I’ve been a bit out of the loop lately, so I missed the hours prior to Saturday’s Mikey Garcia-Juan Manuel Lopez bout and the hours following it. I missed the backlash stemming from Garcia’s inability to make the 126 lb. limit and then his unwillingness to even try to drop the two pounds to make weight. Man, I can only imagine how these media-types must’ve gone off.
“Unprofessional!” Is surely what they wrote. “Arrogant! Entitled!” What about the “respect for the game?”
And let’s not mention all of the stories about “Too Big” Garcia’s “Tainted” victory over a fighter at an obvious weight disadvantage.
This surely had to be Garcia’s darkest day as a pro, despite having one of his biggest nights in the ring– against a guy who used to be one of boxing’s “next big things.” How could he ever get full credit for his win with the media riding his back, stabbing him in the neck for “spitting” on the sport?
Actually, I fib. I was watching the media reaction to Garcia’s weight problem very closely. It’s specific moments like this that give us a clear picture of just how inept and biased most in the media truly are.
The same deafening silence and convenient inability to criticize was on display back when Brandon Rios had his battles with the scale in world title fights.
The worst either fighter got was a token mention of their weight struggle and a feeble half-admission of wrongdoing based around the fact that really, it’s not their fault because if you only knew how hard it was for them to make such a light weight…
Meanwhile, Adrien Broner, when he failed to make the super featherweight limit for his bout with Vicente Escobedo and refused to even try to sweat off the excess poundage, was cyber-lynched by the media.
Website articles weren’t enough to contain the media’s distaste for this sin and many media members immediately took to social media to say snarky things about this villain. One scribe even guaranteed that this “would haunt Broner forever.”
So, what gives? Why the pity party for Mikey Garcia (and Brandon Rios) and the total shredding of Broner for, essentially, the same exact crime?
There are lots of possible reasons and they may vary from writer to writer.
Maybe it’s because Garcia is a “nice guy,” who is trained by a “nice guy,” who, in turn, is a very accessible figure. We all know that the quickest way to a scribe’s heart is through access and sufficient ego stroking.
Maybe it has to do with Broner’s Al Haymon connection. As many know, Haymon is the opposite of accessible and the least likely to try and barter access for love when it comes to his fighters. As a result, certain media-types are quick to go on the offensive against any Haymon-managed fighter. Good luck getting a fair shake when you don’t work to make the media feel “special.”
Maybe there’s a racial component to all of this. I’d hate to think this, but I’ve personally seen one major website’s managing editor refer to Floyd Mayweather as “uppity,” so race can’t be ruled out for some media members.
Hell, maybe some are just dummies who get outraged whenever one of their “superior” fellow-media figures gets outraged.
Whatever the case, there is no doubt a double standard in the way certain fighters are covered.
Personally, Mikey Garcia is one of my favorite fighters and he sure seems to be a nice guy. But this doesn’t excuse him from criticism when it’s warranted. I find Adrien Broner to be a dope with an incredibly grating personality. But this doesn’t mean that he gets singled out for any extra criticism above and beyond what’s warranted.
It’s as simple as that.
Report the sport as it happens. And when you have an opinion to push, make sure it’s backed by actual fact and not powered by a fragile ego with daddy issues. Your work shouldn’t serve as a testament to your psychological frailties.
Shit, even this bomb-throwing hack of a non-big shot boxing scribe knows this.
You can email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or watch as he ruins the nifty boxing hobby of so many middle-aged men. Paul is a full member of the Burger King Kids’ Club, a born iconoclast, and an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church.
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