By Ivan G. Goldman
The crackup at Ring magazine and its RingTV website is turning into something worse. The Ring’s Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall and appears to be oozing life.
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, which owns Ring, late in the day released a press statement that scolded his own people for releasing what he said was inaccurate information about Lamont Peterson, who happens to be promoted by Golden Boy.
Using an unnamed source, Ring had put out a story on the Web accusing Peterson of testing positive for banned substances. Schaefer’s statement didn’t precisely name Ring as the culprit he was railing against, but it was RingTV that had hastily gone onto the Web with the accusation.
First “The Bible of Boxing” said flat-out Peterson tested positive, then it added the word “allegedly” in an updated story. Later it watered the allegation down further by saying maybe it was Kendall Holt that tested positive, and then it removed the story altogether.
Schaefer’s press release, datelined from Washington, D.C. although Golden Boy is headquartered in Los Angeles, said, “Contrary to earlier erroneous media reports, Lamont Peterson did not fail a post-fight drug test following his successful IBF Junior Welterweight World Championship defense against Kendall Holt on Friday, February 22 in Washington, DC. In fact, Peterson tested negative for all banned substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Full Menu as well as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and luteinizing hormone (LH).”
Said Schaefer in the release, “Today’s incident exemplifies the importance of accurate fact checking prior to reporting news. Golden Boy Promotions looks forward to Lamont Peterson’s next fight and furthering his career.”
The Ring site, eating enormous helpings of crow, said late in the day after Schaefer’s scolding, “Relying on a claim made by a source that refused to be named,” that it had “erroneously reported earlier today that Lamont Peterson tested positive for the banned substance human chorionic gonadotropin. The Ring has since learned that Lamont Peterson’s drug test … was negative in all respects.” It apologized to Peterson “and those close to him” but not to Holt, which could be a big mistake.
The accusing Ring articles had created a big stir in the boxing world, especially since Peterson had tested positive for a banned substance once before. A second bad test could have put him on a longtime suspension, jeopardized his IBF junior welterweight title, and created all sorts of other horrors, including cancellation of a title fight in May.
Peterson is scheduled to defend his title against Lucas Matthysse May 18 in Atlantic City. Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone last year in a random test, killing a May 19, 2012 Golden Boy card in Las Vegas. He was to be matched against Golden Boy’s Amir Khan.
The original RingTV story alleged Peterson tested positive for HCG after stopping Holt in the eighth round. It was an excellent fight on ESPN2 that could have gone either way until Peterson took control. HCG can be used as part of a PEDs regimen as the athlete tails off from testosterone injections. Both substances are banned as performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
BoxingInsider.com apologizes to both Holt and Peterson, but there is no way to write about their innocence without discussing the accusations from Golden Boy’s own RingTV site.
In September 2011 Golden Boy fired editor-in-chief Nigel Collins and most of his editorial crew as it took firmer editorial control of its own media property. It named Michael Rosenthal as Collins’s replacement. Golden Boy disliked Collins and his crew for trying to print facts it didn’t approve of. (Full disclosure, I was part of Collins’s fired crew) The replacements put out rumors that look to be false. Their eventual fate and that of the magazine/Website can only be guessed at.
BoxingInsider.com and other media have contacted the Washington commission in an effort to get its direct statement on the drug tests, so far without a response.
Again, Rosenthal and his people need to make two lists — “Fighters We’re Paid to Say Nice Things about,” and “Fighters We’re Paid to Say Bad Things about” and be especially aware never to mix up the two. This wasn’t the first time that Golden Boy’s allegiance to its promotional business and its allegiance to its media properties came into conflict. The new stain on the company renews attention to facts Golden Boy would rather forget and throws Humpty Dumpty goo all over them.
Ivan G. Goldman’s boxing novel The Barfighter was nominated as a 2009 Notable Book by the American Library Association. Information HERE