The biggest boxing story of the last century was overlooked in 2010 when intrepid writer Zeferino Jackson revealed the connection between former world champ Israel Vazquez, NFL quarterback Michael Vick, and a mystical Aztec bestiality sex farm in Mexico that gave athletes the ultimate performance enhancer.
“If you want to be fast and strong, you must dominate the horse,” said an alleged sparring partner of Vazquez. “Punching power is the most difficult as you must dominate the gorilla. This is not about a sex perversion like you see in the United States, this is about culture, religion and Mexican way of life.”
If this story seems too wild to be true, that’s probably because it is.
Welcome to the wild world of Zeferino Jackson– boxing scribe, provocateur, satirist, and possible sexual deviant.
Jackson wasn’t around long– from around 2007 to 2010– but his articles reached more eyeballs than most boxing scribes, due to his gig with ultra-powerful traffic hog Bleacher Report (which has since deleted all Jackson stories from their archives) and assignments with legitimate sites like Blacksportsonline.com.
Among Jackson’s public assertions was that Muhammad Ali sapped George Foreman’s energy the night before the Rumble in the Jungle by sending over seven prostitutes to Foreman’s hotel room.
“Foreman was barely able to wake up in the morning for the fight,” Jackson quoted veteran boxing trainer George Letrick, who had been deceased for several years before this article actually came out. “And I was told that those hookers could barely walk and some even had to get their assholes sewn up. People needs to understand that this is why Foreman lost to Ali. It wasn’t nothing about Ali being no master boxer. Ali was getting the shit beaten out of him on the ropes the whole fight. Foreman lost cause he was f*cking the whole last night before the fight and when he got to the ring, he ain’t had nothing in him.”
In the world of Zeferino Jackson, journalist, Roy Jones became ambidextrous by learning how to masturbate with both hands, Kassim Ouma perfected his jab in the Ugandan army by practicing on an 88-year-old man he had tied up to a plantain tree for several days, only feeding him 2 live crickets a day, and that it’s “common for MMA fighters to take a pill before a fight in order to reduce involuntary sexual excitement during combat.”
In a 2010 article, still posted on Blacksportsonline.com, Jackson reports on Bernard Hopkins’ days behind bars as a world class “booty snatcher” prison rapist who once nearly beat a fellow inmate and sparring partner to death for refusing to toss his salad.
Included was a quote, attributed to a supposed fellow inmate of Hopkins’ named “Spanky:”
“I would say he was my first and he always kept coming back for more…He had a real big one, at least 10 inches. Sometimes he was very gentle, sometimes he wasn’t, you know? We was real cool until he stopped coming around. We used to call him “Soapy” because he tried to grab this guy in the shower one time but the guy was all lathered up and slipped away. Executioner couldn’t get a good grip because of the soapsuds. That guy got away but that same night, Executioner caught him and made him toss his salad because he said ain’t nobody was gonna make a fool of him.”
A favorite target of Jackson’s was Oscar De la Hoya, who was the subject of a 2010 expose that revealed, among many things, that De la Hoya harbored a grudge against black people because the crack house in which his pet mouse, “Gonzalito,” died was full of black crack heads.
Per Julio An Contreras of East Los Angeles, we also learned the “real” origin of De la Hoya’s “Golden Boy” nickname:
“I seen him a couple of times back in high school. He was one mean ese homes. He was always bragging about how he was this boxer and he could kick anyone’s ass in the school. He would always pick on the white kids. If he liked your girl, he would kick your ass in front of her. After he would beat up a kid, he would start pissing all over him. His piss was always really bright yellow and stunk because he took vitamins. Most of us here are Mexican and our parents did not have money for vitamins. Oscar would always brag and shit that he was better than other Mexicans because he took vitamins. After he beat up a few freshmen and peed on them, people started calling him “golden boy”, you know, like golden shower. I was glad when he left the school. He definitely wasn’t the nice guy he is now; he was mean to the core and didn’t give a fuck. Now he gives out turkeys and stuff on Thanksgiving but before he was different.”
Jackson’s biggest attention grabber, though, was back in 2007 when he claimed to be reporting on Oscar De la Hoya’s secret training techniques from the fighter’s camp in Puerto Rico as he prepared to face Floyd Mayweather.
Tales of full nude body greasedowns (a favorite and recurring theme in Jackson’s writings), non-ejaculatory sex with wife Millie, and all-nude swimming sessions in a thermal pool with sparring partners and assistant trainers pushed then-trainer Freddie Roach to go public with his outrage.
“This guy has something wrong with him,” Roach told Philboxing.com. “All of these training methods that this guy is talking about is just not true. This guy is dreaming, and we have not spent one second with him…I have never met Zeferino Jackson, and I have no idea who this guy is.”
I was actually able to contact Jackson and we’ve been playing a two week game of email tag that has thus far not been very productive in getting any sort of statement worth publishing.
Obviously, his articles were never meant to be taken as serious pieces of journalism. But was he aiming to prove a greater point about the state of boxing media in the internet age or simply trolling for shits and giggles?
No matter his intent, though, the fact that he was a working writer for all those years, pushing his articles past editors and into the public discourse, says something about where we stand in terms of quality control.
Outrageous flat-out fantasy articles don’t see the light of day too often anymore, but articles still get posted where little to no attention to accuracy is displayed.
Not too long ago, the website Boxing Insider published a scathing editorial directed at Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza for statements made by the executive on his Twitter account. Except, what provoked the writer was actually a Stephen Espinoza parody account that was clearly labeled as such. The blatant mistake sent that sites’s editors and owner scrambling to remove all evidence of that article ever existing. Recently, Boxing Insider also posted an article claiming that Shane Mosley was down and out, broke, and living in his ex-wife’s basement. The writer based his article on a snippet from a preview of a reality show starring the former Mrs. Mosley and had to write a full retraction the following day.
Of course, there are also tons of other media sources– small and large– that use information culled from compromised sources as actual fact without ever acknowledging where their info is coming from and why it may not be entirely reliable. This reporting is just as fictitious as anything Zeferino Jackson ever produced.
Most disheartening, though, is the fact that Jackson’s bizarre articles have been embraced by some as actual truth, just because they happened to confirm some inner loathing towards guys like Hopkins or De la Hoya.
It makes you wonder just how futile the pursuit of truth in reporting is when reasonably intelligent people can fool themselves into accepting absurd fiction as damning proof.
An archive, chronicling some of Zeferino Jackson’s work can be found HERE.
You can email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or listen to his weekly Boxing News/Zombie Preparedness podcast, “Left Hook to the Brain.” Oh yeah, and buy his book: Notes from the Boxing Underground! Paul is a full member of the Burger King Kids’ Club, a born iconoclast, and an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church.