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Wilder vs Washington Has a Storyline Straight out of Charles Dickens




It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …

*Charles Dickens’ opening to his classic 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens never authored a book about the incongruities of 21st century heavyweight boxing. And why should he have? The British-born creator of some of literature’s most enduring fictional characters was 58 when he died in 1870, long before the births of American heavies Deontay Wilder and Gerald Washington, or, for that matter, the emergence of four world sanctioning bodies, one of which (the WBA) somehow finds it justifiable to award championship belts to “super,” “regular” and  “interim” titlists.

But you have to figure that Dickens — if he could have mastered the concept of time travel as imagined by fellow Brit H.G. Wells, and were to arrive on today’s scene as a fight fan — would have much to write concerning the dearth of attractive matchups that, against all odds and despite recent history, should be fairly teeming with bouts the public might actually care to see. Consider the best and worst of big-man boxing in these strange and curious times:

THE BEST (sort of): No, 2017 isn’t exactly a re-visitation of the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, when a reasonably deep heavyweight division featured the elite likes of Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, Michael Spinks and the second coming of George Foreman, as well as a fairly sizable crew of capable or at least interesting supporting characters such as giant-killer Buster Douglas, Michael Moorer, Ray Mercer, Tommy Morrison, Razor Ruddock, Andrew Golota and the recycled Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney. Although some matchups (think Tyson-Bowe and Lewis-Bowe) never happened, for the most part the top guys didn’t avoid other big names like they were plague-carriers.

Today’s current champions are Wilder, Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker, who collectively are 77-0 with 72 knockouts.  Put any of these unbeaten champs in against the others and you’d have buzz-worthy matchups, as would be the case with fights against such worthies as long-reigning former titlist Wladimir Klitschko, defrocked ruler Tyson Fury and Cuban expatriate Luis Ortiz.

THE WORST:  Play mix ’n’ match with any of the aforementioned and the heavyweight division quickly becomes something more than mostly untested titleholders paired up against an uninspiring parade of mystery guests. But, with the very notable exception of the April 29 defense by IBF kingpin Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) against the 41-year-old Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) in London’s Wembley Stadium, what passes for championship bouts these days is so much dreck.

Although there are many who believe Joshua, 27, the British-born son of Nigerian parents who won the super heavyweight gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, is superstar material, even he has yet to fully establish his bona fides. He captured the IBF title on a two-round blowout of Charles Martin , quite possibly the most inept fighter ever to hold even a sliver of the championship, last April 16, and followed that up with similar thrashings of the inexperienced Dominic Breazeale and the willing but relatively pedestrian Eric Molina. He might finally be tested against Klitschko in one of those passing-of-the-torch bouts, but even a victory then would come with a caveat:  “Dr. Steelhammer” turns 41 on March 25, will have been inactive for 17 months, was lackluster in losing his bejeweled straps to Fury his last time out, and is a bit too cautious to satisfy the action cravings of many U.S. fans, despite his high knockout percentage and popularity in Europe.

Joshua-Klitschko figures to do boffo pay-per-view numbers on Sky Sports across the pond, but the most intense fight of the promotion might be to determine which American premium cable outlet snags the U.S. TV rights. Klitschko has long been affiliated with HBO, and Showtime has dibs on Joshua.

The 25-year-old Parker (22-0, 18 KOs), a New Zealander, comes with some enthusiastic advance notices, but he has fought almost exclusively in his homeland with just two American ring appearances, victories over Keith Thompson in Bethlehem, Pa., on Aug. 9, 2014, and Brice Ritani Coe on May 16, 2013, in Irvine, Calif. Parker picked up the vacant WBO title belt on a disputed majority decision over portly Andy Ruiz Jr. in Auckland, New Zealand, on Dec. 10 of last year, and he makes his first defense against Hughie (“I’m not as good as my cousin Tyson”) Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) on April 1, also in Auckland. There are those willing to give Parker the benefit of any doubt, at least for now, but it wouldn’t be that big a shock if he were to instead prove the second coming of Jimmy Thunder, another New Zealand heavyweight who was a passing blip on the radar screen in the 1990s before retiring in 2002 with a 35-14 record that included 28 victories inside the distance, but also seven KO losses.

Which brings us to Wilder, the lean (6-foot-7, 228 pounds) native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., who once dreamed of sacking quarterbacks for his hometown Alabama Crimson Tide before he switched to socking opponents in the mouth. Although Wilder has undeniable power, a mind-numbing knockout percentage (97.3) and no small amount of personal charm, his most significant victory was his title-winning unanimous decision over Bermane Stiverne – a pretty good fighter, but no hired assassin – on Jan. 17, 2015, followed by paint-by-the-numbers stoppages of Eric Molina, Johann Duhaupas, Artur Szpilka and chronically flabby Chris Arreola.

Given his status as a flag-waving U.S. Olympian who took a bronze medal in Beijing in 2008, Wilder comfortably wears the stars and stripes in a division that increasingly has become the province of foreign fighters, presumably boosting his marketability in America. But he, too, needs the kind of high-visibility statement victory that only comes when the person in the other corner presents legitimate peril, and is not widely perceived as merely another designated victim.

Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs) is a large hunk of a man at 6-6 and 243 pounds, but the onetime football player at the University of Southern California and practice-squadder with the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills is a replacement for a replacement, which would be bad enough if it weren’t for the fact that he also is 34 years of age, is relatively inexperienced (just 14 amateur bouts and 19 as a pro, only three of which were scheduled 10-rounders), is taking the bout on short notice (just a month) and will be fighting in Wilder’s backyard at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. His most impressive triumphs were inside the distance against faded veterans Ray Austin and Eddie Chambers, with a draw against the much-smaller Amir Mansour.

Wilder’s promoter,  Lou DiBella, again is tasked with selling a fight that, on paper, looks to be about as competitive as, say, the Crimson Tide against Kent State (Alabama trounced the Golden Flashes last season, 48-0). But when the steak isn’t prime-cut, promoters have little choice but to sell the sizzle, whatever there is of it.

“He has a back story that’s really interesting,” DiBella said of Washington. “Here’s a man that spent four years in the U.S. Navy as a helicopter mechanic serving his country. He’s a hell of an athlete and if you’ve seen him in person, he’s a huge man. But as big and imposing as he is to look at, he’s a real man’s man and a really nice person.”

Being a nice person counts for much in the real world, but not necessarily inside the ropes, and proper helicopter maintenance is a useless skill once the bell rings. There is a reason why Washington is a 16-1 longshot, odds that likely would be even longer were it not for Wilder’s own set of question marks that need to be answered.

Wilder was to have traveled to Moscow to defend his title against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin (then 30-1, 22 KOs) last May 21, but the bout was called off when Povetkin tested positive for a banned substance, Meldonium, on April 27.

With Povetkin out of the picture, Wilder’s team moved to fill his vacancy with Poland’s Andrzej Wawrzyk (33-1, 19 KOs) on Feb. 25 in Birmingham, but he, too, tested positive for a banned substance, the anabolic steroid Stanozolol, in separate tests administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA). With Wawrzyk a late scratch, Washington slid into his slot on Wilder’s dance card.

Washington’s credentials as a challenger to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world, or even a portion of it, aren’t nearly as valid as those presented by Povetkin or Wawrzyk, but at least he tested clean and that, in some people’s eyes, makes him an upgrade over the cheaters.

There was some drama in the legal arena, as Wilder and DiBella filed a $5 million lawsuit in June that was heard in a Manhattan courtroom earlier this month, contending that Povetkin and Ryabinsky’s World of Boxing LLC needed to compensate them for the defendants’ breach of a contract requiring Povetkin to be produced for the bout. Povetkin and World of Boxing then countersued, seeking $34.5 million for Team Wilder engaging in a “smear campaign.”

There was a celebration of sorts when Wilder and DiBella won their court battle, but at the cost of some lost training time for the champion.

“I’m very mind-strong. I know things happen,” Wilder said of the many detours he has had to take since the Povetkin fight hit the skids. “You’ve just got to be able to adjust. I’m very good at adjusting.”

But while all the twists and turns are sure to be touched upon during the PBC on Fox telecast, moving forward it is imperative that Wilder, as well as the other champions, quickly move on to either unification showdowns or matches with better-known and more threatening rivals. If not, the heavyweight division will find it increasingly difficult to lift itself from the muck that by all rights it should already have escaped by now.

What the world wants is for Wilder and Joshua, should he get past Klitschko, to fight one another. Or maybe to swap punches with Parker, or Ortiz, or Tyson Fury if he gets his act together.

Because call-ups from the minor leagues should no longer be acceptable to that portion of the public that still remembers the excitement of what a night of heavyweight championship boxing used to be, and still can be again.

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The BWAA Shames Veteran Referee Laurence Cole and Two Nebraska Judges



In an unprecedented development, the Boxing Writers Association of America has started a “watch list” to lift the curtain on ring officials who have “screwed up.” Veteran Texas referee Laurence Cole and Nebraska judges Mike Contreras and Jeff Sinnett have the unwelcome distinction of being the first “honorees.”

“Boxing is a sport where judges and referees are rarely held accountable for poor performances that unfairly change the course of a fighter’s career and, in some instances, endanger lives,” says the BWAA in a preamble to the new feature. Hence the watch list, which is designed to “call attention to ‘egregious’ errors in scoring by judges and unacceptable conduct by referees.”

Contreras and Sinnett, residents of Omaha, were singled out for their scorecards in the match between lightweights Thomas Mattice and Zhora Hamazaryan, an eight round contest staged at the WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa on July 20. They both scored the fight 76-75 for Mattice, enabling the Ohio fighter to keep his undefeated record intact via a split decision.

Although Mattice vs. Hamazaryan was a supporting bout, it aired live on ShoBox. Analyst Steve Farhood, who was been with ShoBox since the inception of the series in 2001, called it one of the worst decisions he had ever seen. Lead announcer Barry Tompkins went further, calling it the worst decision he has seen in his 40 years of covering the sport.

Laurence Cole (pictured alongside his father) was singled out for his behavior as the third man in the ring for the fight between Regis Prograis and Juan Jose Velasco at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans on July 14. The bout was televised live on ESPN.

In his rationale for calling out Cole, BWAA prexy Joseph Santoliquito leaned heavily on Thomas Hauser’s critique of Cole’s performance in The Sweet Science. “Velasco fought courageously and as well as he could,” noted Hauser. “But at the end of round seven he was a thoroughly beaten fighter.”

His chief second bullied him into coming out for another round. Forty-five seconds into round eight, after being knocked down for a third time, Velasco spit out his mouthpiece and indicated to Cole that he was finished. But Cole insisted that the match continue and then, after another knockdown that he ruled a slip, let it continue for another 35 seconds before Velasco’s corner mercifully threw in the towel.

Controversy has dogged Laurence Cole for well over a decade.

Cole was the third man in the ring for the Nov. 25, 2006 bout in Hildalgo, Texas, between Juan Manuel Marquez and Jimrex Jaca. In the fifth round, Marquez sustained a cut on his forehead from an accidental head butt. In round eight, another accidental head butt widened and deepened the gash. As Marquez was being examined by the ring doctor, Cole informed Marquez that he was ahead on the scorecards, volunteering this information while holding his hand over his HBO wireless mike. The inference was that Marquez was free to quit right then without tarnishing his record. (Marquez elected to continue and stopped Jaca in the next round.)

This was improper. For this indiscretion, Cole was prohibited from working a significant fight in Texas for the next six months.

More recently, Cole worked the 2014 fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Orlando Salido at the San Antonio Alamodome. During the fight, Salido made a mockery of the Queensberry rules for which he received no point deductions and only one warning. Cole’s performance, said Matt McGrain, was “astonishingly bad,” an opinion echoed by many other boxing writers. And one could site numerous other incidents where Cole’s performance came under scrutiny.

Laurence Cole is the son of Richard “Dickie” Cole. The elder Cole, now 87 years old, served 21 years as head of the Texas Department of Combat Sports Regulation before stepping down on April 30, 2014. At various times during his tenure, Dickie Cole held high executive posts with the World Boxing Council and North American Boxing Federation. He was the first and only inductee into the inaugural class of the Texas Boxing Hall of Fame, an organization founded by El Paso promoter Lester Bedford in 2015.

From an administrative standpoint, boxing in Texas during the reign of Dickie Cole was frequently described in terms befitting a banana republic. Whenever there was a big fight in the Lone Star State, his son was the favorite to draw the coveted refereeing assignment.

Boxing is a sideline for Laurence Cole who runs an independent insurance agency in Dallas. By law in Texas (and in most other states), a boxing promoter must purchase insurance to cover medical costs in the event that one or more of the fighters on his show is seriously injured. Cole’s agency is purportedly in the top two nationally in writing these policies. Make of that what you will.

Complaints of ineptitude, says the WBAA, will be evaluated by a “rotating committee of select BWAA members and respected boxing experts.” In subsequent years, says the press release, the watch list will be published quarterly in the months of April, August, and December (must be the new math).

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Canada & Usa

In Boxing, the Last Weekend of July was Chock Full of Surprises

The first upset of last weekend occurred in an undercard bout on the big show at London’s O2 Arena. David Allen, a journeyman with a 13-4-2 record, knocked out previously undefeated



The first upset of last weekend occurred in an undercard bout on the big show at London’s O2 Arena. David Allen, a journeyman with a 13-4-2 record, knocked out previously undefeated

The first upset of last weekend occurred in an undercard bout on the big show at London’s O2 Arena. David Allen, a journeyman with a 13-4-2 record, knocked out previously undefeated Nick Webb (12-0, 10 KOs) in the fourth round. Allen said that he intended this to be his final fight, but will now hang around awhile.

In hindsight, this was an omen. Before the show was over, upsets – albeit mild upsets – were registered in both featured bouts. Dereck Chisora, trailing on the scorecards, stopped Carlos Takam in the eighth. Dillian Whyte outpointed Joseph Parker. And later that same day, in Kissimmee, Florida, Japanese import Masayuki Ito made a big splash in his U.S. debut, beating up highly touted Christopher Diaz.

– – – –

Joseph Parker is quite the gentleman. Following his loss to Dillian Whyte, Parker was gracious in defeat: “I say congratulations to Dillian. I gave it my best. The better man won.”

In case you missed it, Whyte survived a hoary moment in the final round to win a unanimous decision. Most everyone agreed that the decision was fair but there were a few dissenters. Well known U.K. boxing pundit Steve Bunce said, “I thought Parker deserved a draw.” Bunce noted that the scribes sitting near him were in complete accord that the most lopsided score (115-110) was far too wide.

We’ve seen fighters grouse that they were robbed after fights that were far less competitive. Parker’s post-fight amiability was all the more puzzling considering that he had a legitimate beef that referee Ian John Lewis was too lax, enabling Whyte to turn the contest into a street fight.

Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry was all on board with the selection of Lewis. “He’s a very highly qualified guy who I think is the best British referee,” he said. But Barry changed his tune after the fight, saying that there were at least two occasions when Lewis should have deducted a point from Whyte.

Veteran Australian boxing writer Anthony Cocks said that going forward, Parker, a soft spoken, mild mannered man, needs to have more of a mongrel in him. Cocks noted that when Whyte transgressed, Parker’s response was to look at the ref with a bemused expression. The first time that Whyte bent the rules, opined Cocks, Parker should have hit him in the balls.

– – – –

Top Rank hasn’t had much luck with their Puerto Rican fighters lately. First there was Felix Verdejo. Hyped as the next Felix Trinidad, the 2012 Olympian was 22-0 when his career was interrupted by a motorcycle accident. He won his first fight back in Puerto Rico, but was then exposed by Tijuana’s unheralded Antonio Lozada Jr. who stopped him in the 10th round at the Theater of Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick’s Day, 2018.

More recently, Top Rank gave a big build-up to Christopher Diaz, but Diaz, the 2016 ESPN Deportes Prospect of The Year, also hit the skids after starting his pro career 23-0. Diaz was upset on Saturday by Masayuki Ito in a match sanctioned for the vacant WBO 130-pound title.

Unlike Verdejo, Diaz was still standing at the final bell, but he was taken to the cleaners by his Japanese opponent who won comfortably on the scorecards.

– – – –

Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin made his pro debut on the Diaz-Ito undercard. Nikitin won every round of a 6-round contest.

If the name sounds vaguely familiar, this is the guy who defeated top seed Michael Conlan in a quarterfinal bantamweight match at the Rio Olympics. The decision, which Conlan greeted with a middle finger salute to the judges, was widely seen as a heist.

In signing new prospects, Top Rank honcho Bob Arum likes to gather up fighters who compete in the same weight class as fighters that he already controls. This sets up a scenario where he can double dip, extracting a commission from the purse of both principals.

The cluster is most pronounced in the lower weight classes. These fighters, listed alphabetically, are currently promoted or co-promoted by Top Rank: junior bantamweight Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-1), junior featherweight Michael Conlan (8-0), featherweight Christopher Diaz (23-1), super bantamweight Isaac Dogboe (19-0), super bantamweight Jessie Magdaleno (25-1), super bantamweight Jean Rivera (14-0), featherweight Genesis Servania (31-1), bantamweight Shakur Stevenson (7-0), bantamweight Antonio Vargas (7-0), featherweight Nicholas Walters (26-1-1).

The aforementioned Nikitin launched his pro career as a featherweight.

– – – –

In July of 2004, Danny Williams knocked out Mike Tyson in the fourth round at Louisville. Iron Mike had one more fight and then wisely called it quits. Williams had 48 more fights, the most recent coming last weekend in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Williams was stopped in the 10th round by a local man, 35-year-old Lee McAllister, whose last documented fight had come in 2013. In that bout, McAllister, carrying 140 pounds, outpointed a Slovakian slug in a 6-round fight. During his hiatus from boxing, McAllister (that’s him in the red and white trunks), served a 9-month prison sentence for assaulting a patron while working in an Aberdeen kebab shop.

Danny Williams’ weight wasn’t announced, but in his three fights prior to fighting McAllister he came in a tad north of 270 pounds. He reportedly out-weighed McAllister by 4 stone (56 pounds), likely a loose approximation.

Williams is a product of Brixton, the hardscrabble Afro-Caribbean neighborhood in South London that also spawned Dillian Whyte. But he has no intention of going back there. After the McAllister fight, in which he was knocked down three times, he said he was retiring to Nigeria where he had a job waiting for him as a bodyguard.

– – – –

The ink was barely dry on the weekend’s events when news arrived that Tyson Fury was close to signing for a December bout with WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder. On social media, Fury said the deal was almost done and Fury’s promoter Frank Warren confirmed it while saying that it was conditional on Fury looking good when he opposes Francesco Pianeta on Aug. 18 at the Windsor Park soccer stadium in Belfast. Fury vs. Pianeta underpins Carl Frampton’s WBO featherweight title defense against Luke Jackson.

As to whether he would be ready to defeat Wilder after only two comeback fights, Fury, who turns 30 this month, said he was ready to beat Wilder on the day he was born.

Deontay Wilder is disappointed that his dream match with Anthony Joshua won’t happen until next spring at the earliest, but there are plenty of options out there for him and more of them for him to ponder after this past weekend’s events.

Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz looked good against Razvan Cojanu, dismissing his hapless Romanian adversary in the second round on the Garcia-Easter card in Los Angeles.

After the bout, WBC prexy Mauricio Suliaman gave Wilder his blessing to skirt his mandatory against Dominic Breazeale for a rematch with Ortiz.

Presumably that also applies if Wilder accepts promoter Eddie Hearn’s offer for a match with Dillian Whyte. The WBC now lists Whyte as their “silver” champion and has bumped him ahead of Breazeale into the #1 slot in their rankings. And then there’s Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller who has an Eddie Hearn connection and is a more interesting opponent than Breazeale.

If Wilder vs. Fury is a go, say Fury and Warren, it will be held in December in New York or Las Vegas. We make New York the favorite. The only good date in Las Vegas in December for an event of this magnitude is Dec. 1 and that’s only because Thanksgiving arrives early this year. The National Finals Rodeo, a 10-day event which fills up the town, arrives on Dec. 6, eliminating the next two weekends. And when the rodeo leaves, Christmas is right around the corner. Historically, boxing promoters shy away from putting on a big show right before Christmas on the theory that fight fans have the “shorts,” having exhausted their discretionary income on Christmas gifts.

There are some interesting fighters competing in the upper tier of the heavyweight division and a slew of intriguing prospects coming up the ladder. The division hasn’t been this exciting since the Golden Age of Ali, Frazier, Foreman, et al. Enjoy.

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Asia & Oceania

Les Moonves, Hero of Mayweather-Pacquiao Deal, Now Cast as a Villain

“He refused to take ‘no’ for an answer.”
That comment, offered in praise of Les Moonves for the pivotal role the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation played in helping make the May 2, 2015, megafight pairing




“He refused to take ‘no’ for an answer.”

That comment, offered in praise of Les Moonves for the pivotal role the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation played in helping make the May 2, 2015, megafight pairing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, has taken on a more sordid connotation in light of the avalanche of accusations of sexual impropriety that have thrust the 68-year-old Moonves into the unwelcome company of such accused high-visibility miscreants as Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Bill O’Reilly and Matt Lauer.

But while the other aforementioned power players have been fired or indicted, their reputations in tatters, Moonves remains on the job as one of the most influential and highest paid (a reported $70 million in 2017) media executives in the United States. Despite a damning article authored by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker that details numerous instances of bad behavior ranging from merely dubious to criminally actionable, and to which Moonves himself has admitted to some extent, CBS on Monday issued a statement of support that seemed to catch the editors of Variety somewhat off-guard. The entertainment publication’s opening paragraph reads thusly: “In a surprise move, CBS’ board of directors is keeping Leslie Moonves as chairman-CEO even as it launches a probe of sexual assault allegations leveled against him by six women in a New Yorker expose.”

Why should still another story of alleged sexual misconduct by an older man seeking to exert improper control over younger women be of any significance to a fight audience? Well, normally it wouldn’t, except for Moonves’ position, which includes a say in the direction of Showtime’s increasingly important boxing operation if he so chooses. When negotiations for Mayweather-Pacquiao, a pay-per-view event which was to be co-produced by Showtime and HBO, hit a snag, Moonves insinuated himself into the discussion because it made financial and logistic sense for him to do so. CBS/Showtime had entered into a six-bout, $250 million deal with Mayweather, and three of the four fights held to that point had underperformed. Subsequently, the prevailing belief in CBS/Showtime’s executive offices was that Mayweather’s long-delayed showdown with Pacquiao was not only advisable, but absolutely necessary to stanch the flow of red ink.

“Without Les Moonves, this fight wouldn’t have had a prayer of happening,” Top Rank chairman and CEO Bob Arum, a longtime friend of Moonves, said after the last “i” had been dotted and the last “t” crossed. “The real hero in getting this done is Les Moonves.”

And this from Stephen Espinoza, Showtime Sports’ executive vice president and general manager, tossing another verbal bouquet to his boss: “One of the main reasons this deal got done, when maybe other ones didn’t, was having Les Moonves as part of the process. He was deeply committed to making this deal. He is someone that all parties in this negotiation respected. He was really the catalyst for seeing this through. He refused to take `no’ for an answer from any side. He was there making sure that the parties came together in a successful and cooperative manner.”

But while the high-level wheeling and dealing to finalize Mayweather-Pacquiao was done behind closed doors, so too were those instances when Moonves was attempting to arrange a private deal with a female subordinate whose career he could either advance or stymie. One such occasion allegedly involved writer-actress Ileana Douglas, who was summoned to Moonves’ office to discuss matters involving a television project in which she was to have starred. The New Yorker story quotes Douglas’ heightening discomfort as Moonves made coarse and physical advances toward her.

“At that point, you’re a trapped animal,” Douglas said of the incident. “Your life is flashing before your eyes. It has stayed with me the rest of my life, that terror.”

After The New Yorker story came out, Moonves apologized, sort of, to the six women who told Farrow that the CBS bigwig had sexually harassed them. All claimed he became cold and hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result.

In a statement, Moonves said, “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected – and abided by the principle – that `no’ means `no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career … We at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.”

What makes the furor that has suddenly swirled up around Moonves all the more curious is his prominent support for the #MeToo movement and other feminist causes. In December, he helped found the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. A month prior to that, at a conference in November, he said, “I think it’s important that a company’s culture will not allow for (sexual harassment). And that’s the thing that’s far-reaching. There’s a lot we’re learning. There’s a lot we didn’t know.”

There’s a lot we didn’t know? Oh, for sure. We didn’t know for a very long time that TV’s favorite father figure, now-81-year-old Bill Cosby, would be classified as a sexually violent predator by a Pennsylvania court. Cosby is due to be sentenced Sept. 24 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, and his alma mater, Temple University, rescinded the honorary Ph.D. it conferred upon him in 1991. The Cos resigned his spot on Temple’s  Board of Trustees in 2014, after 32 years, amid accusations that he sexually assaulted dozens of women over decades.

We also didn’t know that Harvey Weinstein, 66, the co-founder of Miramax, would be dismissed from the company and be expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after the New York Times ran a story on Oct, 5, 2017, detailing decades of allegations against him by over 80 women. It would seem that the most important piece of furniture in Weinstein’s office was not his desk, but the proverbial casting couch.

One of the more intriguing developments in the widening scandal involved TV newsmen Bill O’Reilly and Matt Lauer. In September 2017, O’Reilly, fired by Fox News for a series of alleged sexual improprieties, appeared as a guest on NBC’s Today show, where he told host Matt Lauer that his dismissal was “a hit job – a political and financial hit job.” Two months later, Lauer was canned by NBCUniversal after it was found he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with another much more junior NBC employee. Three additional women subsequently made complaints against Lauer.

Boxing is a physical sport, maybe the most physical there is, and in most cases the transgressions committed were by fighters who resorted to brute force, the fastest way to bring cops and attorneys into the equation. Think Tony Ayala Jr. spending 17 years behind bars for rape, a conviction that came on the heels of a previous incident in which he broke a teenage girl’s jaw after he made unwanted advances toward her in the restroom of a drive-in theater. But it might be argued that those who seek to have their way with women by exercising a different kind of power are just as much or even more reprehensible, an affront not only to the females they view as disposable objects but to any man who would not want to see his mother, wife or daughter treated so shabbily.

According to CBS, there have been no misconduct claims and no settlements against Moonves during his 24 years at the network. He deserves, as everyone does under the American system of jurisprudence, the presumption of innocence. But given the current landscape befouled by others who apparently felt that they could do whatever they wanted because they always had gotten away with it, sticking with the status quo might send the wrong message.

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