by Fox Doucette
Oh, hey everyone. You’re probably wondering where I’ve been for the past month or so. After all, I did spend almost two years in this space bringing you the best and worst of the fringes of the boxing world, at least when I wasn’t writing about Manny Pacquiao and/or Floyd Mayweather. I’ve praised palookas, given you all reasons to love Micky Ward and Lucian Bute and Ruslan Provodnikov, made you laugh, maybe made you think. It’s been a good two years.
The trouble is, boxing’s just too limiting, so I’m getting out of the boxing-writing game. I’ve always wanted to be more Grantland than BoxingScene. I want to do things that Kirk Goldsberry and Zach Lowe are doing, not what Dan Rafael and Michael Woods do. I don’t want to write in a world where you have to be a shill like Steve Kim or a hack like Gabe Montoya to make a living.
So I’m launching a general-sports website. ChampionshipD.com. We go live Sunday, March 17, with an article about wacky methods of picking an NCAA bracket. It’s going to be about a celebration of the defensive side of the ball in all sports, and stop snickering at me—I know my boxing tastes run toward straight-ahead brawlers. I’ve been watching a ton of NBA and college hoop games this season. I’ve read more words about 4-3 and 3-4 than any NFL guy should, and I’m not even an NFL guy. All this with the style and humor you’ve come to expect from me. I’m going to be editor-in-chief and head writer and, well, everything. I refuse to be Bleacher Report, building a site on the backs of unpaid contributors.
Which speaks to the other reason I’m getting out of the fight game as a writer unless it’s to do a piece—one piece, not a constant stream—about a fight with major mainstream appeal (Floyd Mayweather is a guy whose style is built for a site about defense). Even Bill Simmons writes about Manny Pacquiao once in awhile. There’s no money in it. I spent two months homeless in Boston last year. Writing for pizza money’s great if all you need is pizza money to give you something to enjoy during FNF. Writing for pizza money isn’t so great if you’re trying to convince women you’re worth keeping around or to keep a roof over your head.
I’m also working on a novel. Probably not something that’ll have a lot of appeal to hard-nosed boxing fans unless they’re also big fans of Game of Thrones or spend their spare time playing the crap out of Skyrim. Dragons, magic, kings and feudal lords and that sort of thing. If I play my cards right, I’ll be the first writer (with the possible exception of Weird Al Yankovic) to cover a range as broad as Damon Runyon and Ernest Hemingway to J.K. Rowling in the same career.
You begin to see where boxing is too limiting. Writing about a dying sport for an audience of dozens and some pin money is a nice hobby. Writing for a team of dedicated fellow outlaws will be spoken of whenever I have a job interview from here to the end of my days when the question comes up as to my favorite jobs. Paul Magno is an honest man in a dishonest business, and the world needs more guys like him fighting the good fight. Tim and Jesse and the rest of the gang around here do great work, and if I feel a need to scratch an itch reading about the Sweet Science, I’ll be reading. You might even see me doing a guest spot once in awhile—if Lucian Bute beats Jean Pascal, I reserve the right to write his redemption story.
But all the same. I was getting tired of switching away from ESPN NBA Friday to cover FNF and thinking all the while that “I’m writing about the wrong sport here.” So I did something about it. Now this is an announcement. Beats the shit out of writing a lame press release. The Boxing Tribune never did run those, something I’m proud of from my tenure here.
ChampionshipD.com. Sunday. 8 PM Eastern/5 PM Pacific, we go live.
Fox Doucette is owner of Mystery Ship Studios and the one-man band running ChampionshipD.com. His weekly column, The Southpaw, appeared on The Boxing Tribune for 87 episodes. Fan mail, hate mail, rending of garments, and wailing of damned souls for whatever you are to do with yourself with your Thursdays from here out can be sent to email@example.com.