Tampa Bay Sports Day

Promoters: Get rid of the imposters at ringside

So here is the situation, another issue that has to be addressed. But it is not an issue this time in the boxing ring. It is the continued negligence of boxing publicity personnel, hired by the promoters who continually credential imposters to do supposed work at ringside.

And this writer, with 28 years of experience as a reputed sports journalist, is tired of the garbage and professionalism not being granted. The latest occurred this past Saturday evening at a Main Events/Ziggy Promotions card of boxing at the Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey.

There should be standards drawn as to who deserves ringside press access. And those with experience, one here who files copy on deadline, was a victim of being put in an unworkable auxiliary work area. The imposters, those who don’t file copy, and are more tuned to be a boxing fan received ringside access.

Call it being spoiled, or for that matter a bitter legitimate working member of the media, but there has to be a line drawn. There is a difference from being an imposter and from being a legitimate and credited sports journalist. But not like years ago, when there was no internet, it has become that much easier for the imposters to do their thing.

This reporter has covered boxing, as well as all sports for a good part of 28 years. That has included major championship fights, as well as The Super Bowl, numerous post season and World Series, the National Hockey League, NBA and so on.

And it can be recalled the first few years, especially at boxing events, it was a privilege to gain access even if it meant being placed in an auxiliary press area. There were no laptops then and deadline was done on the phone, on hard copy with a typewriter and fax machine. You earn your dues getting to ringside, just like a fighter earning his shot at a championship fight.

So Saturday evening it continued to get worse. A so-called journalist, Robert Brizel who carries a small Nikon camera around his neck has come on the scene. One of those imposters who has a business card that claims he is also a ringside bucket man, known as a second man in the corner around boxing circles.

Oh, he also publishes a web site one that needs no mention here. But he gets ringside access Saturday evening, and has been at ringside recently for some other New York boxing shows. And what does he do? He annoys people at ringside, seeks autographs, takes photos with fighters and other boxing officials, and annoys those there working as legitimate members of the media.

He is not the only culprit. There are others and they deprive those credible journalists, legitimate, a seat at ringside. You see, today with the internet anyone can create a web site and apply for credentials. Except the real pro publicity personnel, like Ed Keenan, who handles most of the big fights for Top Rank, won’t let the imposters get their way.

In essence, imposters can get their way for now. It will hopefully come to an end soon if the other promoters and publicity personnel scrutinize the credential requests with more efficiency.

It was an insult to this journalist Saturday night in Newark. So what did a reputed journalist do? Finally not put up with the humiliation and walk out. Dropped the credential at the same table where it was received and waited for the results on the internet as to who won the heavyweight tilt between Tomasz Adamek and Michael Grant.

Oh by the way, I am still waiting for the imposter Brizel to provide a report.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com