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DIGGING DEEP: Esteemed Bert Sugar Dead, Unesteemed Margarito Undead

Posted on 03/26/2012

By Ivan G. Goldman

Bert Sugar was a great promoter of world-famous Bert Sugar, yet unlike so many cleverly marketed commodities that lack substance (sugary beers, crippling athletic shoes, thieving, incompetent banks, etc.), Bert was solid at his core. He actually knew what he was talking about and could talk about it well. That’s why his fellow journalists (me included) interviewed him. He was an astute analyst.

In a fight game teeming with fascinating characters, Bert still stood out. Some practically beatified boxing analysts find one or two provocative points to make about a particular topic and never seem to look for more. They just repeat the same crap over and over until the commercial break and then come back to it again while you’re thinking it would probably be more entertaining to listen to Mitt Romney sing America the Beautiful.

But Bert could say something worthwhile and then something else worthwhile and keep doing it right off the top of his head, using polished English sentences. And now, in the spirit of the great Bert Sugar, I won’t belabor the point and will go on to the next topic. But I do wish he were still around.

Without segue, the next subject is me. That is, what am I doing at Boxing Insider? Aren’t I supposed to be annoying readers in my monthly column at Ring? Well, maybe it was just a misunderstanding on my part, but as far as I can tell, Ring fired me. Can’t say for sure because nobody called to tell me exactly, but I’ve picked up plenty of hints. For example, they don’t send me any more checks. It’s kind of like coming home and your stuff is out on the lawn, your girlfriend has changed the locks, cleaned out the bank account, and is just now releasing the hounds. Hmm, wonder what’s happening here?

If you haven’t read it, my exit from Ring is described in an article I wrote for The Columbia Journalism Review that explains how Golden Boy bought a faltering yet revered magazine cheap, gradually made it a promotional mouthpiece for its fights and fighters, and then, in a night of the long knives, fired editor-in-chief Nigel Collins and just about his whole crew, including me. The link to that article is here.

If you look it over, you will notice that within the piece I said goodbye to boxing. So what am I doing here? Simple. When’s the last time you saw a boxing guy retire just once?

It’s late, I just made the deal to write for this spunky website a few hours ago, and I’m dizzy from a fresh weekend round of horrific officiating. Not to mention the fact that New Jersey patient John Ray Wilson has to do five years for growing marijuana plants to treat his MS while master of plaster Antonio Margarito walks around free and can still find a spot on a boxing card. There’s much to do.


Goldman’s next novel, Isaac: A Modern Fable, will be out from Permanent Press in April. It’s already on Amazon and can be pre-ordered at bookstores everywhere. Publishers Weekly called it a “fast-paced . . . entertaining read full of weighty, nuanced questions about faith, fate, and what makes life precious.”

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