Showtime gets it right
Updated: November 6, 2007, 1:45 PM ETBy Dan Rafael
Your weekly random thoughts • Anyone who reads my blogs or chat transcripts knows how truly irritated I have been in recent weeks with Showtime for hyping Antonio Tarver, who holds a meaningless title belt, as "light heavyweight champion." The network was doing it in promotional materials and on-air promos advertising his Dec. 1 appearance on the network against Danny Green (who has since withdrawn from the fight), when Tarver is no more a legitimate world champion than my 4-year-old niece. I had my say on the topic, some might say in brutal fashion. But I received a lot of feedback from boxing fans who agreed with my point of view -- that Showtime should not give credence to fringe organizations and tout fraudulent champions at a time when the glut of abominable sanctioning organizations threaten the sport. Frankly, I didn't receive a single comment from anyone disagreeing. In fact, I know of at least one prominent boxing writer who read what I wrote and forwarded his comments to Showtime, respectfully telling the folks there, in part, "To call Tarver-Green a 'world championship' fight demeans the real champions, encourages the proliferation of phony belts (which water down your product), and insults the intelligence of your paying subscribers." Well, whether it was fan outcry, my blog outburst last week or just common sense, I have to give Showtime credit, namely executive producer David Dinkins Jr. (yes, the son of the former New York City mayor) for seeing the light and finally changing its tune. During last Saturday night's Showtime broadcast, Steve Albert finally referred to Tarver as "former champion" during a promo for the upcoming card. About time. All's well that end's well. • All hail Joe Calzaghe, king of the super middleweights. Was that a sensational performance against Mikkel "Where's Waldo?" Kessler, or what?
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