Talk Talk – Boxing On The Web

BY Marc Lichtenfeld ON January 30, 2005
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“All you do to me is talk talk
talk talk, talk talk
All you do to me is talk talk” – Talk Talk


The internet is a fantastic creation. I can spend hours a day getting my boxing news, reading opinions, or checking out photos of insecure women who will feel better about themselves if I rate them an 8 or above. (Note to all insecure women who might be reading this – you’ve got to be pretty hot stuff to get an 8+ from me. I’ve got high standards.)

One of the nuisances of the internet is the information overload. Believe me. I’d rather have too many sources of information than too few. But the fact of the matter is you still have to wade through a bunch of useless junk in order to get to relevant material.

With the emergence of many boxing websites, all trying to beat each other to the punch with breaking news and interviews, I’m starting to find that the interviews, especially, have become about as informative as an Enron press release.

This is not a knock on the various websites who run these pieces. I know that the writers work hard at chasing down their subjects and getting the interview up on the web as fast as they can. It’s just that I don’t need to read three interviews in a week with Jose Rivera. But that’s not even my real beef. After all, if I don’t care what Rivera has to say, then I don’t have to read it.

My problem is that the fighters rarely have anything interesting to say. I’m bored to tears reading these interviews. Part of the fault lies with the questions being asked. It seems that these days boxing writers, particularly those on the internet, almost never ask a tough question. One interview I read recently started with the question, “What’s good?” Before reading another word I was certain the answer was not going to be “This interview.”

The interviews always seem to read the same way. The fighter says he’s in great shape and is ready. He doesn’t have anything against his opponent but is going to a) knock him out early or b) stick to his game plan. He doesn’t care if he’s fighting in the other guy’s hometown, it won’t matter. But if he’s fighting in his own hometown, it will give him an extra boost. He’s not worried about the other guy’s style, he’ll make the opponent adapt. He’s got no distractions or if he does have distractions, he’s able to just focus on what he needs to do for the fight.

Of course when they lose they claim they had some personal problems that didn’t allow them to train like they should, but now it’s all good.

Unless you’re reading a James Toney interview, that’s basically what you’ll get from just about every other boxer. Perhaps it was like this in the old days and I’m just too young to remember. Or perhaps the boxers, who are now bombarded with interview requests, have become more media savvy and give their canned quotes just like politicians and other professional athletes.

I’m not even sure what the answer is. You can’t have too many lives of the party, otherwise the party gets real loud and anything interesting gets lost in the noise. But with James Toney and Bernard Hopkins closer to the twilights than to the primes of their careers, I’m hoping someone will step up and be interesting. And if they can be a hell of a fighter too, that wouldn’t hurt.

JABS

- I think part of the reason that Glen Johnson has received so many pats on the back from the media is because of how he treats the media. While Johnson certainly earned his laurels and his hard luck story is inspiring, there are many members of the media who were just plain happy to write about a guy who treats everyone with respect. Johnson always makes everyone feel important, even if he only has time to talk for a minute. Fans and writers really feel like they connect with him when they meet him.

- I’m very disappointed that the Kelvin Davis–O’Neill Bell fight on the undercard of Spinks–Judah was scrapped. Davis looked sensational when he won the title nine months ago. I was excited about a cruiserweight fight for the first time in my life. I expected Davis to become a star. He’s still young, but let’s get on with it.

- Ouma -Jantuah was a big letdown, but only because Kassim Ouma was so dominant. The way he walked through Jantuah’s big right hands, the IBF champ proved he is a major force to be reckoned with at 154-pounds. No wonder Winky Wright has avoided him all this time.

Until next time, obey my commands and protect yourself at all times.

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