In past columns, I’ve attacked everything from unscrupulous boxing promoters (Don King – Bob Arum), to incompetent and biased boxing judges (take your pick), to haughty boxing honchos (Seth Abraham of HBO). But now I’m going to give you boxing fans some insight into the inner workings of the Boxing Writers Association, an organization almost seventy years old, who for years have done nothing for boxing but to give out questionable awards, sometimes to their own members.
The Boxing Writers Association (once more properly called The New York Boxing Writers Association) was formed in the middle 1920’s, and some of it’s illustrious early presidents were Nat วิจารณ์มวย Fleishcher of the “Bible of Boxing” Ring Magazine, and boxing writer Ed Sullivan, who later changed hats and gave black and white TV viewers a “Really big shew” every Sunday night at eight pm.
In the late 1970’s, I was a wide-eyed neophyte boxing writer doing a full page of boxing every Monday for the News World in New York City. In fact, I was the only full-time boxing writer employed for any daily newspaper in the city of New York. So, I summoned the courage and applied for admittance into the hallowed Boxing Writers Association.
Unfortunately, I was not met with open arms.
The old fogies in the Boxing Writes Association probably thought if your name is Joe Bruno and you were born and raised in Mafia territory in Little Italy, I had to be somehow connected to “The Boys.” They had already rid boxing of Frankie Carbo and Blinkie Palermo (two paisans who ran boxing with an iron fist and steel bullets for many years, and went to prison for their troubles), so accepting another vowel-ending member was not on the top of their list of important things to do. Yet, after careful consideration (and maybe the fear of having their knees broken), I was reluctantly issued my Boxing Writers Association membership card.
My heart fluttered, as I not sat down and broke bread with my early sports writing heroes – Red Smith and Dick Young. But I was soon shocked and dismayed to find out that the majority of the members of the Boxing Writers Association were not boxing writers at all, but in fact public relations people, most working for various boxing promoters throughout the country.
Sure, there were crack boxing scribes like Mike Katz, then of the New York Times, and Eddie Schuyler of Associated Press, but the men who carried most of the weight and made all of the decisions were the late Murray Goodman (PR person for Don King), Irving Rudd (Bob Arum), Boxing Writers recording secretary Tommy Kenville (Madison Square Garden) John Condon (Madison Square Garden), Trish McCormick (Madison Square Garden), and independent PR persons-for-hire Rich Rose, Irvin Rosey, Eddie Pitcher, Harold Conrad, Howie Dolgen and Patti Dryfus. There were more boxing press agents who were also voting members of the Boxing Writers Association, but their names and faces now escape me.