Bund664, welcome to The Bag.
Do I think Oscar is good? I think everyone is capable of infinite goodness. I don’t know Oscar De la Hoya. I’ve met him. I have dealt with him but I don’t know his heart. It would be wrong and unfair of me to judge the man.
All that personal life stuff, you don’t see me writing about it because what a person does to indulge his fantasies is his business. We only live once. Warriors of the ring live the first half of their lives getting beat up in fights, win or lose. They deserve to party hard as long as no one gets hurt. Champion or opponent, legend or also-ran, these guys physically sacrifice what we can never know.
Do I think Oscar can save boxing? First, we have to define “save boxing.”
In Europe, the sport is very successful to the tune of 20,000-50,000 fans filling arenas and stadiums regularly. Over there, production values are higher and the paychecks just as lucrative at the top end. There is a reason no one in the U.S. can tell you who the heavyweight champion of the world is: he’s in Europe, busy making a ton of money.
Do I think Oscar can lead a reform movement in boxing, which is sorely needed? Yes. He’s young, rich and was the face of our sport for the majority of his career. For how long did Oscar carry this sport on his back (with a bit of help from everyone’s favorite “bad guy,” Bob Arum)? When there was no Mike Tyson, Oscar was killing it at the box office, bringing in an era of fans that still stands loyal to this day.
I recently ran into a female fan of Oscar’s. She loved Oscar because of how much he was about community. However, she seemed disappointed with him as a promoter. Something rang false. She liked the Golden Boy fights but as a presence but something was missing from Oscar, in her opinion.
There are those who say Golden Boy is run by its CEO Richard Schaefer and that Oscar is the pretty face. Perhaps that is true, to some degree but even Schaefer himself would agree that, bottom line, no Oscar, no Golden Boy. He’s the straw that stirs the drink. Yeah, he has spun around and spilled the damn thing a few times but he still has the ability to assume command at any time.
So do I think Oscar can save boxing? He’s certainly kept it alive before. I think if he decided to start talking with trainers, fighters, boxing writers and everyone else its needs, Oscar De la Hoya could probably take those issues and run with them as high up as he wanted to. No doubt airtime would his for the asking. He could afford to travel and speak to commissioners in each state about their own needs and then lobby their governors to assist. Oscar could absolutely be a very powerful agent for change and I think he has the fighting spirit to do it. He’s very much needed. His company has already taken a giant first step by being ahead of the curve in regard to extra drug testing. That should never be forgotten. They helped change us for the cleaner. I think it would take a lot of self-education on Oscar’s part. This is a complicated issue with many-tiered problems but I think it is certainly possible.
Long ago, Oscar promised us that, as a promoter, he would clean up the sport. We could use it. He could help even more than his company already has. I hope he does.
As for your question regarding why anyone hasn’t mentioned what Teddy Atlas said regarding Pacquiao possibly wanting to leave Top Rank before the Bradley fight, maybe they are still waiting for the mystery emails. Maybe then we could put credence to what Teddy said regarding rumors. Nothing personal. Just precedent.
“Re: For the Record”
Your article, For the Record, was a great read. Just wanted to ask you some questions in regards to it. First, is GB assuming that you started the Floyd Mayweather rumor about him testing positive 3 times? If not then who. I understand this its a very sensitive subject but i would to read the article of this rumor, if one exists.
Also, are drug tests results public knowledge in Nevada? I’m actually the general manager of an MMA company called Cage Fury Fighting Championships (www.cffc.tv, we have a show in Atlantic City on June 30th). I know thaft while talking with Nick Lembo of the NSACB, if a fighter tests positive for any illegal substances, he has the right to privacy and his results aren’t public information. We had a few fighters test positive for marijuana and we only know that because the fighter discloses this info to me. We usually put the math together when we see a fighter get suspended who took punishment in the fight.
Also. do think USADA has a bias against Many Pacquiao? If i recall, they were quoted referring to Floyd, during his negotiations with Manny, as the clean fighter. Who pays for the testing and what itsbthe difference between vVADA and Usada?
And lastly, i’m a huge PAC fan, what was your score card for his fight with Bradley?
Thank you for your time.
You’d have to ask Golden Boy where they heard I was spreading that rumor. It certainly wasn’t in any article I’ve ever written. And I am not saying I heard it or didn’t. It’s a really good question, right? Did any of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s samples come up positive?
On Tuesday, USADA put out a link to their website detailing the testing results of Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto.
USADA also stated that every urine sample had been tested using the Carbon Isotope Ratio testing method. However, this was not what I asked in http://www.maxboxing.com/news/main-lead/for-the-record.Until every bit of data is released regarding the three fights Mayweather has fought while tested under USADA, the rumor that he tested positive will likely persist. It’s a shame but it’s the reality of the situation. Transparency on this issue is vital. If the rumor was so bad that Golden Boy had to fire off a legal threat at me, why not just go with full disclosure and release every document in order to dispel it?
As far as I am concerned, that USADA test results link is nothing more than a press release. “We did this.” Ok. Now prove it.
As far as I know, drug test results are public knowledge in the case of a positive in Nevada. I’d ask NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer but he doesn’t take my calls.
I can only try so many times, Keith. I’m not the enemy. Remember how you once told me, “We are on the same side.” Well, what’s the problem, then?
You’d have to ask Travis Tygart of USADA how he feels about Manny Pacquiao. I would but…
The difference between USADA and VADA is, in my opinion, one of philosophy. USADA believes in a lack of transparency. They like to keep the potential cheater in the dark as to what they are doing and how they doing it, as far as testing protocols are concerned. That is understandable but not preferable as far as I am concerned.
VADA is something of an open book and they go beyond testing despite what a certain promoter will try and tell you in the press. VADA is aggressive in its testing philosophy. While USADA uses Carbon Isotope Ratio (CIR) testing “strategically,” they don’t exclusively use this essential test as a screening method. Why is that important? In my opinion, synthetic testosterone is the leading problem drug in sports. CIR is made to detect it. Why wouldn’t you use that test 100% of the time?
One other difference is that VADA not only tests the fighters for banned substance, they also continue a full medical rundown on the athlete throughout camp. If a fighter is low on iron, having liver issues or kidney problems due to dehydration, VADA will alert the athlete and educate him on how to fix the issue. They are helping to create better conditioned athletes through education.
I had Manny winning the fight 10-2. Some had it closer. Most had it roughly the same on press row. It was a competitive, one-sided fight that deserved better judging. Flat out, they dropped the ball.
“Selective Outrage Redux”
My favorite part of the uproar over the Pac-Bradley decision? This week was NOTHING compared to the ridiculous sh*t that happens in the rest of the sport. Jay Kang wrote a good article about the fight, but his argument boils down to:
"The sport, to put it bluntly, is f*cked. The nice truth is that nobody really cares about this because the average sports fan has no awareness of Lamont Peterson or Andre Berto. The ugly truth is that nobody cares because they expect boxing to be compromised and full of shady characters who put their own profit over the best interests of the sport."
Kang misses the mark on 2 points. 1) Here are 5 much better recent examples of boxing being "f*cked" that would cause the internet to meltdown if the sport received the same degree of mainstream coverage as football and basketball in the US. Just the first ones that come to mind really.
--Kermit Cintron diving out of the ring against Paul Williams and hearing the scorecards heralding his defeat as he was strapped to a gurney being wheeled onto an ambulance
--James Kirkland trying to buy a firearm at a gunshow with his real driver’s license while he was on probation for an armed robbery rap
--Roger Mayweather entering the ring during Judah-Floyd and getting his license suspended, and then Carlos Molina’s trainer earning a disqualification for his fighter and no suspension for committing the same violation in the same state
--Paul Williams becoming paralyzed after riding a motorcycle up an embankment on his way to a wedding
--Edwin Valero murdering his wife and then hanging himself with sweatpants in a Venezuelan prison.
--And so on. The biggest reason why boxing is f*cked is the lack of an overarching commission with a unified set of rules, accountability measures, and collective bargaining agreement between fighters, TV networks, and venue owners.
The example that I use when I explain this to non-boxing fans is as follows. Imagine that the New England Patriots and the New York Giants are clearly the best two football teams in the world. What if instead of having an annual Super Bowl on a set date, we only got to see them play after they had negotiated the date and location of their game, the dimensions of the field they’d play on, the size of their pads and equipment for the game, as well as the split of advertising revenue each team would get for the ads? What if they couldn’t agree on their split of the ticket sales and choice of broadcaster, so both teams told each other to f*ck off and instead negotiated televised games against the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns? What if they refused to play for five years because their owners were greedy alcoholics incapable of settling a gambling dispute? This would all be F*CKING INSANE, right? Well, there you have it. College football and the BCS have NOTHING on boxing.
2) And that’s exactly why I love following boxing. There’s no experience like it in the world of entertainment. At its best, boxing is the purest form of sport. At its worst, it makes me curse and want to kick stuffed animals. There’s no fix like it...
The easiest thing in the world for a boxing writer to do is get outraged at a bad decision in a major fight. The hard part is doing something about it. I encourage them all to do so.
As for your list, sure, those things were rough. And I would point out that in the third one on the list, Mayweather was not disqualified for his trainer’s action, which was to rush into the ring and go after Judah, who had blatantly fouled Floyd late in the fight. Twice in one move. Roger essentially said, “Screw the ref,” and went in to handle business. He was suspended but the fighter was not penalized unlike Carlos Molina, who was winning on all cards and just two rounds away from a points win.
But you are right, the reports of boxing’s death because of the Bradley-Pacquiao decision are, in a word, lame. If this is what drives you away from the sport, then good riddance. You’re not really a boxing fan if this makes you quit. You’re a whiny frontrunner who probably doesn’t watch boxing feeds from Russia on your computer just because you heard Dmitry Pirog is fighting. What’s even worse is that if this drives you away the sport, you probably aren’t the kind of fan who pays hard-earned money to go to the fights.
We need more of those and less of the Complicit Outrage Brigade.
What do I mean? When Gabriel Campillo was robbed against Tavoris Cloud earlier this year, there was outrage and no follow-up. When Maurice Harris was robbed in Germany against Edmund Gerber just a short time back, there was zero outrage. “Oh he’s Mo Harris. Who cares?” was what someone told me. Where was the outrage? Where were the people taking to the mail and flooding the commissions with complaints?
Where was the follow-up? In my PED stories, there is endless follow that has been to the detriment of my wallet and, apparently, my health. You don’t see me backing off. Yet, we’ll get endless toe jokes about David Haye. We’ll get NBA Finals boxing tie-in jokes. We’ll get endless tirades about the WBC.
But when the blood and urine samples taken from Winky Wright and Peter Quillin were inexplicably destroyed and their testing under USADA was suspended as soon as it started? Silence. No one bothered to steal that story. No one followed it up. No one cared. The whys of it I will leave to you to wonder about.
What we won’t get is something substantial to trigger change. It’s hip to be outraged. But it’s our job to do something about the root of it- nay, our responsibility. Otherwise, what are we here for, to write down pre-fight quotes? Talk about the fight afterward? I don’t believe so anymore.
I love that analogy about football. I use it often. Boxing is like no other sport and I don’t think it could survive as a league. It would lose its personality. However, it would gain credibility. I imagine that the rest of the world looks at our sport, based on rich men paying poor men to fight, as some sort of den of crooks and sociopaths hell-bent on keeping the sport in the dark ages. Sometimes I agree.
Truth is, every single person who loves this sport is always hoping for a great fight. The promoter who puts up the money, the networks, the fighters, trainers, et al. Especially the fans. We are living in harsh times, economically. We want our money’s worth.
Most of all, we want to believe that what we are seeing is the truth. We want an even playing field or at least a fight where each guy has a fighting chance. That isn’t too much to ask.
As you said, when boxing is at its best (and on many levels, Bradley-Pacquiao was that), nothing is better. What’s sad is that Bradley, on a broken foot and a twisted ankle, fought his heart out. I don’t think he won but he brought out the very best in Manny Pacquiao. It was a very good fight and a bad decision. I think it’s important to make sure that distinction is made. It’s important that we use our heads rather than just our hearts right now.
It’s easy to be outraged. It’s healthy and shows we do care. But now, let’s go do something about it.
You can email Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch him every Monday on “The Next Round” with Steve Kim. You can also tune in to hear him and co-host David Duenez live on the BlogTalk radio show Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com, Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST. Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.