Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Ring is Counted Out: Boxing’s duplicity devours an honest magazine

By Ivan G. Goldman

My story about the alien spore of Golden Boy Promotions eating the brain of Ring magazine, a triumph of capitalism over sport, is now online & fully accessible to all at the Columbia Journalism Review site. Here are the first few paragraphs, followed by a link to the entire article.

Let’s get two things straight. One, last September I was fired from The Ring, the venerable boxing magazine, along with editor in chief Nigel Collins and most of the editorial staff. Two, I had it coming.

So I’m not as bitter about my dismissal as you might expect, even though no one from the company told me I’d been canned or even informed me that my next column and a scheduled feature were no longer welcome. As a non-employed contractor in our brave new world of semi-employed twenty-first century servitude, I had to perceive I was fired. We all know how these arrangements work. Non-employees float in an opaque legal gelatin that can wash out from under us at any time. But remember, I had it coming.

Who killed Davey Moore
“Not me,” says the boxing writer
No, you can’t blame me at all.
—from “Who Killed Davey Moore?” by Bob Dylan

The brain damage detected in so many ex-fighters makes the sport basically indefensible. I didn’t wait until I was fired to say that. My Ring column pointed out for years that basic safety rules were routinely ignored without consequence to presiding officials. I issued anti-awards, called Magoos, to dangerous twits like Arthur Mercante Jr., the New York referee who stood in the ring and watched George Khalid Jones methodically beat twenty-six-year-old Beethavean Scottland to death in 2001. Mercante and others like him earned Magoos over and over. Nothing changed. Most fans get angry when a corner or a referee stops a fight. They want to see losers punched unconscious. If a guy’s eyeball is hanging from a string, heck, it’s still attached, isn’t it?

No comments: