Quick Jabs: Promoters And Venue Rights; Thomas Hauser’s Move To HBO; More

Our men Patrick Connor and Mark Ortega already covered some of the weekend’s action, but in two other weekend fights expected to be mismatches, one went the route of big-time upset — the one in the video above — and the other was even more of a mismatch than expected.

Living Thai legend Pongsaklek Wonjongkam struggled with his footing, and with ex-fringe contender Sonny Boy Jaro’s aggression, and now we have a new lineial flyweight champion. You know what I haven’t seen commented upon quite as much? Shades of Floyd Mayweather, Jr.-Victor Ortiz there, with Pong holding out his arms to make nice and Jaro doing it for half a sec then cracking him, and, a touch later, finishing him off. Not to delegitimize the win — it’s a super-solid win, the frontrunner for an Upset of the Year that will be hard to top.

But heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko didn’t get upset one bit. In a 4th round knockout of Jean Marc Mormeck, the Frenchman landed fewer total punches — three — than there were rounds in the fight. When you can sell 50,000 tickets to a fight like that, I guess it’ll happen, especially with the Germans loving the Klitschko boys unconditionally. But Wlad can do better. We’ll discuss him more, later on in the ol’ Quick Jabs.

Actually, it’s more than Quick Jabs. It’s another of these two-for-one deals, with a few Weekend Afterthoughts (see above, ta-da).

Quick Jabs

People who are big fans of the sanctioning organizations like to point out the times when they do something to help the fighters. But really, whether the fighters want them or not is no confirmation of whether they’re worth a damn. There is demand for them amongst fighters, sure — but should there be? It’s a case of Stockholm syndrome, if you ask me. They all run such arbitrary operations that fighters end up getting screwed by the alphabet gang for reasons that would make it hard to figure out what kind of things will get you in trouble with them and what won’t. Mayweather can beat up his baby mama and get praised by the WBC. Chris Arreola curses and the WBC suspends him. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. can test positive for banned drugs or get busted with a DUI and the WBC doesn’t worry about it. Dereck Chisora gets into a brawl at a news conference and he’s banned indefinitely by the WBC, as of last week. These organizations have power because the fighters give them power by holding them in any esteem. But it’s hard to see why they’d hold them in any esteem, really…

As for Mayweather, he just cursed YURIORKIS GAMBOA! and Adrien Broner by designating them as his boxing heirs. The last people he did that to — Devon Alexander and Chad Dawson — rather quickly thereafter lost fights and then their reputations…

Golden Boy is standing in the way of Wlad’s next fight being at the Barclays in New York City, since they have a deal with the venue. As with Main Events standing in the way of Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson last year, this has elements of “makes sense for the promoter to do that” contrasted with elements of “dude, not cool.” Good news, though: looks like there may be a resolution to this standoff…

The Gabriel Campillo team has filed some protests in Texas after getting ripped off there in Campillo’s light heavyweight bout vs. Tavoris Cloud. Texas says they’ll listen. And then what? On what grounds will they decide that any rules were broken? My understanding is that the Texas boxing commission doesn’t even HAVE rules….

Depending on how you look at it, big-name boxing writer Thomas Hauser’s decision to join HBO as a paid consultant is either him putting his money where his mouth is (as a long-time critic of HBO, he’s now looking to change things from the inside) or HBO has stuffed up his big mouth with money (they’re making it hard for him to talk about HBO as a writer if they’ve got him on the payroll) or he’s just selling out (joining the “enemy” because they’ve got the cash). Me, I’m totally fine with Hauser trying to reform things from the inside, basically. And I wish we knew more about what he’d be doing for the network; he’s not been very forthcoming in his public remarks, nor has HBO. But at minimum, it does it further ruin his credibility as an ACTIVE boxing writer, to be on the HBO payroll in such a direct way. There are conflicts of interest in all of boxing writing these days, but not all conflicts of interest are created equal. There’s a vast difference in someone doing editorial work that is paid for by a network (Epix television commentary, say) or promoter (writing for Ring Magazine, owned by Golden Boy, which means indirectly they’re paying the checks) and someone being paid by a writing subject for non-writing services, in assembling the product that boxing writers usually comment upon, the way Hauser will apparently be doing for HBO. Some have suggested he just shouldn’t write about HBO anymore. That’d be fine with me; I’ve found his work on HBO to be highly overrated. But if he’s not writing about HBO, or HBO fights, or people connected to HBO, that vastly shrinks the universe of things he even can write about. And if he’s working for HBO, how can he impartially comment on fights and fighters on HBO’s rival Showtime? Then the universe has shrunk to almost nothing. And then, how is this man going to be the man who decides who even gets to join the boxing writers’ fraternity, the Boxing Writers Association of America? Full disclosure, Hauser has been dismissive of a few of my staffers in that regard, but I can’t see how someone who will be unable to write about much boxing at all — at least in any way where we can be assured it’s writing untainted by his new job — should continue to serve as the gateway into that frat.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.