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First boxing match

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TyWebb, May 20, 2007.

  1. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    I've covered just about every other sport except boxing, and I am doing so in early June. I have a fan's knowledge of the sport but no personal experience to draw from.

    Any advice? I'm reading whatever I can on other Web sites, but I'm not sure what else I can do.
  2. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    use the word "bout" in your story. Don't wear good clothes if you're sitting ringside, the boxer slime stains. Don't expect the promoter to tell you the truth. Don't bother interviewing the loser if he still is knocked out.
  3. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    Never covered it myself, but the only piece of advice I've ever been told should I end up doing so someday sticks out pretty well in my mind:

    "Never wear white."
  4. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Try to learn as much as you can about the fighters in the featured bouts. If you have the time, go to the weigh-in and pre-fight press conferences and open workouts. Try to get a feel for each guy's styles.
    If you can, get their official records from Fightfax (I don't know their web site and it will cost you to get their records, but they're the most accurate source in the business. Boxrec.com is a good free source, but not quite as accurate) because it's not unusual for promoters to lie about records, especially those of the "opponents," the guys who are paid to come in and face the local guys. Above all, make sure you can somehow independently verify a fighter's record before reporting it.
    In the fight itself, just try to focus on the flow of the action, who landed the harder blows and when. Make note of any cuts or marks on a fighter and what caused them and any knockdowns and what punch caused them.
    Many commissions supply the media with copies of the master scoresheet after the featured bouts so you can see how each judge scored each round. Remember, the judges are watching 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 one-round fights so one really big round by one fighter might not be enough to outweigh his opponent's dominance in the other 11.
    To learn about scoring, pick up a booklet called You be the Boxing Judge by Tom Kaczmarek.

    Here's the link. I have the booklet but it's also available in DVD and VHS.

  5. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    Additionally, take notes on a couple of prelim bouts for practice; score 'em too. 10-9, 10-8 if it's lopsided with a knockdown. If it's a big fight, you probably won't get locker room access so rely on quotes fed by a PR guy - often the loser's quotes are better than the winner's. And if it's a Don King production, skip his post-fight presser. It is beyond a waste of time.
  6. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Read this -- one of Plimpton's best:

  7. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    I second everything Smallpotatoes said. One other thing: Be prepared for a late night, especially if it's a King card.
  8. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Unless it's on live TV be prepared for the card to start at least a half-hour after its scheduled start time.
  9. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Keep your hands up.

    Stick and move.
  10. rokski2

    rokski2 New Member

    Tons of good advice here. A number of judges try to break each 3 minute round down into 3 separate 1-minute periods as well, which they use to help them decide who to give a close round. If you have the time and inclination, many fighters on the rise have earlier bouts on YouTube or other video sites. This can potentially give you a feel for their style and strengths and weaknesses.

    More good advice. Watching a couple of prelim fights will get your eyes in the "mode" of looking for punches and the other criteria for scoring a fight. A multiple-knockdown round can also sometimes lead to a 10-7 score for the round.

    Here's another piece of advice: Make sure you get a copy of/are briefed on the rules of the particular boxing commission which is sanctioning the fight. Most boxing rules are standard, but there are certain differences such as: 1) Standing 8-counts or not, 3-knockdown rule (in a round) or not, can the final bell prevent a knockout (if the fighter is down from a knockdown) or not, etc.

    Have fun. Boxing matches are very unique events, even in the testosterone-laden world of sports. Some weigh-ins prove as entertaining as the fight itself, with all the trash talking, hard looks and boasting. Enjoy!
  11. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Lots of good advice here. Like others have said, keep your own scorecard, go to the weigh-ins, etc. Boxing is, far and away, the most fun I've had covering a sport. Only done a few small-time cards, but the fighters usually have some great back stories and are usually pretty talkative even after they get their ass handed to them.
    I covered one fight with a guy named Limmy Young, who is Joe Louis' grandson. Based on his name, he was the featured fighter in the main event. Unfortunately, he didn't inherit Joe's talent and got knocked out in the first or second round. Afterward, he's pacing outside his dressing room with a surprised look on his face, and out of nowhere exclaims, "I got knocked the fuck out!"
    That made it a lot easier to ask how it happened.
  12. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    If you are sitting ringside, expect to be spattered by blood and sweat.
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