If you would’ve asked me a couple weeks ago, I would’ve said that I was more OUT of boxing writing than IN boxing writing. Three of my five writing gigs had dried up (two sites closed down, one suddenly stopped paying) and I was just tired of swimming upstream with all of this.
But, then, I responded like I usually do to adversity– with stubborn-dumb anger and defiance, nut-shotting my way into a break in the action to get my second wind.
And that brings me to now.
As of today, I’m re-opening The Boxing Tribune and getting this Independent Media thing back in motion to whatever degree I reasonably can.
For something like seven years, I tried to make this site a haven for independent thought and agenda-free reporting. Although there were some missteps, I believe we did a great job of keeping things “real” and honest. We had a multitude of outstanding writers contribute over our run– too many to mention without leaving anyone out (Check out our STAFF page to see who’s contributed).
If you’ve never heard of The Boxing Tribune, though, there’s a reason for that– the boxing media establishment didn’t want us around. We went after sacred cows, curried no favors from boxing industry insiders, and refused to “play the game” of quid pro quo coverage. The biggest taboo, however, came in holding media accountable for their biases, ineptitude, and side hustles– something which no other media sources dared to do. We were shunned for our efforts. We became instant outcasts for our media coverage, something which affected all of our livelihoods. There was also a fair share of petty belittlement and stabs at discrediting us.
Despite everything, traffic was always good and our readership base was solid, but my monetization skills were shit and I was utterly unable to find a way to make enough money to grow our effort. I take complete blame for that. I’m just a very shitty businessman.
What eventually killed the site, though, were the constant hacker attacks that crippled us and eventually made the site too expensive to run because of the constant attention needed to fix things up. The hacking was no random mischief, either. We were targeted.
Believe me, I’m no conspiracy theory guy, but it WAS kind of suspicious that, amid the general junk mucking up our site, only certain posts were deleted– like my entire Piggies at the Trough series, which chronicled the exploits of on-the-take media members, naming names and sharing specific anecdotes. Sadly, I was too naive (stupid) to save those articles anywhere outside the site and, so, they are lost forever.
But, anyway…Let’s get to the matter at hand.
The Boxing Tribune is BACK.
The site has been rebuilt and painstakingly cleansed of the viruses and malware shot into it by people who were clearly unhappy with a place like this existing.
I will keep working for FightHype.com (for as long as they’ll have me) and I will keep doing freelance assignments elsewhere. Nothing will change there. I will, however, be publishing pieces here, at www.theboxingtribune.com that maybe go further than Fight Hype feels comfortable going or which simply don’t mesh with their editorial decisions. Expect some serious stuff, some funny stuff, maybe some scandalous nastiness. I don’t know. Basically, I’ll be posting whatever I want, whenever I want…with no filter. This should not come as good news to the dipshits and assholes in and around the boxing business because I know a lot (a lot that I haven’t been saying) and, as some of you know, I’m not afraid to go bad, bad places. Honestly, I pretty much have nothing to lose at this point. As Bob Dylan once sang, “When you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose.”
I fully understand that I will have to rebuild readership as I re-start this machine. I’m down for the struggle as long as I get to fight on my own terms. The writing gigs I lost are not being grieved. I refuse to churn out CONTENT anymore and I’m sticking a post-it note on my monitor, reminding myself to blow my fucking brains out if I ever get lured into culling press conferences again for quotes in order to write a bullshit deadline news piece.
Money will always be an issue for an honest man in boxing (and boxing media) and I’m pretty much accepting that, at least for awhile, The Boxing Tribune will be a losing or break-even endeavor. It’s costing a small fortune, for example, for website protection to keep hacking attempts at bay. And this is where I can’t do things alone. I’m going to need some help.
There are a number of ways you can help keep this corner of independent boxing media alive:
1. A direct donation
If you notice the garish PayPal DONATE buttons at the bottom of articles and at the top of the side panel, these will allow you to directly donate to the cause. No worries if you can’t/won’t, though. I just figured on making that an option.
2. Click on an ad
Clicking on the Google Ads on the site will also provide you with a way of contributing monetarily without digging into your own pockets. The advertising is delivered by Google, itself, and 100% free of malware.
3. Tolerate sponsored posts
Because I know donations are not likely and Google Ads pay in pennies, I will probably need to post some sponsored articles to make ends meet. In terms of content and style, they will be awful, but they may also be necessary. If you see an article written by “Administrator,” that shit is a sponsored article and not worth your time, unless you feel like some very basic work with sponsored links built into the piece. I guess I probably shouldn’t be telling you that, but we’re all about honesty here, right?
4. Read and share
Because my media “colleagues” won’t share my work or even acknowledge my existence, I need you to get my work out there via social media or however you can. Remember, ultimately, this is about us fans and, so, something like this will always have to rely on grassroots support.
5. Contribute your own work
For the time being, this will be a one-man show, but if you have an itch to write, vent, or get your point across about anything, please feel free to contact me with your idea(s) at: email@example.com. If your article is well-written and factually correct, I’ll share it. I’m not afraid to publish anything or step on any toes. As a matter of fact, I LIKE the heat. Go for it. By the way, tips and leads are also very much appreciated.
Well, that’s about it.
I can’t tell you how much I’ll be writing here or how often, but I do promise that whatever I do publish will be unlike anything you can find anywhere else.
It’s time I stopped deceiving myself with this back-of-mind idea that someone, somewhere with editorial sway is going to appreciate my work and the traffic I can generate to bring me aboard. This isn’t a business where you’re rewarded for boldness or for what you know or, even, how well you write. This boxing media business is about how well you stay in line, how little you can rock boats while still delivering CONTENT for clicks. This is a business all about giving the impression of movement while keeping everything still.
This boxing media world is a world that doesn’t want me around and I’m good with that. I am now, anyway. I will always be the outlaw and the outsider in a business full of conformists, hacks, and company men (bitches). I can’t be as weak as they want me to be.
Boxing is a beyond-brave endeavor with weak men in a weak media controlling the narrative. I won’t beat the machines at the top of the media food chain, but I can make a lot of those fuckers really, really uncomfortable. That’ll work for me. I openly declare war. The sport, its athletes, and its fans deserve voices that are at least marginally as brave as the men and women who enter the ring and put their lives on the line.
So…Buckle up. Things are about to get interesting.