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A BOXING LIFER AND THE MERCHANTS OF MISINFORMATION || FIGHTHYPE.COM

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NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: A BOXING LIFER AND THE MERCHANTS OF MISINFORMATION

Misinformation is currency in boxing. 

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone even remotely aware of how the business operates and how, on a very related side note, how the media (and, now, social media) is often used to control narratives. 

Today, I’m just going to be focusing on one such incident, but you could look through any major boxing news site and (correctly) point out that pretty much everything is strategically planted there to sway public discourse by someone in the business with a vested interest in getting their “side” seen in a positive light.

The whole recent Canelo/Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) story, though, is the above reality, times a hundred. 

Back in early February, self-described “International Agent, Broker, & Consultant” and “boxing lifer” Rick Glaser, who has recently built some degree of career momentum as a very vocal Anti-Al Haymon/PBC social media voice, started talking up the “deep financial turmoil” inside the PBC organization. This, despite the previously announced partnership between the company and Amazon Prime Video.

In the real world, Glaser is best known for his work in illegally rolling back odometers as a used car salesman. In the boxing world, some have actually accepted his word as “insider” fact.

So, when Glaser seized upon the opportunity of an upcoming “big announcement” from Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to insist that the Mexican star would be announcing his split with PBC one fight into a reported three-fight deal (because an utterly “broke” PBC couldn’t guarantee his purse), way too many people accepted this as something other than wishful thinking. 

As things would turn out, Canelo’s announcement was simply an affirmation of a re-signed deal with TV Azteca in Mexico. 

About two weeks later, though, news outlets began reporting that Alvarez had “split” from PBC and was now headed back to previous broadcaster DAZN. 

Glaser and his band of true believers took victory laps. Victor Conte newsletter writer and one-time ESPN add-on Steve Kim (who has been a long-time Al Haymon-obsessed antagonist) touted Glaser as a “hero” who “stood steadfast against all naysayers” and was now fully “vindicated.” 

Except…not.

A few days later, it was confirmed that Alvarez would be fighting fellow Mexican Jaime Munguia on May 4, under the PBC banner on a pay-per-view event available through Amazon Prime Video, with DAZN (Munguia’s broadcast home) granted the rights to also sell the fight on their platform.

This news set forth a couple of weeks of hot debate among fans as to what had actually happened between the time Canelo “split” with PBC and when he apparently “came back.”

Glaser would take a deep dive into fantasy land to explain his wild incorrectness, spinning a tale on Twitter/X about DAZN lead promoter Eddie Hearn having “highly insulted” Alvarez manager/trainer Eddy Reynoso during negotiations, thereby killing the possibility of an exclusive deal with DAZN and facilitating Alvarez’s return to PBC.

And, yeah, some people actually bought that, too.

Just this past week, however, Reynoso, himself, finally brought the truth to light.

“It was said many times that we left PBC…We never left PBC,” Reynoso told ESPN Deportes in a video interview. “We have the approval of Mr. Haymon that if we can’t finalize anything with one of their fighters, we can negotiate with any company. Which is what we did and PBC is also involved. We have a commitment to PBC in September. Sometimes they (PBC) don’t have the best fighters for Canelo. We can talk with Eddie Hearn, Top Rank, with any fighter, people of Saudi Arabia too.”

So, here’s the checklist of what’s what in this whole scenario:

– Canelo never “left” PBC. “Leaving” would be meaningless, anyway, in a deal where Canelo has the right to negotiate elsewhere at any time.

– Canelo never “came back” to PBC (because he never actually left).

– None of this was ever about finances, PBC being broke, or money not put “in escrow” by “guarantors” as Glaser had insisted.

– The mainstream boxing media had gotten the story incorrect as well.

Actually, underneath all the nonsense and partisan beefing, we see a pretty good pro-fighter arrangement in place between Canelo and PBC, a company which has been blasted by its critics as being non-cooperative in making cross-company fights. The Mexican star can pretty much come and go as he pleases, with, presumably, PBC having first dibs on making him a fight offer. 

This Reynoso revelation (and a previous revelation from Canelo) highlights the reality that the stories planted in the media and social media about this alleged split were entirely fictitious. And you’d be naive to think that there weren’t agendas behind this fiction being pushed to the public.

I’d expect nothing less of a convicted hustler with an anti-Haymon/PBC ax to grind like Glaser or a guy like Kim, who’s been engaged in some weirdo race/culture war via (of all things) boxing. Screws and nuts will be screws and nuts. 

You can’t really be mad at casual boxing fandom, either. Most simply don’t know enough about the inner workings of things to have a valid viewpoint or be able to determine fact from bullshit. And if their only source of info is from media and social media? Well, yeah, good luck being informed.

But the actual “real” media that DOES have a general understanding of how things work and should be wary of passing along misinformation? Shame on them. Then again, when many of those media people work for companies owned by PBC’s direct competition, like, for example, the Golden Boy-owned RingTV/Ring Magazine, maybe some of that “they should’ve known better” could be “they DID know better, but ran with the story anyway.” Hell, I’ve heard unsubstantiated rumors about Glaser actually serving as a “source” to at least a couple of the big-shot media voices. 

But let’s be realistic here. It’s hard to make money in boxing media and most everyone looking to pay bills and put food on their family’s table with media gigs has had to flirt with conflict of interest. Boxing companies are really the only ones handing out anything resembling substantial paychecks. It’s up to each media member to decide how far that affects their work. In my case, I do freelance nuts-and-bolts fight previews for PBC. At the same time, though, I’ve criticized the company’s business model when necessary and have gone Magno-deep in blasting certain PBC fighters– like once comparing Deontay Wilder’s boxing style to that of a drunken tranny fighting at 2 AM in a Dunkin Donuts parking lot or remarking that Jermell Charlo, in his one-sided loss to Canelo, carried himself with the traumatized reluctance of someone who had just been prison raped. 

I don’t care which is your “favorite” boxing company or your “most hated” boxing company– although having a “favorite” or “most hated,” in and of itself, is pretty stupid, in my opinion. It’s a bit like pledging forever loyalty to Burger King via proxy war with McDonald’s. Consumers do themselves a great disservice by blindly siding with a brand and declaring forever-war on that brand’s competition.

Personally, I don’t care if any of these guys go out of business. My life doesn’t change one bit with the rise and/or fall of PBC, Top Rank, Golden Boy, etc. For me, this is about being right, being correct, being fair. It’s about speaking on issues when you have the actual facts straight or, at the very least, have a marginal understanding of what’s actually going on. 

As for the fans looking out over this media/social media mess, trying to make sense of it all? 

Common sense goes a long way. If someone’s entire shtick is “I’m out to get such and such company, force them out of existence,” why the hell would you believe any “news” they “break” regarding that particular company? And if a smear is passed along by those with the same “out to get them” leanings and/or by media people working for the target’s direct competition, again, why would you not come to the conclusion that, maybe, what you’re hearing is to be questioned?

At the end of the day, the boxing world would be a whole lot brighter and happier if boxing fans just followed boxing, like they used to do. 

Fans need to leave the “my company vs. your company” self-sabotaging nonsense aside. They need to disregard the media/social media voices stirring that shit up for personal gain and/or to satisfy some deep-seated psychological issues. 

And Rick Glaser needs to go back to selling used cars, where his bull-shittery only affects one consumer at a time and not an entire industry. 

Got something for Magno? Send it here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

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