In the latest policy change at the “Bible of Boxing” to send shockwaves through the boxing community, Ring Magazine announced today on its website that every headline on the site going forward will feature the names of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, regardless of the actual content of the story.
According to the once-venerable magazine, the mandate is intended to increase the exposure of boxing to casual fans, journalistic integrity be damned. The news ran under the headline, “The Ring Updates Headline Policy: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. And Manny Pacquiao.”
“Our research indicates that traffic to the Ring website is multiplied tenfold or more for news reports and columns featuring Mayweather and Pacquiao,” the report said. “Including their names in all headlines, even when the story has nothing to do with them, will therefore boost Ring online readership exponentially. This could ultimately spur a monumental rejuvenation in the mainstream popularity of the sport, according to projections from Oscar De La Hoya.”
The reaction from boxing writers was swift and damning.
“Dumbest decision in #boxing EVER. And thats saying A LOT!! #worsethanWBC” tweeted Dan Rafael, head boxing writer at ESPN.com, along with a link to the Ring Magazine report.
Eric Raskin, a former writer for the Ring and outspoken critic of the editorial direction of the magazine in recent months, was even more succinct in his analysis, tweeting simply, “SMFH [shaking my (expletive) head].”
Bleacher Report ran an article shortly after the announcement under the headline, “Ring Magazine Is Officially Worthless; Also, Manny Pacquaio And Floyd Mayweather, Jr.”
The new changes at the Ring went into effect immediately. Earlier today, the first article was published under the new guidelines: “David Haye And Dereck Chisora Signed For Fight In Luxembourg; Floyd Mayweather, Jr. And Manny Pacquiao Still Not Fighting Anywhere.”
Writers for the Ring have not responded to repeated requests for comment.
(The Rabbit Punch is a satirical column. Any persons, events, descriptions, opinions, or insults contained herein are not intended to be taken seriously. You didn’t take this seriously, did you? Seriously?)