HBO President Rips Sports Illustrated for Lack of Boxing Coverage
Last we checked up on boxing, other than to present you the news of Old Field’s 9th loss, I was sharing with you Unsilent Majority’s great piece on the sports media burying boxing. UM’s premise was simple: Boxing is alive and well, you just wouldn’t know it because places like ESPN have it low on their agenda. Well, Unsilent isn’t the only person who feels that way. While I was handling business the other day, I read an interesting letter to the editor in Sports Illustrated that caught my attention. Here’s what it said:
I am getting a little tired of your using the “save boxing” story line every time you guys decide to cover the sport, as you did in your story on Kelly Pavlik. If boxing is dying, why did our 24/7 De La Hoya-Mayweather reality series average 4.7 million viewers a week over a four-week period? And how did the fight itself do 2.4 million buys? If boxing is dying, why is the anticipation for Calzaghe vs. Kessler, Cotto vs. Mosley, and Mayweather vs. Hatton so great? I think magazines and newspapers that characterize boxing as dying are trying to rationalize their stubbornness in not covering the sport. Boxing fans are out there in millions. You and others are just not serving their needs. We are.
Ross Greenburg, President, HBO Sports
That letter was so well put, I could not have said it better myself. Greenburg completely hit the nail on the head. And I have to give SI credit for not being too embarrassed to publish such a harsh letter; it’s not easy to not only take that type of criticism, but put it on display for millions of readers.