Feb. 13, 2014
By Paul Magno
I guess this is a goodbye of sorts.
I’ve been ranting every Monday for over six years now and I’ve loved every minute of it. The Rant has made me a lot of friends and allies over the years and, of course, it has earned me a lot of enemies as well. I’ve enjoyed every single correspondence with like-minded readers and appreciated every debate with those who chose to write to me with disagreements. I’ve also gotten way too much enjoyment from rattling the fragile egos of scumbag writing “colleagues” who usually get a free pass in flaunting their ignorance and/or douchebaggery.
I’ve been one of the very few boxing writers today able to survive in the business entirely on the money earned writing. Unlike most of those writing about boxing, I’ve made my living as a full-time boxing writer. Despite an industry blacklisting and a label as a “fringe” writer at a “fringe” site, people have been reading, paying attention, and supporting those companies that DO support an independent media in boxing. And, unlike some “colleagues,” I’ve been able to make ends meet without sacrificing my integrity and without whoring myself out to promoters in exchange for quid pro quo arrangements. The Rant (along with my other work for The Boxing Tribune) has allowed me to live my dream job as a full-time writer. It has also brought me to the attention of editors and publishing houses in the non-boxing world who have given me the opportunity to work on projects that I wouldn’t have imagined possible six years ago when I was still working in gyms down here in Mexico and teaching English on the side.
Unfortunately, though, when you’re dealing from the top of the deck in boxing, generating revenue is always going to require an extreme balancing act and precision juggling skills. Because we don’t take dirty money and don’t have someone with deep pockets bankrolling the site, we always have to run in the black. Nobody can write us off as a public relations expense. And because I insist on fairly compensating our writers—without dealing in IOUs and chronically past due paychecks—it’s even more important to actually be making money as a site.
However, sometimes, shit happens. Sometimes a business partner suddenly and unexpectedly reneges on a deal and you find yourself with a fraction of the incoming revenue you should be receiving. I’m not going to go into specifics, but that’s the situation I find myself in today and it’s the reason why this is sort of a goodbye Rant.
The harsh reality is that The Boxing Tribune has to re-focus, re-group, and look for a new way to be a viable independent business. We’re looking for new sponsors and/or new benefactors who appreciate our desire to bring uncompromised, objective analysis and reporting to the boxing scene. Taking a half-step backwards will also allow us to streamline things and give our readers something even more worthy of their loyalty. Changes are already in motion and when the final product is ready to be revealed (around the second week of this coming January), I’m pretty sure most everyone will be pleasantly surprised.
In the meantime, The Boxing Tribune will be relatively silent. We’ll still be releasing some material under the Tribune banner, but full-time publishing won’t begin again until 2017. More info will be shared about these changes via our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Personally, I will be fine. My other writing projects more than pay the bills and, as a matter of fact, I’ll be off for the next couple of months or so working on something especially big. But my dream, when it comes to boxing writing, has always been to establish a site that serves as a safe haven for working writers who prefer not to be screwed out of money or handcuffed by their editor’s shady dealings; a place for honest writing and full creative freedom. I haven’t achieved that dream entirely, not yet anyway, but I also haven’t given up on it and won’t be giving up anytime soon. So, this is Rant is more of a “see you later” than a goodbye.
Whether the Monday Rant returns when I dive back into the boxing world remains to be seen, but I can guarantee you that the spirit will live on. After some nasty and soul crushing dalliances with working for “the man” in the “mainstream” boxing media, I’ve learned that anything worth attaching my name to must be a reflection of what’s really in my heart and soul. If I’m a hack, I have to be an honest hack or it’s simply not worth my time to put pen to paper.
Thanks to all of you—the loyal regulars, the curious casuals, the secret readers, and even the lunatic stalkers—for giving me a chance to be heard. I hope that, at the very least, I’ve given you food for thought and an occasional chuckle or two. To think that I’ve literally reached millions of eyeballs in such a short span of time without the benefit of a high traffic site or the support of the industry, well, it’s humbling and supremely encouraging. Know that everything I’ve written, whether you liked it or not, accepted it or rejected it, has come from an honest place. I shall return…
Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also buy his book, Notes from the Boxing Underground! Paul is a full member of the Burger King Kids’ Club, a born iconoclast, and an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church.