by Tim Harrison
Some of you may have noticed a slight change in tone in the Monday Rant over the last few weeks – if not the altered title altogether. Boxing Tribune Editor-in-Chief Paul Magno’s annual vacation is coming to an end, and while I’ve enjoyed ranting in his stead, I feel I’ve only partially broken the surface of what it means to truly rant in the “angry old man” fashion for which I’m known. So without further ado, what follows is the result of a couple glasses of The Balvenie 12-Year Double Cask and fifteen whirlwind minutes in front of my computer, ranting off the top of my head like an old drunkard in a dive bar on a Wednesday night.
On Double Standards
Can we (and by we, I mean ‘boxing media’) do away with the double standards this year? From those who shit on Floyd Mayweather for his past instances of domestic violence, yet approach DV offender Jim Lampley as an honest orator on the subject and hold the late Diego Corrales (himself an offender) in such high regards, to those who lament the very existence of Al Haymon and his mismatches, but vote for Main Events Promotions and its series of one-sided showcase squashes on NBC Sports Network for Promoter of the Year (Main Events did, however, do a fine job with Sergey Kovalev).
Access goes a long way for most guys in the media. To speak ill of those responsible for handing out the press passes can result in exile from press row, and without press row the big shots are left with nothing more than Twitter to satisfy their needy egos. If boxing is to be taken seriously its media needs to start acting like grownups, and less like Taylor Swift gossiping about the cute boy at Subway who refused to give her free extra avocado on her Spicy Italian.
Ask yourself one question, if you think I’m out of line; wouldn’t it be nice to just read about the fights, and not have to sift through the drummed-up fake Kardashian-level drama?
On Al Haymon
I think I’ve gone on record enough with my opinion that Al Haymon is great for his clients but not always great for the fans, but for Pete’s sake, please don’t let the way his stable was handled in the second half of 2014 be a harbinger of things to come in 2015. Some of Haymon’s top clients were either matched against absolute patsies or sat out lengthy periods of the year, leaving Showtime scrambling to fill empty airwaves with garbage. Let’s hope 2015 sees Danny Garcia return to his 2013 form, Peter Quillin come back and live up to his potential, and Leo Santa Cruz take on some serious contenders once again.
On PED Crusaders
Leave it to a guy like Victor Conte to fuck up a good cause. Fighter safety should absolutely be top priority in a sport such as Boxing, and I think it goes without saying that just about everyone thinks a higher standard of testing should be standard operating procedure, and not a negotiating tactic. But taking to Twitter and tossing out baseless allegations of PED use against fighters who aren’t volunteering for testing that isn’t required (all the while blocking anyone who will mention Conte’s clients who aren’t testing), being caught in lying about one’s involvement with positive tests, and sending one’s errand boy to secretly involve himself in the testing of a fight involving your bitter rival do nothing but turn smart fans off to the cause. Sure, the mouth-breathers and unibrows might get a kick out of this circus, but these kinds of antics do nothing to advance the cause and only serve to bolster the wallets and egos of the loudest voices.
On “tough guy” fans
At the risk of biting the hands that feed us, I feel the need to voice my disapproval of fans who are always bitching about fighters not going for broke or ‘playing it safe’. It’s easy to complain about fighter-A not going in for the kill on fighter-B when fighter-A had fighter-B reeling from corner to corner over the last 90 seconds of the twelfth round when you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home. But when you’re not the one who has gone through a hellacious training camp and eleven and a half rounds of physical battle, it’s easy to overlook the looming threat of getting careless in the end just so a few of the vociferous types will have a good memory.
Stop. Please, just stop talking about this fight. It isn’t going to happen. If it was going to happen it would have happened by now. But not a day goes by without a dozen rumors of mysterious Arab investors and other claims of negotiations making big headlines. It seems to happen every year during the slow month of December, and every year people fall for it, hook, line, and sinker.
That’s it for me. Seventeen minutes are in the bag (what can I say, I’m a slow typist) and we don’t need a 2,000 word rant of this sour nature. Paul Magno returns to the captain’s chair next week, thanks to all who stuck around in my presence. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheTimHarrison.