When Bob Arum made a deal to take Manny Pacquiao to Showtime for a single fight with Shane Mosley in 2011, Ross Greenburg, largely regarded boxing’s most powerful person, was pressured into resigning from his post as president of HBO Sports after 33 years for failing to retain the broadcast rights to one of the sport’s biggest stars.
With Tuesday’s announcement by Leonard Ellerbe that Floyd Mayweather has signed a multi-fight deal with Showtime, new president Ken Hershman has lost his network’s biggest boxing asset to their biggest rival after only a single year on the job. Making matters especially bitter is that prior to his appointment as President of HBO Sports, Hershman spent nine years overseeing Showtime Sports, the second biggest boxing broadcaster. His hiring to run HBO’s sports programming was a surprise given his very public criticism of the network before he began working there.
On February 11th, 1990, James “Buster” Douglas, an astounding 42 to 1 underdog, knocked out undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson in the tenth round of their title fight in front 50,000 spectators at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. In the 23 years since this occurred, the knockout has been cited on multiple occasions as one of the biggest upsets in sports history.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t Grantland to which Jorge Luis Borges was referring when he wrote:
Writing long [form] is a laborious and impoverishing act of foolishness: expanding in five hundred pages an idea that could be perfectly explained in a few minutes. A better procedure is to … offer a summary, a commentary.
I enjoy a good read. I even enjoy a good, long read. More often than not though, I enjoy that good, long read in theory more than in practice. I’ve grown accustomed to a certain amount of efficiency in the content I consume. There are times when reading a 2,500 word piece comparing a certain sports event to a corresponding piece of popular culture simply isn’t practical, no matter how appealing the byline might read. It’s these stories that end up in internet purgatory, a tab in my browser that doesn’t get read.
And so, for the sake of all those like me, I thought I’d spend some time each week and read through the pieces that would normally be the wallflower equivalents of internet narrative journalism. Below you’ll find summaries of the best long-form pieces that made the rounds this week.