Editorial Farewell: A Fond Adieu

Whether ringside at a world heavyweight title bout, immersed in archival research, interviewing real-life heroes, or grappling with promoters, my time at Boxing News has been an unparalleled privilege.

Today, with a heavy heart, I write my final column as editor for my cherished BN. The task of penning this farewell is immensely challenging, akin to being unexpectedly handed a microphone before a roomful of expectant faces. The right words elude me, though they clamor for expression within.

I hold deep admiration for everything Boxing News has represented over its 115-year journey, firmly believing its relevance remains as vital today as it was at its inception. Thus, bidding adieu is wrenching, but it is time for me to step aside. I extend my heartfelt wishes to those now guiding BN’s future.

To write for and then lead BN was the realization of childhood dreams. The shy 10-year-old who filled A4 notebooks with makeshift boxing magazines would marvel at what he became. I am immensely proud of this journey. Yet, to proclaim undiluted adoration for every moment in this role would be disingenuous.

I’ve long held that BN’s role in the sport is profound: to champion boxing’s triumphs and serve as its moral compass. Perhaps I’ve taken this too literally at times during my tenure, but I harbor no regrets for endeavoring to effect positive change. Advocating for the sport while confronting its shortcomings, all in pursuit of improvement, exacted a toll, especially when the thankless nature of the role became glaringly apparent.

I remain steadfast in my belief that boxing, at its core, is the noblest and most thrilling of sports, second only to football in its potential reach. Collaboration among its stakeholders, driven by this shared vision, holds the key to unlocking its full potential. The landscape in 2024 offers a glimmer of hope in this regard. Yet, true contentment remains elusive, and boxing will always grapple with its inherent flaws. Challenging entrenched norms for the greater good, while celebrating its magnificence, should be integral to BN’s ethos.

Critics have accused me of undue negativity. Yet, reflecting on our accomplishments during my tenure, the strides taken and battles fought, I am confident that discerning minds will understand the necessity of critical commentary within our pages. It swiftly became apparent that, though our audience may not always number in the hundreds of thousands, virtually everyone with the capacity to influence boxing reads Boxing News.

Drawing from a lifetime of affinity for this publication, engagement with subscribers, digital insights, and awareness of boxing’s real-world reputation, I recognize that articles imbued with authenticity resonated most. In an era of publishing challenges, I drew inspiration from esteemed journals that flourished by remaining true to their values, presenting unique narratives with thoughtful prose, and valuing their readership. I trust that the campaigns we initiated and the stories that endure will be those that dared to make a difference. Indeed, the essence of compelling writing lies in provoking thought. My foremost allegiance has always been to you, loyal reader, and none other.

The greatest joy is witnessing boxing’s moments of perfection, which occur frequently. Ringside at fights destined for eternity, as improbable narratives unfold before my eyes, evokes unparalleled exhilaration. Every such moment harkens back to the 10-year-old boy I once was. My gratitude to both past and present boxers knows no bounds.

Crafting issues around monumental fights brought far greater pleasure than grappling with failed drug tests, fatalities, corrupt rankings, mismatches, or the sport’s darker underbelly. Unfortunately, such challenges were prevalent during my tenure, and we addressed them with the integrity befitting BN. My sole desire has always been the betterment of the sport and its athletes, driving us to produce heartfelt issues consistently. I shall miss that late-Tuesday feeling when pages are sent, covers admired, and the realization dawns that we’ve succeeded once more.

Not every cover pleased everyone. I learned this early on when featuring Eddie Hearn on the cover, highlighting the rising rates and costs of pay-per-views in British boxing. It was, to me, an issue of importance. Yet, I failed to anticipate the offense taken by Frank Warren, a rival promoter, who felt slighted. This incident taught me an early lesson in the intricacies of the role.

In essence, to embody the spirit of John Murray, BN’s founder who envisioned “good clean sport,” is to brace oneself for endless challenges. Amidst the clamor for attention, unwarranted offense, critiques of honest opinions, and resistance to new ideas, indifference to noise and criticism proves the greatest asset.

Equally invaluable is the team. To Nick Bond, Elliot Worsell, John Dennen, Paul Wheeler, George Gigney, Oliver Fennell, Shaun Brown, I extend my deepest gratitude for your belief in me. Our collective dedication and journalistic prowess culminated in seven British Sports Journalism Awards and BN’s dominance at the Boxing Writers Association of America Awards for four consecutive years. It has been an honor to showcase the work of esteemed boxing writers and to forge relationships with luminaries like Don McRae, Thomas Hauser, Steve Bunce, Nigel Collins, Springs Toledo, Carlos Ace

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