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The Ring (often called Ring Magazine) is an American boxing magazine that was first published in 1922 as a boxing and wrestling magazine. As the sporting legitimacy of professional wrestling came more into question, The Ring shifted to becoming exclusively a boxing oriented publication. The magazine is currently owned by Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Enterprises.

History

The Ring, first edited by hall-of-famer Nat Fleischer, has perpetrated boxing scandals, helped make unknown fighters famous worldwide, and covered boxing's biggest events of all time. Dan Daniel was a co-founder and prolific contributor to The Ring through most of its history. It refers to itself (and is referred to by others) as "The Bible of Boxing."

In 1977, three international versions of the magazine came out. One, the Spanish version, was named The Ring En Espanol and was published from Venezuelamarker and distributed around all Spanish-speaking countries and the United Statesmarker until 1985. There was also a Japanese version published in Tokyomarker and a French version published in Parismarker.

The magazine was taken over by flamboyant publisher Bert Randolph Sugar in 1979, who hired Randy Gordon — who would go on later that decade to become New York's boxing commissioner — as his editor-in-chief. By 1985, both Sugar and Gordon had moved on, then watched from the sidelines as The Ring nearly went bankrupt in 1989, causing the magazine to cease publication for most of the year. It rebounded under new management in 1990.

Some of the boxers featured on the magazine covers have included Andrew Golota, Salvador Sanchez, Jack Dempsey, Max Schmeling, Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jake LaMotta, Rocky Marciano, Willie Pep, Muhammad Ali, Alexis Arguello, Wilfredo Benitez, Wilfredo Gómez, Roberto Duran, Larry Holmes, Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Bud Taylor, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Thomas Hearns, Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Julio César Chávez, Félix Trinidad, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar de la Hoya, Mauro Mina, and Ricardo Mayorga. In 1977, boxer Cathy "Cat" Davis became the first and only female ever to be on a cover of The Ring. "The Ring" has used cover artwork created by famed artists such as LeRoy Neiman and Richard T. Slone

The Ring is published by London Publications, which also publishes sister magazines KO Magazine and World Boxing — former competitors of The Ring.

Golden Boy Enterprises subsidiary Sports and Entertainment Publications, LLC, a holding company whose principal shareholder is Golden Boy Promotions (established by de la Hoya), has bought Ring Magazine from the Kappa Publishing Group. Also acquired were KO, World Boxing and Pro Wrestling Illustrated. No dollar amount was disclosed. The magazine's rankings are recognized as "official" by some in the U.S. media, particularly ESPN. While some may see a conflict of interest in a boxing promoter being paymaster of what is essentially a magazine/rankings organization that awards world titles and belts, de la Hoya says that is not the case. "These magazines will be held in an editorial trust where they will be operating totally independent of any influence from me or others from the Golden Boy Companies as it relates to editorial direction or content," promises the Golden Boy. Nigel Collins remains as Editor in Chief.[12775]

The Ring champions

In 2002, The Ring attempted to clear up the confusion regarding world champions by creating a championship policy. It echoed many critics' arguments that the sanctioning bodies in charge of boxing championships had undermined the sport by pitting undeserving contenders against undeserving "champions", and forcing the boxing public to see mismatches for so-called "world championships". The Ring attempts to be more authoritative and open than the sanctioning bodies' rankings, with a page devoted to full explanations for ranking changes. A fighter pays no sanctioning fees to defend or fight for the title at stake, contrary to practices of the sanctioning bodies. Furthermore, a fighter cannot be stripped of the title unless he loses, decides to move to another weight division, or retires.

There are currently only two ways that a boxer can win The Ring's title: defeat the reigning champion; or win a box-off between the magazine's number-one and number-two rated contenders (or, sometimes, number-one and number-three rated). A vacant Ring championship is filled when the number-one contender in a weight-division battles the number-two contender or the number-three contender (in cases where The Ring determines that the number-two and number-three contenders are close in abilities and records).

The Ring's championship policy has gained the acceptance of outlets in North America such as ESPN and, to an extent, HBO; as well as being mentioned by the BBC in the United Kingdommarker.

Scandal

In 1976 The Ring magazine fabricated records of selected boxers, to elevate them, thereby securing them lucrative fights on the American ABC television network, as part of the United States Championship Tournament.

The United States Championship Tournament was a promotional effort by promoter Don King to capitalize on the patriotism surrounding the United States Bicentennial and the American amateur success at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. King's "hope" was to defeat the non-American boxers who held the vast majority of world titles below the Heavyweight division. Keeping in line with the patriotic theme of the promotion, King held shows at "patriotic" locales--such as the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, as well as on an aircraft carrier stationed off Pensacola, Florida.

Despite the above, the 1977 Ring Record Book contained the fictitious additions to the records of the boxers in question, and were never taken out of their records of the boxers. Those dubious bouts would continue to appear in subsequent Ring Record Book editions.

This Ring Record Magazine scandal was uncovered by boxing writer Flash Gordon and ABC staffer Alex Wallau. After Gordon and Wallau's evidence was presented to ABC executives the United States Championship tournament was cancelled. It lead to the eventual resignation of New York State Boxing Commissioner James Farley Jr. who had lent his name to the Championship fights and who was the son of former New York State Athletic Commissioner and former Postmaster General James Farley, who had died one year prior to the scandal. Farley had accepted a hotel room which had been furnished by King, this was used to smear Farley as dirty for accepting kickbacks, forcing his eventual resignation. No formal charges of impropriety were ever filed against Farley. The following year the Boxing Writers Association dedicated their highest honor the "James A. Farley Award", for honesty and integrity in the sport of Boxing.

Boxers involved

Boxers who participated in the tournament and given inflated records were:

See also



References

External links




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