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2021 Year in Review: The Best of the Worst Boxing Headlines

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  • 2021 Year in Review: The Best of the Worst Boxing Headlines

    Click image for larger version  Name:	kingry.PNG Views:	5 Size:	431.5 KB ID:	20609

    By Arne K. Lang

    My first order of business when I get up in the morning -- and I’m sure this is true of most boxing writers – is to go on the internet and check the aggregator site to see if anything important happened while I was asleep. This exercise often starts my day off on the wrong foot.

    In the Wild West of cyberspace, where anyone with a computer can have a platform, the pressure to produce fresh content has led to a trivialization of news, which is to say that most of what passes for combat sports journalism today is an affront to journalism.

    On Jan. 1, 2020, the very first day of a new year, this headline made me wish I had stayed in bed: Boxer Ryan Garcia Wears Designer Brand Underwear for Weigh-in Ahead of Lightweight Title Fight.

    I can’t tell you what brand he wore because I didn’t bother to read the story. But I made note of the headline because it struck me that a compilation of ludicrous headlines might make good filler on a slow news day. So here are five others from 2021 that made me dolefully wonder if my life was as trivial as some of the tripe that pops up daily on some of the web sites under the guise of boxing news:

    Headline: Sean O’Malley Says he was Masturbating During Fury vs. Wilder 3

    I confess that I did click on this story which first appeared on Oct. 12 on MMA News and made the rounds on other MMA portals. I thought it prudent to read it on the off-chance that I might find myself seated next to Mr. O’Malley at a future boxing show. I would want to give him a wide berth.

    Sean O’Malley, I would come to learn, is an MMA fighter of some repute who also has a podcast. On one of his podcasts, he referenced the third Fury-Wilder fight and said he liked it so much that he was “J-ing off in every round.” The author of the MMA News story, Derek Hall, took him literally, writing “he liked it so much he felt the need to pleasure himself in every round.”

    In defense of Hall, O’Malley said on his podcast that Fury knocked Wilder down eight times (no, it was only three) so, yes, he was distracted.

    Headline -- OPINION: Fans Won’t Be Storming the Gates for David Haye vs. Joe Fournier

    David Haye’s last legitimate prizefight came in May of 2018 when he was battered into retirement by Tony Bellow. Joe Fournier is a 38-year-old London businessman who dabbles in boxing and has scored nine wins over hapless opponents. As widely reported, Haye and Fournier are close friends.

    These two actually did meet in the ring, an 8-round exhibition on Sept. 11 in Hollywood, Florida, in a supporting bout to the deplorable Holyfield-Belfort affair. And yes, as surmised by Phil Jay in this story that ran in World Boxing News on Aug. 30, fans did not storm the gates.

    Kudos to the headline-maker who exhibited admirable restraint. On certain boxing web sites, writers are never credited with venturing a plain ol’ ordinary opinion; it’s always a BOLD OPINION, the word “bold,” similar to the ubiquitous word “sensational,” having currency as click-bait.

    Headline: Mike Tyson Has Been Sensationally Accused of Ducking Fight With Former Heavyweight Champion

    This headline surfaced on July 15 on the Daily Advent over a story that first ran on and was attributed to Thomas Ward. The sensational accusation leveled at Mike Tyson was that he ignored Shannon Briggs’ defi.

    Discounting his exhibition with Roy Jones Jr, Tyson, 55, last fought in 2005. Shannon Briggs, 49, hasn’t fought a fighter with a pulse since June of 2014 when he wheezed to a 12-round decision over Raphael Zumbano, a boxer who would win only five of his next 14 fights.

    I wish that scribblers like Thomas Ward would stick to the Kardashians and leave Iron Mike alone.

    Headline: Jake Paul Would Fight Tyson Fury If He Makes 35kg Drop to Cruiserweight

    This ditty appeared on Dec. 7 in the Mirror over a story written by Harry Davies whose byline includes the notation that he is an accredited sports journalist. The impetus for the story was an interview that Jake Paul did with

    Tyson Fury weighed 277 for his trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder. A kilogram equals approximately 2.2 pounds, so a drop of 35 kg would place Fury right at the cruiserweight limit of 200. At that weight, the six-foot-nine Gypsy King would look as gaunt as a scarecrow -- and yet, for what it’s worth, he would still have the means to beat up on Jake Paul.

    I’m surprised that when Paul volunteered to fight Fury at cruiserweight that he wasn’t heralded for his bold provocation.

    Headline: EXCLUSIVE: 7 Ft. Heavyweight Giant Nikolai Valuev Rules Out Comeback

    Another contribution from the indefatigable Phil Jay at WBN, a web site that beats the pants off the competition when it comes to exclusives.

    Nikolai Valuev, who twice held the WBA version of the world heavyweight title, was 47 years old when this story ran on Feb. 17. Back in 2010, he underwent two operations for serious “bone and joint problems” and in 2011 he had a small, benign tumor removed from his brain.

    Asked about the possibility of a comeback, Valuev, who retired in 2009, had this to say: “I have never announced my return to the ring, even for exhibition fights. I do not consider this possibility.”

    From the standpoint of a story idea, this is genius. If the boss ever gets on my case for not being sufficiently productive, I will reach out to an old, retired fighter and feel him out regarding the possibility of a comeback. Larry Holmes comes quickly to mind.

    “Hey Larry, this is Arne. You probably don’t remember me, but I once asked you a question at a post-fight press conference. Anyway, the reason I am calling is to inquire whether you are plotting another comeback.”

    Larry: “Nope. Been there, done that. I’m 72 years old now and my fighting days are done. As far as another comeback, I never give it any thought.”

    And presto, there’s my story: “Larry Holmes Says He Won’t Be Returning to the Ring.” If I ever get around to writing it, remember that you read it here first.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel
    Last edited by AcidArne; 01-04-2022, 08:11 AM.

  • #2
    Let’s not forget this one: “Can Donald Trump ‘Make Boxing Great Again’ and Become its New Howard Cosell?” ✍️ 😉