As Steve was making his decision to leave, many options, some I’d been developing over the years, some that popped out of the sky serendipitously, presented themselves to me. I have made the choice that is best for me. After this week, I will no longer be here at Maxboxing.com as I will be taking a hiatus. It is not a reaction to Steve leaving, rather the timing just felt right to take a break for myself. I’m off to finish my book, begin work on a film that was written for me and continue developing various other stage and film projects. On Mondays and Tuesdays, you can still find me on “The Next Round” and “Leave It In the Ring” radio shows with Steve Kim and David Duenez, both of which I co-produce and co-host. I’m not leaving boxing by any stretch. You may see a column from me here and there. You may see gym footage videos from me. You could even see it all under a pseudonym. Or not. But suffice it to say, I’ll be around.
The ability to adapt and say yes to change, which has a high potential to equal growth, is tantamount to living a fulfilling life. I spent the majority of my life on stage, acting, directing, producing, pursuing the art I love most in the world. Boxing writing has been an unexpected and crazy, great addition to my life. I’ve turned a passion into a very rewarding job. I don’t plan on giving that up. My time in this sport has filled my cup in a way I had never planned on. I continue to be grateful for that.
I’d like to take this time to thank Chee, our webmaster, Coyote Duran, our editor and John Novoselac, my co-writer for years at Doghouseboxing.com. These men encouraged me from the very beginning to pursue this. They gave me creative freedom to approach boxing writing however I saw fit. They pushed me to keep going further, to never give up no matter how dark things got. I’ll never be able to repay that debt.
I’d like to thank Gary Randall and Robert Waterman, who hired me and stood by me as I grew from an unknown writer still finding himself to who I am to readers and industry folks now. I’ll be working with both in separate ventures in the future that I will speak on when the time is right.
Doug Fischer is someone I would like to single out for thanks. Early on, at my first live fight as a reporter, Doug welcomed me to this world. He gave great insights, listened to my questions and always challenged me to raise my writing bar. Had he not left to co-helm The Ring magazine and its website, RingTV.com, I likely would not have continued doing this job. His leaving opened up the possibilities of my world. I always made it a point to remind myself that I was carrying his mantle as much as anything.
Steve Kim is the best reporter I have ever had the pleasure of watching work up close. His finger is perpetually on the pulse of this sport, be it in picking winners, breaking news or breaking down a fight. His insights into the business, the reality of it versus the blogosphere nonsense (perpetuated by those far removed from the actual boxing beat but with plenty to say about those who are) continues to be on the cutting edge. Steve, I wish you nothing but fantastic fortune in your new venture. You stood by me when others - I can think of one site owner in particular - would have folded out of editorial cowardice. You can say what you want about Steve Kim but his moral editorial compass, that instinct regarding what makes a real news story worth telling versus mere fluff, are absolutely spot on. When I was hired, Steve challenged me to try and keep up with him, to not be satisfied just being hired but to see how high I could raise my personal bar. I will continue to attack that challenge as we heads toward 500 episodes of TNR and beyond. For now, I thank you, Steve, for the opportunity and the tireless support.
To all the sources who have been brave and kind enough to talk to me on and off the record, to those who continue to stand by me as I fight for higher standards in this sport, I give you my most humble and deepest thanks.
To the fighters, you are why I do everything I do. You give us so much of yourselves. Taking heat for your health and safety has been my pleasure and my honor. I won’t stop doing that. You deserve the very best the world has to offer.
And last but certainly not least, to you, the readers, a gigantic thank you. Those two words don’t even cut it. You’ve kept me on point, humble, working diligently and gave me the courage to keep going. Every time I felt like this sport wasn’t worth the trouble, I’d get an email or two telling me something positive that would re-light that fire in me. Thank you. Without you, none of this happens. Without you, I wouldn’t consider continuing on. It’s been a helluva ride here at Maxboxing.com. You’ve been with me every step of the way, allowing me to grow from the Monday Mailbag to 50-plus anti-doping articles, controversies, fights, triumphs and helping me gain ground in the continuing struggle toward making the best sport in existence one with even higher standards than our national pastime.
This isn’t goodbye. This is thank you.
To those in the sport who would do harm to the fighters: screwing them out of their purses, putting fighters on medical suspension into fights, killing fighters to make weight, proliferating the use of performance-enhancing drugs and generally lowering the standards of boxing, I won’t stop working toward your eradication from this sport.
That is a promise.