Better Be Careful
Better Be Objective
Beterbiev Is The Man

By William Trillo
Photos: Mikey Williams – Top Rank

I am curious how many gambling degenerates lost their butts Saturday night while making last minute bets on Joe Smith Jr. after watching ESPN’s extremely slanted pre-fight hype before the Artur Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr. Light Heavyweight title unifier. Seriously, it seemed as if the entire cast and crew of the broadcast team were ordered to shill for Smith Jr. and say little or nothing about the undefeated Beterbiev. It was blatant and annoying.

After the fight, which Beterbiev won in a destructive performance, my phone began to light up with calls as well as texts from irate fans and more importantly fellow journalists.

“I am tired of the ESPN announcers,” said one of my peers, “They are full of sh*t. I think they should just shut up and watch the fight!”

Another chat with a fellow journalist read, “ESPN was all over the Smith Jr. bandwagon. Kriegel is an arrogant (expletive deleted).”

Another note from a highly respected boxing insider stated, “ESPN’s coverage was heavily slanted towards Smith. That was a poor decision on their part.”

Those conversations put an exclamation point on the way I was feeling during the broadcast. For whatever reason ESPN decided to make “The Common Man” Smith their poster child as they cast Beterbiev as the “opponent”. Considering Beterbiev was, and still is, the only World Champion with a 100% KO ratio, it was questionable way to go.

Equally as curious is the fact that Beterbiev’s promoter Bob Arum from Top Rank and ESPN are doing business at an impressive and lucrative clip. Although I am highly against the practice, it is very commonplace for a network to climb on board the bandwagon of the promoter they are in contract with. Which made the networks broadcast Saturday night that much more of a head scratcher.

But as we know, Beterbiev bludgeoned Smith Jr. and stopped him inside of two rounds. They may not want to admit it, but the network left Madison Square Garden with egg all over their faces.

Not to go unnoticed on the broadcast was Anthony Yarde who is the mandatory challenger for the WBO title Beterbiev just won. Come to think of it, he almost did go unnoticed. When the camera caught Yarde after the fight he was sitting in the back of the house, in the dark, and was uttering nary a peep. He certainly didn’t look like a guy who wants any part of Artur Beterbiev. And who can blame him?

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4 Responses to “Better Be Careful
Better Be Objective
Beterbiev Is The Man”

  1. tremble says:

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    You certainly understand how to bring this issue to light.
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    • William says:

      People either love me or hate me. More of the latter than the former I am sure. Hence my popularity or lack thereof.

  2. The Bozek says:

    Totally agree. However you should understand if broadcasters were totally honest about it the viewership would tumble. Come on how many Max Kellermans do you think are out there!? He was frank about saying on Live TV BEFORE the fight that Gatti vs Mayweather was a mismatch!

  3. William says:

    Again, I understand the mode of operation at the networks but in this instance their thinking was a tad askew.
    Oh by the way, where is Mad Max these days?