan Rafael can release his chat transcripts, why not let the fans know what’s what if your going to opt for an all opinion poll rankings system? This isn’t MY industry, but when a group comes along and insists on being a moral compass and gaining the public’s trust, then they should make an effort at transparency and insist on generally doing things in an ethical manner…I believe that maybe you are too caught up in the idea of being a crusader to see the truth. I know it feels good to BELONG and to put something awesome in your bio, but the TBRB, as it has become, is a nothing organization accomplishing absolutely nothing…You do realize the silliness of basing your rankings on the decisions and operations generated by the same sanctioning bodies you vehemently oppose, right? When the time comes and the TBRB tries to flex its muscles and actually BECOME a sanctioning body, what then? WIl it still be a cool thing for journalists to make career-altering decisions for fighters as a governing body, cover those same fighters as journalists, and then, at the same time, cover the goings on of their own organization? NO, no conflict there, not at all…I guess if you guys stay a silly little rankings club, there’s no harm in it…But going further is dangerous. You and the crew may not care, but binding, “legitimate” rankings affect the lives and livelihoods of real people. Right now this is all just some fantasy league game for you guys, but things get real serious and the stakes get infinitely higher when we’re talking the real deal…and it’s simply not enough to NOT be the WBC/IBF/WBA/WBO…Nobody likes those guys, but you can’t BE them and hope to run them off…Again, that’s naive…But let’s be constructive now…Guys like you (and the TBRB crew) immediately fall back on “well, what do you propose—anarchy? Why try anything, then?” when your ideas are challenged, as if your answer was the only real and legitimate one…Why not create a system that requires as little human manipulation as possible, a syytem that has clear and objective criteria based on the actual happenings in the ring? THAT would be a system that is “incorruptible” as well as transparent…Everyone would be in on the criteria for ranking fighters and nothing would be left to whims and fancy of people who may or may not have agendas or may or may not actually be knowledgable…Why not try a system like the BCS system, which integrates “expert” opinion as well as cold, hard stats? It’s absolutely doable and, once running, would require even less upkeep than the TBRB process…and now here’s where another ethical dilemma comes into play: What if I did my own rankings, using this system? What if this system proved to be infinitely more accurate and efficient than yours? Nothing. You know why? Because the TBRB has already co-opted all of the these sites and because their members (in many cases) own or edit the sites, they will never give any real consideration of alternatives, They are decided that they are THE rankings—and they will, again, use their influence as journalists to advance their own personal agendas. And whenever a journalist has an active, real agenda—man, oh man, that’s just trouble…I know you could say that if my system is good, it’ll find a home and public support. We both know that not to be the case when bigger sites with more reach are already establishing their own narrative in conjunction with several other writers and sites…

  46. Thresher 06:08pm, 04/21/2014

    Biker, the routine goes like this. I chalk up my hands until they are white. I then take a snort of ammonia for a quick adrenalin rush. Then my trainer whacks me across the face with a hard slap after which I let out a roar and then step up to and attack the iron. It’s a ritual that many lifters use and it is very effective and colorful. When I get the bar up and locked I always like to say a few words to the crowd like “this f—king bar belongs to me.” They love it and usually respond in kind. The entire thing is one monster macho rush. Most of the heavy lifters weigh between 300-350 pounds. It’s testosterone time! Been doing it for years. But Facebook blew my cover.

  47. Thresher 05:46pm, 04/21/2014

    I strongly supported the TBRB until I realized Cliff Rold was involved as one of the founders and if Cliff Rold is involved, then BoxingScene is involved and if BoxingScene is involved then, well heck, you get the idea. It’s axiomatic. The cabal between Rold’s chairmanship of the BWAA Application Committee, his role as a Managing Editor for BoxingScene, and being one of the three founders of the TBRB screams out with the appearance—if not the reality—of conflict. Rold needs to step aside.
    I also note Jake Donovan of Boxingscene is a MEMBER. I’m not sure how you get around this problem but Rold saying goodbye would be a great start.

    As for Teddy Atlas’s support, I think that is more a function of his being against the other organizations than it is being supportive of the TBRB.


    Bottom line: The TBRB is a welcome addition but adjustments to eliminate the many conflicts must be made or this group will suffer the same criticism Teddy levels at the other organizations. I DO like the idea of having contributors from different geographical areas.

  48. bikermike 04:08pm, 04/21/2014

    ..and ...like preventing pharm’s in performance enhancement..(..and if we include viagra)...
    We live the life that God gives us…

    I agree we should contain enhancement performance substances…but the enforcement must be rigourous..and universal ...or it is wasted money for wrong purpose

    any SANCTIONED PROFESSIONAL BOXING MATCH…must agree to have random and regular testing….results can splash the upcoming fight.

    smoking weed should not count as a drug that enhances performance..maybe assist in the pain in eyes from many blows…or inhales

  49. bikermike 04:01pm, 04/21/2014

    Ted…buddy….hope I never get in your way ...now that you’re making a concentrated effort to come back…...
    I’m told that steroid use can make a man feel rage like he never has before!!! Couple that up with a bear of a man like yourself…..and holy fk ....they’d call out S W A T..and you’d be shot on the scene….becuz the K 9 units were whimpering..and there was only nine cops…..You obviously would pose a serious threat…......and the helicopter ‘s camera went off…

    C’mon…..Pharm’s are ...and have been ...for a long time…part of performance enhancement/recovery from injury .shifting borders.


    Did you honestly believe Carl Lewis was off the juice….or Mark McGuire…or ..on and on….

    If you want to control it….fine…but it will never be eliminated.

  50. bikermike 03:52pm, 04/21/2014

    ...exceptions….excuse me

  51. bikermike 03:50pm, 04/21/2014

    stopping use of pharmaceudical assistance….in Sports endevours….be they human or otherwise…We got rodeo’s in North America…besides horse race industry..
    to get a grip on this requires what other Sports have done…Commissions..accountable and transparent

    There is a place for the healing use of today’s medical community….but a when dietritics are being used to make weight ..steroids are being used to build performance….bullshit….and for sure…let’s not have any more of that…..CIVE ME THAT BOTTLE….no ..not that one…THE ONE I MIXED…..Pryor vs Arguello…by banned for life whadafksizname trainer…panama red….or was that some kind of dope being sold at the time.

    Going in ..coming out.pf the contest….and randomly and regularly checked out on the road to preparation…just like horse racing…and track events…same rules apply to all….no acceptions..no pay for the difference

  52. bikermike 03:40pm, 04/21/2014

    I’d like to see the drug test that leonard passed….after his Hagler thing…

  53. bikermike 03:37pm, 04/21/2014

    ...when I was on the fringe of being considered for pro camp tryouts (late sixties/early seventy).....the top line (illegal as shit in amateur sports…..which is where it flourished) tech stuff ...was that thing that you get sold over a 1800 number now…..that unit that stimulates a certain muscle group…say ...for recovery…...or do a workout while you’re sleeping….or on your way home on the plane

  54. Matt McGrain 03:32pm, 04/21/2014

    No Paul, you are being UNrealistic.  Your hopes for boxing, though honourable (probably) are NOT realistic.  In your determination to reach for something that is literally impossible you do damage to that which IS possible and is also good.
    Furthermore, if you are not paranoid, you are too jaded perhaps to be of use where this issue is concerned.  If, and I quote, “anything that CAN be corrupted WILL be corrupted”, why bother to try anything?  Please - what is your answer?  Why attack if the end result is corruption, why try anything, ever? What is the point in starting or doing anything if it is doomed to corruption?  Why have you started The Boxing Tribune knowing it will eventually be corrupted?  I don’t agree with you. 
    More specifically I think that there are a set of circumstances that protect TBRB to a degree.  One, there is a firm balance of insiders and outsiders.  Perception (even if you don’t agree with it) of honesty and talent are deciding factors, not how close you can get to people in power. Number two,  three, possibly four of the people involved are as close to incorruptible as it is possible for people to be IMO.  That’s personal, but it holds.  Finally, there is a firm constitution and it is on paper.  It introduces rule of law.  Infallible?  Of course not.  But to become corrupt, the board has to violate its constitution.  At the very least, this is a giant red flag which can be seen.
    All your objections are about the POSSIBILITY of corruption.  It is possible on this basis to undermine anything, literally anything.  It is possible that you, Paul, have been bought off by WBC to undermine TBRB.  In fact, I make that accusation now, based on the fact that it is possible.
    Because that is the only basis it is made upon, it is utterly impossible for you to refute.  Your insistence that we can, therefore will, be corrupted, is McCarthyism.  Furthermore, your world view, where fans don’t care whose rankings they quote, writers fear the TBRB too much to speak out against (why if we have no power??) and corrupting promoters lurk everywhere looking to offer writers cash doesn’t exist.  I’ve never been offered cash.  I don’t know anyone who has been offered cash.  I know loads of writers, you’re the only one who has even suggested there is some fear of speaking out against us.  I’m active on message boards and the fans are overwhelmingly aware of the rankings issues that exist. 
    The idea that all discussions regarding rankings should be made public is absolutely a no-starter.  Is boxing your industry?  Mine is nuclear Even in that industry, which I can promise you is in need of regulation to the power of 1000 more than Boxing, proposals are decided in secret.  The PROPOSAL is the thing that is public.  This is so people can speak freely, people can voice objections that might be stupid, people don’t have to be careful about what they say.  I don’t know how you can say you don’t understand this but let me explain it - people won’t speak up in public.  They won’t do it.  What they’ll do is form smaller groups and test those ideas in private, then voice them. Inarguably it stems creativity and often dissent.  It will never happen.  There will NEVER be a major rankings organisation that discusses rankings in public.  It’s a pipe dream.
    And we don’t “shove our rankings down peoples throats”.  What we do is no different to your advertising your book at the end of every article you write.  If you don’t do that nobody will know about it.  If we don’t do that, nobody will know about us.
    In your latest post I sensed a softening about what TBRB is now in favour of what it might become.  Working towards preventing that is valid.  Your personal hostility to me for no better reason than I am a member is not.

  55. bikermike 03:29pm, 04/21/2014

    .....is it safe to come up now…..are you guys out of ammo..and can I go to the beach…without being ‘mistaken’ for the enemy…

    Face it….Carl Lewis won a lot of medals in that USA Hosted Olympics….where all the drug samples got stolen ....Next Olympics…he lost to Ben Johnson….who didn’t have his sample stolen…...never heard much about Carl Lewis sample….


    Enhancement efforts are here…because THEY ARE HERE…..someplace between Rocky ..and Rocky sixty nine…...there was a play on ENHANCEMENT….and that practise happened…in many sports

  56. Paul Magno 03:07pm, 04/21/2014

    Matt…I’m not paranoid, I’m being realistic…Anything in boxing that CAN be corrupted WILL be corrupted…and I say this with over 30 years of behind-the-scenes boxing experience (albeit on a small scale) and as someone who currently works in designing anti-corruption programs for charitable organizations…It wouldn’t be hard at all to corrupt your rankings…All it would take is to reach out to one of the chairs and get him to turn…and if you, as a member, balk at the decisions made and are overturned, you can certainly quit, but where, exactly, do you voice your dissent if most of your sites will be carrying the banner?...There’s no reason to corrupt the organization now because it has no power or influence at the moment, but what happens when a day comes when it’s REALLY important for so and so to have his fighter ranked in the top 10? And if this is all opinion emanating from the chairs and confirmed by some members, you’ll never really know why things are the way they are… You’re fooling yourself if you think that the TBRB is somehow above all this or morally superior when so many of your members currently work for sites that are either co-owned by promoters or fully funded by promoters/managers/network advertising…As for me being the only one of two people who dissent, I suggest that maybe you don’t travel in the right circles…I can think of at least 8-10 writers off the top of my head who share my distrust for your crew—one is a writer on my site, who believed in the TBRB and wanted to join, but was rejected because he was affiliated with me, a known dissenter…Frankly, a lot of writers lack the balls to confront a cabal of colleagues and prefer to just suffer in silence…I’m not one of those guys…Listen, boxing writers love joining fraternal orders and secret societies. This has always been the case and it doesn’t strike me at all odd that many would be willing to join the TBRB…As for fans, they don’t even care for the most part and the ones who do, voice their opinions to the side with which they agree (and I get plenty of those emails as well)....Remember, we’ve been through this before…A group of honest, smart boxing writers coming together to create fair rankings…Remember the Ring Magazine Scandal? When push came to shove, those rankings were sold off and remember the consequences of that betrayal? It lead to the alphabets gaining more power and spawning two more organizations…I don’t see why the TBRB deliberations aren’t made public. It would go a long way towards proving that you are on the level..Instead, your group insists on pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes and denying transparency. This all seems to be a lot of “Trust us, we’re swell.” Well, sorry, in boxing things don’t work like that…I have theories as to why the deliberation process is not made public, one involves the idea that the group doesn’t want everyone to see to what degree this is a three-man operation…But we’ll never know because the TBRB has decided to force their opinion poll rankings down everyone’s throat as the “real” rankings without caring to show their work…

  57. Matt McGrain 02:28pm, 04/21/2014

    Your final point, it will surprise you I’m sure, i DO agree with.  I agree with you 100% that the future is of concern.  There are enough people in the organisation that nobody can be bought off IMO.  There would be too much resistance to any seemingly strange ideas.  But once you bring money in, once you bring real power in, there’s an issue.  I agree.

    Speaking PERSONALLY, as a member with an opinion, I don’t want belts.  What I want, what i’ve always wanted, is to be a rankings system people on the internet can use to find out who is ranked where in what division without fear that promotional association is affecting those rankings.  When we got traction on television and traction on the web that fast, I was surprised.

    BUT.  There are good people involved.  i hope enough that this can remain what I absolutely believe and insist TBRB is right now - non-corrupt, honest, and in the name of boxing.

    I’ve read you Paul, and Ii won’t lie, the fact that you clearly don’t like me pisses me off.  But I think you do good work in this industry, mostly, though you do seem rather paranoid sometimes.  This is one of those times. You’re wrong about our lot at the moment and next year.  Then, we’ll see.

  58. Matt McGrain 02:27pm, 04/21/2014

    At least these objections are relatively cognitive, but it is an extreme point of view, and not one I think I share at all.
    Firstly, the notion that the dual role of writer and ranker somehow results in one or the other being compromised.  There is no reason why this should be true.  The only compromisation is that a writer would be somehow “expected” to use these rankings in their writing.  First of all, this isn’t true.  I don’t read all of the writings of all of the members (there are far too many of us) but I know that Boxing Scene don’t even use TBRB rankings on their site - they have stuck with what they have.  That’s fine.  Everyone involved is stunned by the progress we have made, but it’s also true that this is a process which might take fifty years, and most members are aware of that.  Most writers DO use the TBRB rankings.  But the reasoning is the same as it is for writers and bloggers and posters who use them who are NOT members.  They are clear, broadly affect what is happening in boxing and are uncompromised in terms of ownership, unlike Ring, for example.

    Second, TBRB functions in the real world.  The idea that boxing people need to completely remove themselves from the industry because they are doing the rankings is nonsensical.  In short: nobody would do it.  It excludes the possibility of people taking part in the activity.  It calls, unless i have misunderstood you, from the RETIREMENT from journalism for any members, without any financial compensation. Some of these guys actually make their living at this.

    Rankings organisations who draw their funding directly from fighters have been *proven* not to work.  Inarguably.  They are destroying the sport.  The ideal would be, a rankings organisation that draws funding from large purses paid into an independent fund from which a rankings organisation draws running costs without compromising title fights, but this will never happen.  TBRB is the ideal in reality, and i’ve yet to read or hear of a realistic alternative that has any chance of actually occruring.
    The argument that outsiders should be allowed to monitor goings on behind the scenes is a) bizarre and b) actually not proven to be true.  To my knowledge Paul, only you and one other person have ever approached us with this question.  Of the two, you are the least strange.  The first demanded transcripts of phone calls between members and copies of emails which they should be allowed to read.
    Let’s be frank: that will never happen.  Conspiracy theorists are not going to be welcomed with open arms because why?  But I like to think that at some point an interested journalist without an axe to grind may be invited to investigate.  That is my personal hope as a member, entitled to express his views.

    But in the end—our rankings are what happens behind the scenes.  It is a mystery to me what a person such as yourself believes goes on behind the scenes.  It is telling that of all the interest that the TBRB has stirred in the industry, only two people have demanded to see what it is that members say to each other in generating the rankings.  I would suggest, for someone such as yourself, concentrating upon what is generated would be the best idea, though I understand you will never accept that point of view.

    You have said that “routinely, less than half actually participate.”  It is true that some members were asked to leave because of non-participation.  It is also true that some weeks see more participation than others.  For example, if there is one proposed change to the light-flyweight division, we will see less people involved than if there are ten changes in seven divisions.

    I am not concerned by this.  There are many, many members, the organisation is enormous for what it does, far bigger than any organisation of its kind.  It also includes many specialists who are expert in one area but may have less interest in another area.  I will volunteer this to you, although my guess is you are incapable of trusting me: a week where the original suggestions for change are met with universal approval is almost unheard of.  Suggestions made by the chairs are just that - and i’m free to table any suggestions regarding any changes I like, as is EVERY other member.  If those ideas gain traction, they are implemented.

  59. Paul Magno 01:58pm, 04/21/2014

    Not that it matters one bit (ignorance seems to be bliss), but here’s the ethical problem with the TBRB:

    The TBRB’s coup d’état on the media (drafting website editors and owners, as well as writers, to instantly anoint themselves with credibility) raises ethical red flags all over the place as a group of journalists who clearly use their role as journalists to advocate for the increased power and influence of their own group.

    This group gladly assumes the role of news maker and advocate while the members never abandon the role of journalist. They have now put themselves into a position where they want to affect changes on the sport while reporting on their own efforts and using their credibility as journalist/bloggers to affirm the correctness of their own work. In short, this is the perfect storm of perfect circle jerks. And one which is full of possibilities for corruption…

    As for their similarities to the alphabets—their rankings are done in secret with zero transparency offered to the public and dissenters are not allowed access to the group or to actual goings on behind this veil of secrecy…Just like the alphabets, The TBRB is a group of guys giving their opinions and refusing to allow outsiders a glimpse at the grinding gears of the operation…

    The TBRB has also been extremely disingenuous as to how the rankings are actually put together, fostering the idea that it’s a true set of rankings where all members submit their own rankings and a consensus is reached…In reality, it’s just three people doing it all and running it by a group of people who may or may not even participate…(I was told that, routinely, less than half actually participate)...

    And as for belts and sanctioning fees…King Tim Starks has publicly said that belts may be in the future…and I believe that this WILL be turned into a full-fledged power play if they ever get any sort of real foot in the door…Since when do organizations get more efficient and less intrusive as time goes on and egos inflate?

    The TBRB could’ve advocated for the creation of a fair and impartial rankings system, but they opted for the power grab and, by drafting writers and editors from key sites, they’ve also made it so that dissent can never really be voiced…

  60. Matt McGrain 11:55am, 04/21/2014

    But this is it “lad”, you clearly don’t know anything about it, at all.  TBRB doesn’t hand out “belts” and TBRB doesn’t hand out “awards”.  That is all made up in your head, it is completely inaccurate.  You don’t know what we do.  And you just prove it with every post.  We organise rankings for a generation of fight fans who have nowhere unaffiliated and established to turn for these rankings.
    Furthermore, and as an aside, they do NOT teach at “journalism school” that “journalists don’t give out awards.”  Almost every single branch of journalism in existence, bar none, give out awards.  That is also made up in your head i’m afraid.

  61. FightClubWriter 11:49am, 04/21/2014

    Go get yourself educated, my lad. Go to journalism school. Journalists have no business being involved with an organization that hands out championship belts and awards. A journalist reports on the news with unbiased facts. Then again, you know what? I’ve been wrong all along! These people involved with the alphabet soup rankings board aren’t journalists. Just a bunch of good old boys partaking in a nice hobby. Oops, sorry…

  62. Matt McGrain 11:27am, 04/21/2014

    But it’s NOT one of “those organisations”.  Every post you make indicates your confusion on the matter, and you’re obviously entrenched in your opinion to the point where you think nothing of attacking people you don’t know, but in case anyone else is reading and interested, I will explain.
    FightClubWriter has compared TBRB with the alphabet organisations (WBC, WBA etc.).  The major difference - and there are so many - but the major difference is money.  The WBC, WBA etc., absolutely gouge money from fighters.  They are desperate for a fighters money.  It’s all their after, really.  TBRB on the other hand, makes no money.  It is for non-profit, and ALL the work done by TBRB is done by volunteers.  Furthermore, one of the rules for membership is that the member has no affiliation with a promotional body - The Ring, of course, is owned by a promotional body.
    Furthermore, the disaster that is the WBO has ordained that Wladimir Klitschko should fight Alex Leapai, for reasons that are financial and political and in no way fistic.  TBRB ranks fighters according to their perceived abilities and achievements.  Doubtless, people will disagree with us sometimes and that is healthy, but nobody gets a ranking because we got paid.  Nobody gets paid.
    Inferring that being a member of TBRB, for reasons unknown, automatically degenerates any given writer or associate is ludicrous. It is the worst kind of bottom-feeding mud-slinging, and the antithesis of “responsible journalism.”
    So the reason i don’t “quit”, FightClubWriter, is that you are talking utter shit.  Being a member in no way denotes me as you’ve claimed - without explaining even one word of your diatribe.

  63. FightClubWriter 11:06am, 04/21/2014

    Well, if it bothers you to be a hack with no credibility or dignity then quit associating yourself with those types of organizations. You are obviously conflicted, whether it’s internal or something else…

  64. Matt McGrain 02:41am, 04/21/2014

    Yeah, but I’m IN that organisation.  So so far you’ve called me a confused hack lacking dignity and credibility.  So, you know, fuck you, whoever you are.

  65. FightClubWriter 07:13pm, 04/20/2014

    McGrain, I didn’t call you any names, so don’t get your knickers in a bunch, my lad. There’s no use repeating what I wrote previously, but anyone who calls themselves a journalist and joins a wanna-be alphabet soup organization or a fraternity like the BWAA loses all credibility, maybe some dignity too…

  66. Matt McGrain 03:15pm, 04/20/2014

    But you haven’t raised any “real issues”.  For two posts in a row, you’ve been throwing personal insults at me.  This:
    ” Boxing News suffers form a little awkwardity but it does its part; Boxing Monthly is pretty consistent in politely ridiculing that which it believes undermines…”
    Is me writing about this issue we disagree about.  You completely ignored me and wrote this:
    “That’s all you seem to do…but I guess being a smug, belligerent…”
    Completely ignoring the issue and digging me out about my tone!  Let’s say my tone is offensive - it’s got to be less offensive than calling somebody names and accusing them of ignoring the real issues…whilst ignoring the real issues.
    I have absolutely no idea what just happened.  I know FIghtClubWriter was calling me names and that I was pretty terse with him, but I have absolutely no idea what caused you to fly off the handle.  You’re absolutely right about there being no point in continuing with the conversation, and no, I won’t be “looking for you.”

  67. Paul Magno 03:09pm, 04/20/2014

    Matt—Obviously, there’s no reason to engage in a sustained debate with someone who would rather fluff his own smug sense of whimsy than address any real issues…If you had some sense of self-awareness, you’d realize the arrogant and dismissive tone with which you address every issue in these comment threads (at least every comment I’ve seen)...One has to wonder why you even bother if this is all beneath you… If you choose to crawl out of your own ass, I’m happy to have a grown-up discussion…I’m not hard to find…

  68. Matt McGrain 02:12pm, 04/20/2014

    Haha Paul, that’s frank - i’ll be frank too.  I have no idea what sweeping generalisations I have made.  I have no idea why you are angered.  When I said “that’s your shtick” I meant that you seem, from what i have read to intentionally hunt down bad press and attack it.  This, I believe, is the only possible explanation for your having written that “I’ve rarely read any UK boxing coverage that didn’t seem like it was written while curled at the feet of a promoter, lapping at a saucer of milk”.  That is a ludicrous statement and one that I believe I rather politely corrected, in a reasonable way, which I’m sure, if you think about it, you would agree is natural.
    As to my own writing - you seem to be labouring under the impression that I write primarily about history, that I “wax poetic about the deceased.”  I think i’m right in saying that i’ve written twice about history in the last twelve months.
    Clearly you don’t read British press, clearly you don’t read me, which is fair enough as you find me “contrary” (Which you very expressly are, and i’m sure would not deny), “belligerent” (Which you UNQUESTIONABLY are, and proud of it unless i’ve missed something?) and “smug”, which I would be surprised to hear is not a criticism that has been levelled at you at some point - I won’t level it here though.  Boxing.com doesn’t tend to jive with grown men launching personal insults at other grown men they’ve never met.

  69. Paul Magno 02:04pm, 04/20/2014

    Matt—Actually, it would be to your benefit if you followed your own advice about not making sweeping generalizations…That’s all you seem to do…but I guess being a smug, belligerent contrarian is your schtick…Not to be rude, but do you even cover boxing news or the daily goings-on of the sport? The world is all cupcakes and lollipops if this is all just a darling hobby where you can wax poetic about the deceased and occasionally vent some frustration…

  70. Matt McGrain 01:51pm, 04/20/2014

    Speaking of sweeping generalisations, the person who hides behind the moniker “FightClubWriter” just called me “a conflicted hack.”  Were it not for the fact that it was a part of his writing off an entire group of people due to personal prejudice, the true virtue of the unpleasant, I might take the time to be offended - or make an even more serious mistake, and ask him what he means.
    But then I’d remember that becoming irritated by a man hiding behind a nickname on a boxing site naming thirty people he’s never met as all having one and the same problem is utterly ludicrous and not worth worrying about.

  71. Matt McGrain 01:47pm, 04/20/2014

    Nah Paul, i would have to dispute that.  Boxing News suffers form a little awkwardity but it does its part; Boxing Monthly is pretty consistent in politely ridiculing that which it believes undermines *fighters*.  It’s a fighters publication really, or that’s how I see it.
    But it DOES have that politeness.
    Warren especially was coming in for heavy criticism for a long time in the broadsheet press especially, stemming from, say, around the time he lost Hatton, but a lot has been forgiven in the light of his perceived failure - and BoxNation, which has been welcomed with open arms.  Eddie Hearn, currently, can do no wrong - but that can change - so basically there’s a pass there, I would say.  But it’s reactionary.
    Finally, I’m British, and i’m not curled up at anybodies feet.
    If you really hardly ever read any British boxing coverage that isn’t written as if by a man curled up at another man’s feet, you’re probably reading in the wrong places - but that’s your shtick i guess, so soldier on.  But it’s better to avoid these sweeping generalisations, especially if you’re only antiquated with the margins of the thing.

  72. Paul Magno 01:30pm, 04/20/2014

    Actually, Matt, I was being kind…I’ve rarely read any UK boxing coverage that didn’t seem like it was written while curled at the feet of a promoter, lapping at a saucer of milk…I just chalked it up to, maybe, a lack of sophistication when it comes to the fight game…Now that you say that “everyone is in on the joke” and intentionally tossing up softballs, I find things especially appalling…

  73. FightClubWriter 12:20pm, 04/20/2014

    Maybe every UK writer is led around by the balls because they don’t have the balls to criticize fighters and promoters when need be. If every story is always a glowing review for a fighter or promotion, then it should really be classified as a press release. As for the TBRB every single writer that’s involved with that would-be alpabet soup organization automatically becomes a conflicted hack.

  74. Thresher 07:32am, 04/20/2014

    Off the topic but good point Biker. Yes. you are correct. “Pharmaceutical methods to enhance performance in all matters are here to stay.” I will be in a power lifting event in two weeks where random testing is part of the deal. I also have bad allergies at this time of year. If I use over-the-counter meds to counter the issue, I will flunk the tests if I am randomly selected. Sooner or later, the playing field is going to become more tolerant and therefore more level.

    ,

  75. Matt McGrain 02:35am, 04/20/2014

    Paul M -
    Yeah, thanks for bringing up the TBRB, very relevant to the discussion I think…
    Anyway, if you read my post you will see that I don’t call corruption in sports coverage “a uniquely American problem” and I don’t contradict your colourful notion that British writers are “led around by the balls”.  In Boxing Monthly and Boxing News, the writers write positively about almost every fighter.  It’s rare to see a fighter get caned for any reason.  Everybody involved in Britain basically knows the system; they know what to expect, they know the path a British prospect takes - they know they are paying to see their man beat an overmatched opponent, until they’re not, when they then struggle to get tickets, haha.  It’s not the same issue it seems to be in the States - it’s like everyone is in on the joke.
    I’m curious though, who are the British writers you’ve seen “led by the balls” by a British promoter?  Anyone specific in mind?

  76. bikermike 02:02pm, 04/19/2014

    I can remember several amateur boxer’s ..who were excluded from trying out for the National Finals…in Canada…because they were using ......medical help….to reduce…or keep down their weight…

    It is here to stay…as I’m referring to practise of some thirty or forty years back…

    same day weigh ins will bring this practise down ......eventually…a competitor can not perform at the weight he is competing in…due to a sophisticated form of starvation

  77. bikermike 01:57pm, 04/19/2014

    Robert Ecksel…..another insightful article…

    I especially enjoyed your division of journalist…challenge authorities…or promote authorities…

    Just so happens…The Harder They Fall is making it’s way onto our Cable system…

    Deja vu all over again….

    Still….to oppose any and all views…is almost as harmful as to embrace any view…just because

  78. bikermike 01:48pm, 04/19/2014

    Pharmaceutical methods to enhance performance in all matters are here to stay.

    From the poor fk who needs anti inflammatory pills to get passed his arthritis to perform his duties…to McGuire..to hit those big home runs….and like that..all through the night.(I saw leonard take off his robe..and he was jacked ...lotsa muscle…that was never there before…nor since)
    Baer..whose hands were smashed and nowhere near the weapons he’d had ...took those ‘shots’..in his hands…to numb the pain and discomfort of hitting with broken bones in a fist…......it wore off in the early rounds…if not earlier..against Louis

    Horrible thing to observe…but most of the ‘medical solutions’ ..cuz Doctors are into this…big time…...is that all of this practise is an extention of what used to take place in horse race industry

  79. Paul Magno 01:38pm, 04/19/2014

    It’s really as simple as this: Would you expect a quality restaurant review from a writer employed as a bus boy at the same restaurant or from a know-nothing, just-happy-to-be-here nitwit? You’re kidding yourself if you think this is a uniquely American problem. I’ve seen and heard of just as many UK and Euro writers led by the balls by promoters. It also doesn’t take a genius to see just how much of the foreign press is just as likely to act like fawning teenage girls in the presence of the “big shots.” The safe targets in this business are the alphabets—everyone hates them. It’s like being a political writer and championing the causes of lower taxes/less government waste. That silly Transnational Rankings group is parlaying that dislike of the alphabets into their own power play, but at least a third of their membership is made up of the same shills who screwed up the narrative in the first place (another third is made up of the previously mentioned know-nothings and hobbyists)...and they’ve already proven themselves to be just as disingenuous, secretive, exclusionary, and resistant to change as any of the alphabets…As for Leon, I’m not really addressing him because I never expected much from him in the first place…

  80. bikermike 01:34pm, 04/19/2014

    ....iT HAS BEEN SAID..IN MANY A LATE NIGHT DISCUSSION..AT THE PRESS CLUB…...(ONLY SODA.CUZ IT IS ILEGAL TO SERVE LIQUOR AFTER MIDNIGHT)

    If you look forward to the Front Page….or respect Law and Order….or like sausage…..you don’t want to know how any of these things are made

  81. bikermike 01:30pm, 04/19/2014

    Hey lads…..

    ..anybody that can read knows that life is hard….and then we die…
    How we conduct ourselves ....in that bracket from womb to tomb…is a lot about personal choices

    That said…we are all FIGHT FANS HERE…and I’d like to hear more about insights about this article…or other Boxing matters…...I already know how to vote

  82. Thresher 12:26pm, 04/19/2014

    Robert, how do you pay for research?

    And Thalidomide even dates me!!!!!!!

  83. Robert Ecksel 11:04am, 04/19/2014

    Thresher—Big pharma doesn’t get a pass, not as it operates in the U.S. Their “if you can’t afford our drug just die” philosophy may be good for investors, but it’s a death sentence for the common man. And that’s when the drugs work as promised. Then of course there’s Thalidomide.

  84. Eric 10:35am, 04/19/2014

    Kruschev said that America would fall without a shot being fired, that it would fall from within. Guess all those myopic, greedy, people “with mouths to feed,” aren’t thinking about the mess they pass on for their children and others to inherit. Stabbing people in the back, corruption, dishonest or distorted reporting, crooked banksters and politicians, etc., have always been around, but nowadays this sort of behavior is often encouraged or even glorified. The “cesspool” is definitely rising higher and higher.

  85. Thresher 10:22am, 04/19/2014

    There are journalists.

    There are publicists.

    There are writers.

    Many don’t know the difference.

    The shill potential varies with each category IMO.

  86. Thresher 10:17am, 04/19/2014

    I need to qualify my deep dislike for Woods, because his site, The Sweet Science, has some excellent writers IMO like Springs Toledo and I enjoy reading their stuff. Woods is simply a shill. The site also has some stooge posters like the guy who calls himself Radam G and ends each post with “Holla?” He is bile-inducing

    A recent post refereed to Pat Putnam as the “late great.” Are you kidding me. Great writer yes. Honest, God no!!!!

  87. Matt McGrain 10:16am, 04/19/2014

    In the UK, there’s not this same perception of corruption in the press.  Everyone who watches boxing on TV knows that the TV bums whichever fighter that they are broadcasting, same as you guys do with HBO…everyone kind of takes their queue there.
    Because British sports journalism is overwhelming positive - hatchet articles aimed at fighters really aren’t welcomed in Boxing Monthly, Boxing News or newspaper coverage - there perhaps isn’t the same reign for corruption, i’m not sure.
    But it seems there’s a real problem with American fight coverage.  I’m glad we don’t have it here - it leaves us unfettered in our targets, which are usually the ABC’s and Bob Arum in my case, haha.

  88. Thresher 10:00am, 04/19/2014

    big pharma???

  89. Robert Ecksel 09:40am, 04/19/2014

    There has always been corruption. It may be a matter of degree, but the more things change the more they stay the same. The cesspool has never been deep enough for everyone to drink their fill. Integrity isn’t a given. It’s something we embrace or reject. We all want to get ahead. We all want recognition for the work we do. It’s a question of how far we’re willing to go—what to betray, who to stab in the back—to achieve those ends.

  90. FightClubWriter 09:23am, 04/19/2014

    Greg Leon was never a journalist to begin with. All he did was do mail bags and stir shit up between fighters with his so-called interviews. He has been on the promotional side the entire time. And if you care to look closely enough so is everybody else, including Michael Woods. Or anyone who writes for Ring Magazine and works with convicted drug dealers. Or how about websites that are run by publicists and owned by a groupie?

  91. Matt McGrain 09:23am, 04/19/2014

    See Robert - I think it’s always been that way.  I wasn’t “there” but I bet that this is always the way.  The reason it appeared to be rarer before is that people who are well paid to do a job they don’t tend to place capital ahead of their honour.  I also think that without an internet to hold people accountable n the same way. I suppose the two end argument would be that it wasn’t necessary for someone who covered boxing full time to look for other revenue streams back in the day because they were earning a wage - still, accusations of corruption among newspaper journalists who covered boxing in the nineteen-teens and twenties was widespread.
    I don’t know that Greg Leon, I do know that Boxing Talk website and it’s not great, I agree.

  92. Robert Ecksel 09:06am, 04/19/2014

    Woods is a symptom, not the cause of boxing’s degradation, which makes him no less responsible for his off-the-cuff ramblings masquerading as writing. The cause is power relations that inexorably lead to the deification of capital. If it were only boxing journalism that’s been poisoned it would be quite enough. But everything is subject to the same skewed perspective. Boxing is our focus, but in this regard it’s no different than politics, Wall Street, big pharma, academia, and everything else under the setting sun. The trainer Tommy Gallagher, often described as Runyonesque (which is shorthand for felonious), used to tell me, “I’m not proud of everything I’ve done, but I had mouths to feed.” Anyone can justify anything. No doubt Woods and his ilk, if they can distinguish right from wrong, rely on similar clichés to validate their actions.

  93. Matt McGrain 08:36am, 04/19/2014

    Someone please explain the problem to me here like i’m an idiot, and I mean that literally.  A lot of this American stuff goes over my head.  I don’t know Woods at all btw.

  94. Eric 07:35am, 04/19/2014

    “lack of information, disinformation, and a contempt for the truth…” Now ain’t that the truth. “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

  95. Thresher 06:38am, 04/19/2014

    To answer the question in the title, anything that does not involve Michael Woods, a person who is on record as stating that business conflicts in boxing are okay. His contrived and periodic interviews and exchanges with Steve Farhood are as phony as phony can get with Farhood calling Woods “Woodsy.” Pretty awful stuff.  Woods is part of the NYC cabal that pretty much controls “boxing Journalism”—an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Guys like him make me happy I no longer write about boxing.

  96. Gutter 06:26am, 04/19/2014

    Woods is a sickening shill for the powers that be.  Reading him actually brings on a feeling of nausea.  And that’s the good things about him.

  97. Paul Magno 05:34am, 04/19/2014

    Robert, I agree with your take, but let’s not pussyfoot around here—The writer you quote as saying “He gives hope to print guys, and web guys and Bronx residents” is Michael Woods of The Sweet Science and ESPN, darling of the BWAA….I completely understand how Woods would see Leon’s move as a natural job progression and, essentially, a promotion…Woods is a cheerleader mouthpiece for the “power” in the sport and, as such, a champion of the status quo. It’s not much of a leap to jump from Woods’ idea of journalism to what normally gets issued by publicists as part of a promotional plan. He is the epitome of everything that is wrong with our profession and a constant nauseating reminder that one has to “play the game” in order to get anywhere in this business…and let’s not even mention that he has virtually no working knowledge of the sport and is also a godawful writer…

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