Every single second of that clip right there is jam-packed with greatness, such that I’m sharing it days after most of you have probably seen it on the off chance that you haven’t. Don’t be intimidated by the 12 minute length. It’s not your ordinary interview session. Trust me.
Now, for some serious business. I know I come off as a killjoy sometimes, complaining like I do about the lack of journalistic standards in the boxing media. But the erroneous report on BoxingScene about HBO’s Ross Greenburg being fired — an item since retracted — is why those standards are important. Once more, Thomas Hauser relied on some anonymous sources in his reporting on HBO, a problem endemic to every one of his much-praised stories that I’ve been virtually alone in publicly criticizing. Hauser’s had Greenburg on the verge of being fired before, but still Greenburg remains; maybe he’ll be there for years, maybe he won’t. This time, Hauser was wrong in a massive way. You now have to wonder whether all of his reporting on the network based on anonymous sources should be cast into doubt. These stories have been highly influential with boxing fans who have shaped many of their extremely negative perceptions of HBO on them. And it’s not all on Hauser; I don’t believe BoxingScene should have ran the piece without first getting a response from HBO or from Yahoo or Adam Levinsohn, the man reportedly set to replace Greenburg (although sometimes you do have to run with a big story if official outlets blackball you, for instance, but you better be really sure about it). It’s too important a story. You might want to get it first, but it’s better to get it right, as the old saw goes.
Anonymous sources are sometimes necessary in journalism. But they must be used carefully. The reason: Sometimes they aren’t to be trusted when they have a cloak of anonymity, because they might be wrong, they might have an agenda and they are emboldened by the inability to have their claims publicly scrutinized with a name attached to them. Every single journalistic standard I’ve harped about on this site — not just the one about anonymous sources — exists for a good reason, honed by years of experience that show again and again the pitfalls of not subscribing to them. Maybe we can get good information from journalism that doesn’t subscribe to those standards, but we’re going to get a lot of bad information, too. And bad information is as destructive as good information is constructive. Reporters of every kind should ignore or speak disdainfully of those standards at not only the peril of others, but their own.
Hauser and BoxingScene appropriately retracted the piece, after a pudding metaphor. Despite this sloppy reporting, I’ll say once more that BoxingScene remains the best site for news about our sport and Hauser is still the best reporter in our sport when he’s on his game. But he’ll need a little rehab on his reputation after this before we can entirely trust his future reporting. Here’s one great way to start: He could think very carefully about how he uses anonymous sources, and strongly consider doing as little of it as possible going forward.
Now, back to some silliness. The rest of the boxing world didn’t stop just because there’s a big fight this weekend, but it did slow to a crawl. We’ll do some Quick Jabbing on the news that was out there, then we’ll do some Round And Rounding on the fights that are in the works.
I’m sorry I didn’t get time this week to preview the other weekend fights, but the big one tonight and some busy-ness at the day job had me too tied up to do it. I couldn’t have predicted anyway that two more fighters would get bitten by the upset bug that’s been feasting on betting favorites for all of 2011: super middleweight Librado Andrade and featherweight Bernabe Concepcion…
Nooooooooo not you too, YURIORKIS GAMBOA! My favorite fighter got arrested for domestic violence this week, and I can only hope the details are not as are alleged for the featherweight sensation. Unfortunately, his lawyer probably didn’t do him any favors by denying that there was any “excessive violence,” as if it would be OK for Gamboa to use just a little bit of violence. But then, I’m no lawyer. Maybe domestic violence is just fine, legally speaking, as long as it’s not excessive. [CORRECTED: Gamboa’s manager and attorney contacted me to point out that he had been misquoted in the original piece by the Miami Herald, which he said the above-linked BoxingScene item relied upon for its item. That Miami Herald piece has deleted the quote in question. Therefore, I retract my point. Hey, look, it’s a retraction in a blog post where I talked about retractions!]…
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who’s got his own domestic violence issues, has been charged for threatening some more security guards. The only thing the virtually retired Mayweather likes more than not being a boxer, apparently, is screwing with security guards, because this isn’t the first time he’s been accused. It is exhausting, writing all these things about Mayweather every week when I’d much rather write about him for being brilliant in the ring. This guy could be the best fighter of his generation, but instead he’s always up to some untoward stunt or the other…
Juan Manuel Lopez’ manager has been suspended for his alleged role in the riot after his featherweight was upset by Orlando Salido. Let this be a lesson, riot-starters! If you’re going to (allegedly) f things up, make sure the mayor doesn’t get plunked in the back of the head.
Round And Round
Once more on the ropes, Wladimir Klitschko-David Haye has now apparently been saved by a deal over ticket allocation. I was finally willing to believe this contest for Klitschko’s heavyweight championship would actually happen, but this blip, even though it has been resolved, has me once more doubting matters. Klitschko-Haye. Such a pain in the ass.
Junior middleweight Miguel Cotto might need a backup plan for his fall date, and Top Rank’s Bob Arum says it’ll be Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. The reason is because Antonio Margarito’s eye is still giving him trouble from the beating he took in his last fight. I wish no permanent harm upon any man, but if Margarito — who might have damaged the careers of any number of boxers now that we know he at least on one occasion tried to load his gloves — no longer graces the ring, I will be glad of it. Cotto-Chavez isn’t a bad fight at all, either.
Timothy Bradley has walked away from a fight with Amir Khan that would have decided the junior welterweight championship of the world. Lame. Golden Boy Promotions said his opponent choices are as follows, which I’ve placed in my order of preference: Marcos Maidana, in a rematch of a 2010 Fight of the Year candidate; Zab Judah, who has gotten his career back on track and would be able to hang with Khan in the speed department; Robert Guerrero, who’s very talented but is unproven above lightweight; and Erik Morales, who also is revived by a close bout with Maidana, but who doesn’t match up nearly as well with Khan as he did Maidana.
While lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez waits for his next big move, he might take a bout in July against David Diaz. It’s not a fight I’m interested in, but it is, after all, a stay-busy bout. Super middleweight Lucian Bute is also waiting for a big move, but in the interim might fight Jean Paul Mendy in Romania, also in July. What I said about Marquez-Diaz goes for Bute-Mendy.
Paul Williams’ reported next opponent on HBO in July might be Nobuhiro Ishida or Deandre Latimore at junior middleweight. Both of these are defensible opponents for a man coming off a devastating knockout loss, since Latimore is a big puncher despite some recent losses and Ishida is coming off a massive upset of James Kirkland. And I want Williams back on HBO despite his loss, because he’s always a good show. But I’m not of the mind these are particularly HBO-worthy bouts, and if those are the opponents on the table I hope they at least don’t pay out the wazoo for it.
Promoter Lou DiBella has two welterweights, Randall Bailey and Andre Berto, who could next fight Jan Zaveck. It’s unclear whether the bouts would be on HBO. I’m fine with both fights, but neither are HBO fights in my view unless they’re super super super cheap.
Raul Martinez-Cristian Mijares at bantamweight is off for next weekend because Martinez suffered a bad cut in training. It will be rescheduled. Good. Interesting fight.
Middleweight Andy Lee, coming off a stirring victory this year, is in line to face Alex Bunema on May 17. This, too, feels like an in-between kind of bout.
(Round and Round sources: BoxingScene, ESPN)