I get a lot of emails. And other than insults from angry Manny Pacquiao fans and pleas for help from Nigerian royalty, the email I get most often involves the following question: How do I break into the boxing writing business?
It’s an odd question since becoming a boxing scribe is, really, as easy as browsing the internet. These days, sites are so desperate for content that little things, like actually knowing how to write or having a working knowledge of the sport, are often overlooked.
My own literary skills are more Mariel than Ernest Hemingway, but I never got into the business to win a Pulitzer or get lauded for my proper use of the semi-colon. I guess my own philosophy has been that it’s better to have something to say in a simple manner than to be able to beautifully say nothing.
But, in any case, I try to help out whenever I can. While I’m on the outs with most of my boxing writing brethren, I have studied their ways enough to put together this helpful little guide to becoming the bestest boxing writer ever!
The News Gathering Process
This is the most important part of the gig. If you want to write, you have to have something to say. Duh. But why bother with actually thinking up ideas and angles? Too much time away from your Twitter updates will keep your followers in the dark as to your feeling on college football or the latest movie.
Thank God there are so many publicists out there eager and efficient when it comes to providing content for your awesome gig.
Just open up your email and, if you’re big enough of a name or if you’ve subscribed to the right services, there should be plenty of press releases from which to choose. Re-arrange a few phrases, highlight a few quotes, and, voila, you have a brand new boxing article suitable for posting! Hell, why don’t you just copy and post it verbatim? Saves time and nobody cares anyway, right?
If the re-posting of press releases becomes too restrictive for your creative spirit, go back into your email and find out if there are any media workouts or press conferences in your area. Boxing promoters are so kind as to tell the media what to report and when to report it, so why not take advantage of their generosity?
When you get to the event, make sure you ask the fighter pertinent questions like, “How do you feel?” and “What’s your strategy?”
If you’re an upwardly mobile boxing scribe and want to truly ingratiate yourself to the wonderfully friendly promoters and managers of the sport, you may want to take a look at who is sponsoring your site.
Gushing, exceptionally flattering bios and interviews will surely get you front page placement and warm the hearts of those who are paying for the privilege of using your talents as publicity. If you stroke the right people, you may even find additional job opportunities opening up for you.
Now that you’re a big shot superstar boxing scribe, you’re going to have to act the part.
Taking a notepad to a media workout and scowling pensively at a sparring session is expected of you. It doesn’t really matter whether you understand what you’re seeing or if there’s nothing but a grocery list and a doodle of Snoopy in your notepad. You’re an expert now, and you have to look the part.
When it comes to dealing with the public, graciously and humbly accept the people who praise your work. Insult and belittle those who don’t. If you’re on social media, be sure to inflict on critics the most awful of all punishments– block them from ever seeing your wonderful thoughts again.
Remember, anyone questioning your work or integrity is likely just jealous of you. You’re so awesome that it must be your absolutely staggering awesomeness bringing out the jealousy in others. Make sure you make them aware of that, repeatedly and as the closing zinger of any correspondence you may have with these poor, unfortunate souls.
Stock Boxing Article (fill in the blanks)
Need a jump start to the creative process? Just use this simple stock boxing article, fill in the blanks, and watch as your career skyrockets!
[Insert Name of Website Sponsor’s Fighter Here] is one of a kind. Like [Insert Literary Reference Here], he’s determined to [Insert Career Goal Here].
[Insert biographical or career info here]
But things hit a snag in the quick rise of [Insert Fighter’s Name] .
[Insert Fighter Quote, Regarding Recent Troubles or Problems Here]
Indeed, [Insert Fighter Name] was [Repeat Trouble or Problem Mentioned in Quote Above], and these are the types of things that tear lesser fighters apart.
[Insert Quote From Trainer, Manager, or Promoter, Suggesting that the Fighter has Learned from the Bad Experience]
And one can tell by looking into [Insert Fighter’s Name]‘s eyes. There’s a determination there that wasn’t there before. Something has changed, something has clicked.
[Insert Quote from Fighter, Affirming That He Has Overcome the Past Issue or Problem]
[Insert Fighter’s Name] has come a long way and isn’t prepared to take a step backward. [Insert Poignant Closing Phrase Here].
So, there it is. Your ultimate guide to becoming a big shot boxing scribe. Now, go out and raid those media buffets and pocket all the free swag promoters and publicists are willing to toss your way!
You can email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or watch him as he hones his craft as a “hater,” “bomb thrower,” and “boxing crypt keeper” at The Boxing Tribune, Fox Sports, and other real media outlets. Paul is a full member of the Burger King Kids’ Club and an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church.