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Articles of 2009

A Battle of Dueling Proverbs

Bernard Fernandez

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When Poland’s Tomasz Adamek wrested the IBF cruiserweight championship from U.S. Navy veteran Steve “USS” Cunningham on a rousing split decision on Dec. 11, in one of the best fights of 2008 or any other year, everyone – well, those of us who actually saw them engage in 12 rounds of give-and-take action – figured a second installment would be forthcoming sooner rather than later.

In a world where rematch clauses in boxing contracts are routinely exercised following fights that weren’t such attention-grabbers the first time around (see Chad Dawson-Antonio Tarver I), the seemingly logical notion of pairing Adamek and Cunningham back-to-back was put on pause, like the DVD you were watching when the telephone rang or someone pressed your doorbell.

Cunningham, who has fought only once in the past 17 months, which will oblige him to scrape off a certain amount of rust when he does re-enter the ring – rust-scraping is a familiar complaint of sailors aboard warships when there’s no actual battles being waged – figures Adamek and his promotional company, Main Events, have left him in drydock too long. The former bosun’s mate and his manager-wife, Livvy, sense ulterior motives behind Team Adamek’s decision to proceed with not one, but two less-compelling bouts while Cunningham has had to stand by for his marching orders, another familiar complaint of military personnel.

What’s that old proverb? Oh, yeah, He who hesitates is lost.

“It’s very frustrating for myself and for Steve,” Livvy said. “Immediately after the (Dec. 11) fight, a rematch seemed like both camps were interested in. But nothing has materialized.

“It seems like every week Adamek’s people came up with a different name for an opponent, then, when that falls through, they find somebody else. They consider everybody but Steve. It’s like they’re searching for the big fight, and we feel like we are the big fight.”

Don King, who promotes Cunningham, also is of the belief that Adamek-Cunningham II should have happened already.

“I thought that there should have been an immediate rematch,” said King, his jaw still sore a day after he underwent oral surgery earlier this week. “Cunningham would have won that fight if he hadn’t gone down on those three flash knockdowns. But that’s the way it goes in boxing.”

So is King concerned that Cunningham (21-2, 11 KOs), who is scheduled to end his hiatus on July 11 when he takes on former WBC cruiserweight champ Wayne “Big Truck” Braithwaite (23-3, 19 KOs), probably in Sunrise, Fla., although the site has yet to be finalized, has been idle too long to achieve maximum effectiveness?

“Could be,” His Hairness said. “That’s always a concern. But remember, some heavyweight champions used to fight once a year.

“It comes down to the way a guy handles himself out of the ring as well as in the ring. Steve is a dedicated, committed fighter. He’s in the gym all the time. You know what they say: a rolling stone gathers no moss. Steve don’t sit around long enough to gather moss.”

Again with the proverbs. And here’s another:  All good things come to those who wait.

That’s the stance adopted by Main Events president Kathy Duva, who has put Adamek (37-1, 25 KOs) in a title defense against unheralded Bobby Gunn (21-3-1, 18 KOs), also on July 11 and again at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., which is becoming the Pole’s American home-away-from-home.

Like the Cunninghams and King, Duva would love to see her guy and the ex-sailor from Philadelphia in a do-over. Their first fight simply was too entertaining to be put on the back-burner indefinitely. But that didn’t mean it didn’t need at least a little time to simmer, to percolate, so that the audience for Part II would far exceed that for the inaugural, which was televised to a miniscule audience on Versus.

“They have to fight again,” Duva said of the groundswell beginning to build for Adamek-Cunningham II. “It’s inevitable. Well, almost. On July 11, Tomasz is fighting Bobby Gunn. Cunningham is fighting Braithwaite at a different site. If they win, and I think they will, the rematch will happen, but for a whole lot more money this time.”

Patience is a virtue, so the saying goes, and if there’s one thing Duva, a former publicist for Main Events, learned from her late husband Dan, the company’s first president, it is that, like those wines Orson Welles used to pitch on television, no fight should be served before it’s time.

“Right after Tomasz and Cunningham fought the first time, people were saying, `immediate rematch, immediate rematch,’” Duva said. “But there was no market for it at that time. I knew we were going to have to take some time to build interest.

“I strenuously disagree with the idea that as soon as there’s a good fight, there always should be a rematch right away. It never used to be that way. Now, in some cases it’s called for. We did it with (Arturo) Gatti and (Micky) Ward. Their first fight was in a bingo hall in Connecticut. The second fight sold out Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. But those guys were known commodities, late in their careers. Waiting would not have made the rematch bigger.

“I knew we were going to have to take some time to build interest (in a possible Adamek-Cunningham II). The way to do it, I believe, is to do what we’ve been doing. HBO and Showtime are at least listening now. If I had gone in there in January, they wouldn’t have. Sometimes you just have to be patient.”

Duva, of course, has no control over what King and the Cunninghams do. But she said that Adamek – who followed his hellacious scrap with Cunningham with an eighth-round stoppage of Johnathon Banks on Feb. 27 – is establishing both a U.S. home base (the defense against Gunn will be his third straight in the Prudential Center, the first in the streak being his war with Cunningham) and a dedicated following in the close-knit Polish-American community in Northern Jersey and the New York metropolitan area. King, of course, is well aware of the zealousness of Polish fight fans, having promoted heavyweight loose cannon Andrew “The Foul Pole” Golota for a number of years, during which his bouts were packed with flag-waving countrymen who frequently left the arena disappointed.

“He’s as big in the Prudential Center and to Newark as Gatti was to Boardwalk Hall and Atlantic City,” Duva said of Adamek’s skyrocketing popularity among people of Polish descent and, she hopes, among fight fans of any extraction.

“Tomasz is smart enough to want to fight frequently. He’s getting the exposure, and giving us the opportunity to develop an audience for him. In Poland, he’s a rock star. He’s like Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods all rolled into one. When he comes here (to the U.S.), people of Polish descent and heritage are, like, starstruck. As well they should. He’s charming as hell.”

With the development of American stars no longer as much of an imperative as it was with the premium-cable outlets – witness the enlarging followings of the Phillipines’ Manny Pacquiao and Ukraine’s Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko on these shores – Duva believes HBO and Showtime will be more receptive to Adamek as a possible ratings-booster in this country. The hard fact of the matter is that Oscar De La Hoya is retired and Roy Jones Jr. is sliding on the downhill side of his career as if on a toboggan.

It’s a sound business plan, on the face of it, although there are pitfalls to looking too far ahead and planning to reap future benefits that never come about. Remember Mexican-American heavyweight Alex Garcia? He was offered a career-high $1 million to take on George Foreman, but his manager, Norm Kaplan, figured there was a $5 million payday to be had against Foreman, or one of the other top heavyweights of the day, if Garcia was to hold off until he racked up another couple of victories. He wound up being stopped in two rounds by journeyman Mike Dixon on June 8, 1993, a supposed tuneup fight for which Garcia was paid just $15,000.

Sometimes all good things do not come to those who wait.

Should Adamek stumble against Gunn, a 35-year-old plugger from Hackensack, N.J., whose credentials for getting a world title shot are thin at best, it would be the biggest upset in boxing since Buster Douglas made Japan the land of the sinking sun for an overconfident, underprepared Mike Tyson. But Cunningham is in tough with Braithwaite, who gives it all that he has for as long as he has it, although the gas tank of this Big Truck is more subcompact-sized.

“Braithwaite is a real fighter,” King said. “He gives it his all. His all might not last but three or four rounds, but for that three or four rounds, you’re going to know he’s there. And if he’s in superb condition, maybe he can go eight strong rounds. If he loses, he loses swinging.”

If Cunningham is sunk by one of Braithwaite’s bombs – remember, he was on the canvas three times against Adamek – that rematch with Adamek is likely to go the way of the Foreman-Garcia fight that never was.

All of which explains why the Cunninghams are antsy, and maybe a bit resentful, that Gunn is getting a dream shot they feel he doesn’t deserve when a real Navy cruiser is anchored in the harbor and rarin’ to put out to sea.

“It’s a good come-up for Bobby Gunn, but how can anybody sanction him to fight for the belt?” Steve Cunningham asked, rhetorically. “I just can’t believe it. It’s impossible to even imagine.

“They can say it’s a business move, but if you want to make money, the money match is me and Adamek in a rematch. When people ask Adamek about us fighting again, he always says, `That’s up to my manager, my promoter.’ But that’s a copout. The fighter is the boss, not that he shouldn’t have input from his advisers.

“Adamek knows we put on a great fight, a fight people want to see again. I’m a little disappointed because he’s not giving people what they want.”

Added Livvy Cunningham: “If it’s about Main Events adding to its bottom line, I kind of get it. If they think that getting in there with Steve again is too risky for their marquee fighter, I guess I can understand that, too. But this is the business we’re in. You don’t go down in history for taking safe fights. I mean, who is Bobby Gunn?”

Duva said the Cunninghams and King doth complain too much. The Cunningham-Braithwaite bout is for designation as the IBF’s mandatory cruiserweight contender, and with Adamek due for a mandatory after he disposes of Gunn as expected, Cunningham will share the ring with her guy in the fall should both survive their July 11 tests.

And, no, she insists, she hasn’t kept Adamek away from Cunningham for any reason other than it was the financially prudent thing to do.

“Taking a little break has made an Adamek-Cunningham rematch bigger,” Duva said. “It’s bigger for a lot of reasons. Tomasz has made a home at the Prudential Center, which is a huge key in building a fighter. That is a big part of the fighter’s success. It always has worked for us.”

Articles of 2009

UFC 108 Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva

David A. Avila

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Former champion Rashad Evans meets Brazil’s venerable Thiago Silva in a non-title belt that can lead to a return match with the current champ, but first things first.

Evans (15-1-1) and Silva (14-1) meet in Ultimate Fighting Championship 108 in a light heavyweight bout on Saturday Jan. 2, at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. A win by either fighter could result in a world title bid. The fight card is being shown on pay-per-view television.

Events can change quickly in the Octagon and anybody can beat anybody in the 205-pound weight division. Just ask Silva or Evans.

Silva and Evans are both experienced and can vouch firsthand about the capriciousness of fighting in MMA and especially as a light heavyweight. On one day this man can beat that man and on another day, that man can beat this man. It can make you absolutely daffy.

Evans, 30, is the former UFC light heavyweight world champion who only defended his title on one occasion and lost by vicious knockout to current champion Lyoto Machida of Brazil. It’s the only defeat on his record.

Silva, 27, is a well-rounded MMA fighter from Sao Paolo, Brazil who is versed in jujitsu, Muy Thai and boxing. He can end a fight quickly in a choke hold just as easily as with a kick or a punch. His only loss came to who else: Machida.

Evans and Silva know a win can push open the door to a rematch with current UFC light heavyweight champion Machida.

“A win against Rashad would put me in the track against Lyoto,” said Silva, in a telephone conference call. “That's what – what I want to do.”

When Silva fought Machida the two Brazilians were both undefeated and feared in the MMA world. The fight took place in Las Vegas and with one second remaining in the first round a perfectly timed punch knocked Silva unconscious.

“I was humbled big time, man,” says Silva who fought Machida in January 2009. “I learned a lot from that fight.  I think I can correct the mistakes from that fight, not overlooking anything else right now, but just I want to get the chance to fight him again.”

For Evans it was a different circumstance. The upstate New Yorker held the UFC title and was defending it after stopping then champion Forrest Griffin by knockout. Still, many felt Machida was far too technically versed. Evans was stopped brutally in the second round.

“I've made it a point to not – to not get distracted on what I want to do, because you know Thiago (Silva) is a very hungry fighter,” said Evans who has not fought since losing the title to Machida last May. “My focus is just on Thiago so much.  You know I don't want to overlook him, you know, not even a little bit.”

Dana White, president of UFC, says the winner of this fight could conceivably fight Machida in the near future. Evans and especially Silva are motivated by the open window.

“I learned a lot from that fight. I think I can correct the mistakes from that fight,” says Silva. “Not overlooking anything else right now, but I just want to get the chance to fight him again.”

What a prize. The winner gets to face the man who beat him: Machida.

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Articles of 2009

A Very Special New Year's Day Column

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It has been just over four months since Nick Charles, the play-by-play announcer for Shobox: The New Generation, was diagnosed with stage IV bladder cancer and forced to take a medical hiatus from the monthly show that has aired since 2001.

Since then he has undergone grueling chemotherapy treatments that have resulted in him losing all of his hair as he forces himself to live as normal of a life as possible. Through sheer force of will, as well as the strength and support that he receives from his wonderfully loving family and his strong Christian faith, the 63-year-old Charles has managed to keep his weight up while not falling prey to the always lingering threats of depression, cynicism and negativity.

If one was unaware that he was battling such an insidious disease, you’d never know from talking on the phone to him that he has been to hell and back. He has lost none of the inspiring energy that has endeared him to members of the boxing community and legions of worldwide viewers.

“I’m doing great,” Charles said during a telephone conversation on December 30th. “I’ve been off the chemo for a month, and the doctors have told me that I’m 80 percent in remission. I’m going to see them again in three months. It may come back, but if it takes one year, or two years, or however long, I’m going to make the most of the good time.”

As physically and emotionally wrenching as the grim diagnosis and subsequent treatment has been, even for someone as perpetually positive as Charles, the longtime announcer said a lot of good things have come from it.

Having been married three times, Charles is the father of four children: Jason, 38, Melissa, 34, Charlotte, 22, and Giovanna, 3 ½.

While Charles is not big on regrets, he is the first to admit that he wasn’t always there for his older children. For many years he traveled the world as a CNN correspondent, often putting the demands of his career above all else, including those closest to him. Nowhere was the strain more evident than in his relationship with Melissa.

Having been divorced from Melissa’s mother since 1977, Charles said his relationship with that daughter has been especially “hot and cold, all of our lives.”

His illness has enabled them to forge a relationship that has been “based on a massive amount of forgiveness and understanding.”

“This has had a tremendous healing effect on both of us,” said Charles. “My illness has had a fortifying effect on a lot of things, the most important of which is my relationships with my family.”

That also includes his first wife, with whom he has had an often acrimonious relationship over the past three decades.

“It took a long time for the scab to become a scar, but we had lunch one day and it was so great to once again see the gentle, soft sides of each other,” he explained. “The whole divorce process creates a hardness that doesn’t always go away.”

Charles is also the grandfather to three children, some of whom are about the same age as his youngest daughter. He jokes that he has a “nuclear 21st century family” because of the similar ages of two generations of children. One of the hardest things for him has been the realization that he can’t always play with them in manner in which he would like.

“The hemoglobin is the fuel in your tank, so when it’s low you can’t will yourself to do things no matter how much you want to,” said Charles. “You can’t just sleep it off or work through it. I don’t want the kids to wonder why I can’t play in the backyard with them, or kick a soccer ball, or throw them in the air.”

Particularly difficult is when Giovanna reminds her father of how handsome he is, but then innocently asks him what happened to his hair, eyebrows and lashes.

“You try to keep things on a need to know basis, which is not easy when dealing with curious kids,” said Charles.

While Charles might look like the kind of guy that things have often come easy to, the reality is that his beginnings were far from auspicious. But, he says, his often challenging Chicago childhood blessed him with the steely resolve that has helped him so much during the arduous journey he is now on.

“I had it pretty rough growing up,” he explained. “I remember the lights and the heat being shut off and eating mustard sandwiches. I went to work at 13 and always had insecurities about the future. But I always expected and saw the best in people, so when I got sick, never once did I say 'Why me?”

Since taking a leave of absence from Shobox, the outpouring of support from the boxing community has warmed Charles’s heart. For a guy that is battling for his life, he actually considers himself fortunate to be surrounded by so much goodness in both his personal and professional lives.

“I always hear that boxing people are ruthless, but I couldn’t disagree more,” said Charles. “I’ve probably received about 1,000 e-mails, and people are always following in sending their best wishes. From the relatively unknown people in boxing to many of the more famous people, there has been an outpouring of true affection.”

Charles said that the Top Rank organization has been exceedingly kind and gracious. He was touched beyond description when he learned that officials in Oklahoma got special permission to have a seamstress sew “Keep Fighting Nick” onto their sleeves. He chokes up when talking about cut man Stitch Duran giving up an endorsement opportunity so he could put Charles’s name on his outfit. He never tires of hearing shout-outs from fighters on television.

Charles has always been a people person with an inordinate faith in the goodness of his fellow man. Battling this illness has only made his already strong faith in humanity even stronger.

“Adversity is a great teacher, and it really teaches you who your genuine friends are,” said Charles. “I have a lot of friends.”

He also has a remarkable wife, Cory, a CNN producer to whom he has been married for 11 years. She is the daughter of an electrician, a self-made woman who exudes all of the warmth of her native Brooklyn. She has reinforced her husband’s spiritual base by her love, optimism and strength of character.

“If I get down, she reminds me to not get too caught up,” said Charles. “I believe in eternity, and that has put me pretty much at peace.”

More than anything else, Charles wants to get himself back behind a microphone sooner rather than later, and hopefully on Shobox. He is the first to admit that viewers “don’t watch the series to see Nick Charles,” but he is proud of the fact that he was “part of the identity” of such a popular show.

“And people love comeback stories,” added Charles. “That’s the message I’m getting from the people out there.”

In boxing the word “champion” is often overused because it pertains only to winning belts and receiving worldwide recognition for being the best at your craft. The reality is that life’s real champions have other qualities, such as the innate ability to treat people well and always make them feel better about themselves, especially when the recipients of the goodwill are in no position to give them anything back.

By that standard of measure, Charles is as much, if not more of a champion than all of the boxers he has covered during the nine years that Shobox has been on the air.

I know I speak for scores of others when I say, “Happy New Year, Champ. We hope that you are the comeback story of the year in 2010.”

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Articles of 2009

No One Is Leaving This Stage Of Negotiations Looking GOLDEN

George Kimball

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Early in his political career, the young Lyndon Baines Johnson served as a congressional aide to Rep. Richard Kleberg, the wealthy owner of the King Ranch who was elected to seven consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, at least in part because he often ran unopposed.

One year an upstart rival politician we'll call Joe Bob had the temerity to challenge Kleberg in the Democratic primary, resulting in the convocation of the Texas congressman's staff to plot an election strategy. Several ideas were kicked around before Kleberg himself came up with a brainstorm.

“Why don't we start a rumor that he [copulates with] sheep?” proposed the politician.

This was a bit over the top, even for Lyndon Johnson. The future president leapt to his feet and said, incredulously, “But you know Joe Bob don't [copulate with] sheep!”

“Yeah,” replied the congressman, “but watch what happens when the son of a bitch has to stand up and deny it!”

******

Events of the past week or two have seen the Floyd Mayweather camp adopt a similar tactic with regard to Manny Pacquiao.  But if introducing what would appear to be a red-herring issue — the debate over drug-testing procedures — to the negotiating process was intended as a negotiating ploy, it would appear for the moment to have backfired.  The idea might have been to force Pacquiao to go on the defensive, but Pac-Man instead responded with his stock in trade, the counterpunch — in this case the multi-million dollar defamation suit he filed against the Mayweathers, pere et fils,, with the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

In boxing even more than in life, you never say never, but you'd have to say that Pacquiao-Mayweather is a dead issue right now, at least in its March 13 incarnation. Bob Arum says Pacquiao is prepared to move along to another opponent, and Mayweather is supposedly looking at Matthew Hatton in England.

We'll believe that when we see it, for at least three reasons: (1) There would hardly seem to be enough money in that one to make it worth Floyd's time, (2) He's going to have to put so much into preparing a defense to this lawsuit that he mightn't have time to train and (3) He'd get a better workout if he stayed in Vegas and boxed one of Uncle Roger's girl opponents.

*****

Colleagues on this site have already done a good job of dissecting this process. Ron Borges is absolutely correct in noting that in the midst of all the posturing that's gone on, you'd be a fool to accept at face value anything coming out of any of the parties' mouths. And Frank Lotierzo is spot on in noting that if you had absolutely no desire to actually get in the ring with Manny Pacquiao but were still looking to save face, you'd do pretty much exactly what Mayweather has done. Which is to say, talk tough while you get others to run interference with a series of actions seemingly calculated to ensure that the fight doesn't come off.

But left almost unscathed in all of this heretofore has been the convoluted role played by Golden Boy — by CEO Richard Schaefer, by the company's namesake Oscar the Blogger, GBP's subsidiary enterprise, The Ring, and at least a few of the lap-dogs and lackeys whose favor GPB has cultivated elsewhere in the media.

In late March of 2008, Shane Mosley and Zab Judah appeared at a New York press conference to announce a fight between them in Las Vegas two months later. As it happened, the BALCO trial had gotten underway out in California that week. That day I sat with Judah and his attorney Richard Shinefield as they explained that they intended to ask that both boxers agree to blood testing in the runup to the fight. Citing Mosley's history with BALCO and its products The Cream and The Clear (which Shane claimed Victor Conte had slipped him when he wasn't looking), Shinefield and Zab, noting that Nevada drug tests were limited to urinalysis, proposed that the supplementary tests be administered by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Want to know what Richard Schaefer's response to that was?

“Whatever tests [the NSAC] wants them to take, we will submit to, but we are not going to do other tests than the Nevada commission requires,” said Schaefer. “The fact is, Shane is not a cheater and he does not need to be treated like one.”

But the fact is that Mosley had a confirmed history as a cheater. Manny Pacquiao does not. Yet in the absence of a scintilla of evidence or probable cause, less than two years later Schaefer was howling that the very integrity of the sport would be at risk unless Pacquiao submitted to precisely the same sort of testing he had rejected for Mosley.

And you thought it was Arum who was famous for saying “Yeah, but yesterday I was lying. Today I'm telling the truth!”

Schaefer, by the way, defended his 180-degree turnabout by saying he is now better educated on the issue. He couldn't resist aiming a harpoon at the media by adding that many sportswriters “don't know the difference between blood and urine testing.”

Don't know how to break this to you, Richard, but sportswriters, who have had to deal with this stuff for the past twenty years, probably know more about drug-testing procedures than any other group you could name.

*****

Now, the reasonable assumption would be that by assuming the role of the point man in this unseemly mess, Schaefer was insulating his boss (De La Hoya) and his fighter (PBF) by keeping their fingerprints off it while he made a fool of himself publicly conducting this snide little campaign.  

And yes, Money would have stayed out of the line of fire had not a two-month old, expletive-filled rant in which he described the Philippines as the world's foremost producer of performance-enhancing drugs not exploded on the internet at the most inopportune moment. That the lawsuit was filed less than 24 hours after “Floyd Meets the Rugged Man” overtook the Tiger Watch probably wasn't a coincidence.

And we're assuming that this Dan Petrocelli, the lawyer who filed Pacquiao's suit, knows what he's doing, because if there were an even one-zillionth chance that somebody could credibly link Manny to PEDs, then it was a pretty dumb thing to do. You could ask Roger Clemens about that.  Clemens' transformation from Hall of Famer-in-waiting to nationwide laughingstock didn't come from the Mitchell Report. It came from his wrongheaded decision to file a lawsuit against Brian McNamee, which in turn threw everything open to the discovery process.

*****

De La Hoya, in the meantime, was playing both sides of the fence. He let Schaefer play Bad Cop as he distanced himself from the negotiating process, but simultaneously was sniping away at Pacquiao from his First Amendment-protected perch as a Ring.com blogger.

“If Pacquiao, the toughest guy on the planet, is afraid of needles and having a few tablespoons of blood drawn from his system, then something is wrong…  I'm just saying that now people have to wonder: 'Why doesn't he want to do this?' Why is [blood testing] such a big deal?' wrote Oscar the Blogger. “A lot of eyebrows have been raised. And this is not good.”

Ask yourself this: Exactly what caused those eyebrows to be raised, other than the innuendo coming straight from Oscar's company?

Providing De La Hoya with a forum from which to dispense propaganda  only begins to illustrate the hopelessly compromised position from which The Ring continues to operate. They might as well give Schaefer a column, too, while they're at it.

Nearly seven months have elapsed since we last visited the Ring/Golden Boy relationship, and at the risk of winding Nigel up, it might be useful here to note that in the midst of last June's discourse, The Ring's editor offered a laundry list of the magazine's covers since the De La Hoya takeover as a demonstration of Golden Boy's restraint.

After listing them, Nigel Collins wrote “that's 28 covers over the course of 21 issues, of which Top Rank had 12 fighters, as opposed to eight for Golden Boy and eight for other promotional entities. Obviously, The Ring has shown no bias to Golden Boy when it comes to magazine covers.”

It had never even been suggested that the conflict of interest extended to the magazine playing favorites in choosing its cover subjects, but since Nigel brought it up it is probably worth noting now that of those eight covers given over to “other promotional entities,” two were of David Haye, whose promoter was properly listed as “Hayemaker,” but who had also signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy in May of 2008. (Just last month GBP issued a release in De La Hoya's name in which it described itself as “Golden Boy Promotions, the United States promoter of World Boxing Association Heavyweight World Champion David Haye.”)

And even more to the point, in four other issues Nigel Collins offered in evidence the cover subject was Floyd Mayweather (Independent), although what has transpired with regard to the Pacquiao fight doesn't make Money look very independent at all, does it?

We don't regularly keep track of these things, but in making sure we didn't misquote  Oscar's Blog we also came across a representation of the January 2010 issue on The Ring's website.  The picture on the cover of the Bible of Boxing is of the Golden Boy himself, and the cover story “De La Hoya: The Retirement Interview.”

Wow! Now there's a hot topic for crusading journalists.

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