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Close Encounters of the Trump Kind: Reviewing 'Scoop' Malinowski's Latest Book

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  • Close Encounters of the Trump Kind: Reviewing 'Scoop' Malinowski's Latest Book

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    By Jeffrey Freeman

    If you happen to follow boxing or tennis closely, you might know who reporter Mark “Scoop” Malinowski is. Author and editor of fourteen books, Malinowski made his name (and earned his media moniker) by writing informative Biofile write-ups about sports and entertainment stars.

    Over time, Scoop’s lost track of how many he’s done. Or who his rookie subject was. His first ever published Biofile (in the Morris County Daily Record) was the NJ Nets’ Derrick Coleman.

    His Biofile of Boxing Hall of Famer James Toney was published in a 1992 issue of The Ring. Malinowski remembers Toney had an affinity for the stylish suits of sharp-dressed men like Ray Robinson and Thomas Hearns. “He loved their class. How they conducted themselves.”

    For most folks familiar with Malinowski, it is these popular Biofiles that readers fondly remember. According to TSS editor-in-chief Arne K. Lang, Scoop’s Biofiles also ran in Boxing Update and Flash, a pair of well circulated pre-internet newsletters he once subscribed to.

    Malinowski gained infamy in 2002 when a close encounter with Mike Tyson resulted in a scary press conference brouhaha where the maddest man on the planet threatened bodily harm to Malinowski and his mother. That’s right, it was Scoop who yelled, “Get him a straightjacket!”

    Don’t worry, they’re good buds now.

    And Scoop’s next book, Facing Guillermo Vilas, will be for sale on Amazon next week. It’s a tennis book but Scoop tells me that Vilas is a “huge boxing fan” and was friends with the late great Carlos Monzon. “Vilas,” says Malinowski, “shares some fascinating Monzon stories.”

    But before we get to my review of Malinowski’s new self-published book, “Close Encounters With Donald Trump,” a boxing-centric collection of Trump recollections told by more than 50 contributors, I thought I’d have the colorful writer give TSS readers his first ever Biofile—done on himself.

    Biofile “Scoop” Malinowski

    Born: Philadelphia, PA Status: Reporter, author. Resides: Teaneck, NJ, Bradenton Beach, FL

    Childhood Dream: I just wanted to get involved in professional sports somehow, to be a part of the scene. To contribute my own unique original work and make a positive impact. My visions became clearer later. To write books, do Biofile interviews for newspapers and magazines.

    First Journalism Memory: Creating homemade boxing programs and a magazine for our neighborhood boxing cards in junior high school.
    Why You Love Boxing: It's man at his best. A great fight is inspiring on many levels.

    Favorite Boxing Movies: “Rocky” and “Gentleman Jim.” When Apollo Creed decks Balboa and he somehow gets up and wants to continue. The look Creed gives him, of pity, respect and awe. I get chills and a tear every time. In “Gentleman Jim,” the scene where Sullivan goes to meet Corbett after their fight at the hotel. The class and respect they show each other.

    Favorite Artist: Raoul Dufy, LeRoy Neiman.

    Childhood Heroes: Roberto Duran, Carl Kolchak.

    First Famous Person You Met or Encountered: Alex Ramos drove by us on the Garden State Parkway, me and my friend Mike Pinto were going with his parents to the Jersey Shore for the weekend in junior high in the 80s. Ramos was driving a white Buick with Yankee pinstripes. He waved to us too! He told me two decades later when we met that the Yankees gifted it to him.

    First Car: 1979 Toyota Corolla.

    Funniest Boxer: Andrew Golota - great sense of humor, but you have to know him. I’ve been to his house, got him tickets for a week at the 2017 US Open. He drove all night from Chicago to watch the US Open the next day. Huge tennis fan. Also, Lennox - subtle. Very smart, sharp. Maybe the greatest of all time. Joel Casamayor told me he eats rocks and nails for breakfast.

    Favorite TV Show: Columbo, Honeymooners.

    Embarrassing Career Memory: Misspelling Ross Greenburg's name for his Biofile in the Boxing Update newsletter. I spelled it Greenberg. He was totally cool about it.

    Funny Boxing Memory: I had lunch with Jack Dempsey's wife Deanna and we did a Biofile in NYC. She told me how she first met Jack. She had a little boutique in a hotel in Manhattan and Jack used to visit her there. That was how the courtship started and evolved. She said when he first told her his name, he didn't say he was Jack Dempsey. He told her he was John L. Sullivan.

    Favorite Movies: Citizen Kane, Three Days of the Condor, Dial M For Murder, Camille.

    Greatest Career Moments: Doing hundreds of Biofiles with great boxers like Holmes, Lewis, Klitschkos, Pacquiao, Duran, Hearns, Archie Moore, Jake Lamotta, Holyfield, Bowe, Toney. Meeting artist Leroy Neiman at the Toney-Tiberi fight in 1992 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ. We became close friends. The friendship lasted until his death at age 91 in 2012.

    Musical Tastes: 70s and 80s. Steely Dan, Wham, Olivia Newton John, Abba, Bee Gees.

    Most Painful Moment: My Muhammad Ali Biofile was aborted after one question. It was at an NBA All-Star function in NYC in the mid-90s. I asked him the first question, his childhood hero. He answered Willie Pastrano. But he motioned with his hand to turn off the tape recorder.
    Ali didn't want to be recorded as his speaking was not strong. So, I ran over to my table to get a pen and paper. But the bodyguard blocked me and wouldn’t let me continue the interview. I should have just done it with no pen or paper, I would have remembered everything!

    Favorite Sport Outside Boxing: Tennis. Tracy Austin said it’s “a fistfight without the fists."

    Favorite Fights: I like masterpieces. Duran vs Leonard in Montreal. That fight took over my life. Hopkins vs Trinidad. Lennox Lewis vs Tyson, Rahman 2, Ruddock. The revenge of Vitali vs Corrie Sanders. Tarver KO Jones in two. Klitschko vs Joshua was incredible. Duran's redemption vs Davey Moore. Pacquiao vs Cotto was magic. Toney vs Jirov was incredible. They embraced each other three different times after that fight in the ring! Major respect. Nunn vs Kalambay. Leonard vs Hearns. Dempsey vs Willard. Ali vs Foreman. Holmes vs Norton. Tyson vs Spinks and Berbick. Tyson could have beaten any man in history on those nights.


    Fortunately for Scoop, Tyson didn’t beat him for his senseless outburst. The pair now share a friendship that could only have been brokered in boxing. Both are also admirers of President Trump and Tyson’s quotes about Trump are prominent in Close Encounters With Donald Trump.
    The book also contains contributions from Big George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Chuck Wepner, Jackie Kallen, Randy Gordon, Andrew Golota, Michael Marley, Iran Barkley, Randy Neumann, Vinny Pazienza, Bobby Czyz, Montell Griffin, Steve Lott, John Scully, and Paul Vaden.

    Oh, and yours truly.

    Yes, that’s right, I had my own close encounter with Donald Trump to share in Malinowski’s new book. You’ll have to read it for the whole story but what I can tell you is that it’s published with a photo I snapped of then boxing promoter Trump backstage at Holyfield-Stewart II in 1993.

    Almost to a man, the many boxing personalities polled had nothing but respectful and insightful things to say about the human lightning rod who today runs America. Malinowski begins by making it clear his 156-page Trump book has nothing whatsoever to do with a political agenda.

    Almost to a man, the many boxing personalities polled had nothing but respectful and insightful things to say about the human lightning rod who today runs America. Malinowski begins by making it clear his 156-page Trump book has nothing whatsoever to do with a political agenda.

    Explains Malinowski: “It is simply a collection of memories and anecdotes from a wide range of people who have had close encounters with the current President of the United States of America, Donald Trump. That is all this book is about, nothing more, nothing less.”

    The truth is that Malinowski loves Trump and Close Encounters With Donald Trump reflects that. After his obligatory political disclaimer, Malinowski recalls his own close encounters with Trump in 1988 (at an Azumah Nelson fight he was covering live from press row at Trump Plaza) and again at the 1998 US Open being held at the Louis Armstrong Stadium in New York City.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    And here’s the proof that Scoop and Tyson are bros now.

    Look at the LOVE in Scoop’s adoring eyes! 🥰


    • #3
      My Maine neighbor Dave says: “Jeff, very good writing. I am surprised that Pryor vs Alexes Arguello wasn’t one of the top boxing matches of all time. It was for me. All of them. Good job.”


      • #4
        Last month I was in sunny Aruba with Scoop’s book which is in my backpack there. As you can see, I’m gleefully pressing the flesh with another MAN. How novel in the age of coronavirus. Making Aruba Great Again, one Trump book review at a time. 👍


        • #5


          • #6
            Particularly the story about Randy Gordon at The Ring.

            How he came to be pushed out by one Mr. Nigel Collins.


            • Kid Blast
              Kid Blast commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes. The Ring seems to have a history of political infighting. I am not fond of it.

          • #7
            Scoop is satisfied with the review. “This is the best thing ever written about me and the best that ever will be. Honored humbled and grateful to the max. Thank you. Major league stuff. One of the most positive Trump articles I ever read. Actually the most.”



            • #8
              KO's Inside Scoop - Reporter Mark 'Scoop' Malinowski recalls his infamous encounter with a raging Mike Tyson at the Lewis-Tyson press conference, "Tyson came out and tried to intimidate Lewis, started the brawl and they both rolled away behind the rest of the brawl and we didn't know for over two minutes what had happened, who won, who got hurt, did Tyson KO Lewis? No idea. Then finally Tyson emerges and he's acting like he won something, raising his fists, making crotch gestures, acting defiant, like a villain from pro wrestling. I was like, where is Lennox? Is he okay? So Tyson is on the lip of the stage doing that and I booed him loudly from the seventh row. He was really pissed at that and he tried to stare me down to stop it, obviously he's very sensitive. Then after about 20 seconds he turned his back to us and then I shouted, "Put him in a strait-jacket!" I mean, he should have been arrested for assault, indecent behavior, disturbing the peace. It seemed nobody was doing anything to restrain this madman. So, as I respected Lewis so much, this is what motivated me to do what I did. Of course, hearing the strait jacket insult freaked Tyson out, it must have really stung him because the rest is history.

              After that I got out of there because I felt unsafe, with his goons hanging around. Later, the New York Times actually did an interview and story about me, I appeared on ESPN, and I later wrote a book about the fight and it's two-decade build-up ("Heavyweight Armageddon: The Tyson-Lewis Championship Battle") which was well received, Emanuel Steward, God Bless his soul, even called me up one night and said "Scoop you're book is a smashing success, it's one of the two best books I ever read, the fans on the plane to Vegas (for Pacquiao vs. Hatton) kept coming up to me to sign your book, they all had copies, all week in Vegas I kept signing your book with the two red gloves on the cover." I'm glad to say I've become friends with Tyson after that incident and can say that he's a much different person now, very happy, very positive, healthy, friendly, at peace."