By Paul Magno | January 02, 2023

Just warning you, but this isn’t going to be anything remotely close to a good will, Happy New Year type of column. I’m not sure where I’ll end up by the time I stop writing, but I’m pretty certain that a good number of you won’t be happy. I’m pretty sure it’ll probably be even harder to make a living after today’s column. People don’t like to hear the truth these days, they don’t like to have a mirror held up in front of them. But, guess what? I’m kind of out of options in this professional life, anyway, and as Bob Dylan once said, “When you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose.”

Last Wednesday, as you all know, Gervonta Davis was arrested and charged with one count of domestic abuse. Davis has denied striking his baby’s mother/girlfriend. The 911 call made that evening, where the young woman was pleading for protection, was chilling. Davis’ baby’s mother/girlfriend has since  gone public, denying that she was abused and claiming via social media statement that she made an “unnecessary call to law enforcement” in an “intense” moment when she was “frantic.” Police reports, however, indicate that she had sustained some bodily harm (“a small abrasion to the inside of her upper lip on the right side of her mouth”) caused by a “closed hand type slap.” 

So, what are we supposed to believe? What do we do? 

Nothing and nothing. That’s what. We don’t do a goddamn thing because we don’t really know a goddamn thing. This isn’t hard, people. Nobody but those personally involved in the incident know what happened. Unless you are Gervonta Davis, his girl, or someone who directly witnessed what happened, you don’t know shit. And, no, police reports can’t be trusted entirely, either. 

What’s wrong with people? Why does everyone have to jump on social media and make instant hot take judgments with zero actual knowledge of anything? That level of stupidity is kind of funny when it comes to big fight negotiations, when fans and media run their mouths and take sides with zero real knowledge of what’s happened behind closed office doors. But it’s not one bit humorous when it comes down to something as serious as what went down Wednesday. 

Seriously, if you don’t know shit, you don’t say shit. Just let the legal system sort things out, let the family sort things out. Leave everyone the fuck alone because, again, we don’t know shit about what really happened. There’s not one single fucker in any social media boxing group qualified to be a domestic violence social worker. 

But here’s the REALLY fucked up part. These social media virtue signallers (who supposedly HATE virtue signalling) only go hard SOMETIMES. And they calibrate their outrage based on whatever personal agendas they wield, exploiting a sad familial incident to settle their peculiar grudge because said fighter is with the “wrong” manager, adviser, promoter, etc...or maybe they’re the “wrong” race...or, maybe, they’re acting the “wrong” way as a member of a certain race. I can’t answer the “why” when it comes to the selective outrage, but they DO pick and choose their outrage based on factors other than the sins allegedly committed. 

And how can I say this with such certainty? 

Because their self-righteous moral indignation only gets cranked up SOMETIMES, for certain fighters. As I wrote in a piece for another site:

“Self-awareness and a sense of irony are apparently not strong points in some of Davis’ harshest critics, who routinely post weepy-eyed social media tributes to guys like Diego Corrales and Arturo Gatti while insisting that Davis’ ring existence be tainted forever for both real and alleged transgressions.

The late Corrales, hailed for his ring heroics, assaulted his pregnant wife back in 2000, breaking her collarbone and bruising her spine in an attack the deputy district attorney assigned to the case called ‘absolutely brutal.’ Arturo Gatti was, similarly, tied to several accusations of domestic abuse.

And we don’t have to stop at modern day fan favorites Corrales and Gatti. How about Sugar Ray Robinson, Jake LaMotta, Marvin Hagler, Joe Frazier, Jack Johnson? Middleweight great Carlos Monzon was convicted of strangling his wife to the point of unconsciousness and then murdering her by throwing her off a balcony. We could go through a list of all-time boxing greats and a good number, if not most, would have some history of abuse against women.

If Wednesday’s pro-woman/anti-abuse set were truly consistent in their beliefs, their list of he-man heroes would be pruned considerably. Hell, these moralists probably shouldn’t be boxing fans at all.”

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated and DAZN showcased this hypocrisy via a foghorn of a virtue signal, in a clutching-at-his-pearls Sports Illustrated piece titled: “Boxing Must Take a Stand After Gervonta Davis Arrest” 

While asking the cosmos, “Where is boxing,” when it comes to dealing with violence against women, he showcases the same horse-blinder observational skills that lead to him making ridiculous comments like: “Jermall Charlo-Demetrius Andrade is the biggest fight that can be made in boxing...over Errol Spence and Terence Crawford, over Tyson Fury against Usyk or Joshua.”

As a member of the DAZN team, Mannix works frequently alongside Oscar De La Hoya, who has been tied to several accusations of sexual assault. He’s also called bouts featuring Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz, who’s been accused of illicit activity involving a minor. He’s appeared on screen, alongside Max Kellerman, who has admitted to his own instance of violence against a then-girlfriend. He’s been on the same show as Jim Lampley, who has been arrested on felony charges of domestic abuse. Mannix had his chance-- several chances-- to take a stand for women and against abusers, but he did nothing and said nothing. On the contrary, he had a good ol’ laughing time and cashed his check afterwards. He proudly showcased his interactions with these people on social media. But he draws the line, now, with Gervonta Davis? As the kids say, GTFOH. 

But, the dissenters may argue, Oscar and Kellerman and Diaz...they were just accused, not convicted. Well, okay...that also applies to Davis, though. Accused is not convicted. Arrested is not convicted. Someone shouldn’t lose their livelihood and have their reputation destroyed before they even get their day in court. Rolando Romero should not have been nudged into removing himself from his first go at Gervonta Davis based on sexual assault accusations back in December of 2021. Similarly, Gervonta Davis should not lose a fight date/payday based on a case that is far from resolution. 

I’m 100% behind taking a stand in opposition to violence against women. Actually, I’d go harder than most on the issue. I support a zero tolerance policy-- across the board. Fighters should be banned from competing if/when they are proven to be irredeemable abusers, but only after going through the proper channels and guilt is proven the right way. Across the board. Not for some and not others. Not sometimes, when a guy we dislike is the accused. 

In the Sports Illustrated piece, Mannix wonders aloud “Why do the sport's power brokers often respond to violence against women with a collective shrug?”

The answer is simple and it can be found in his own professional conduct. Boxing power brokers respond to violence against women with a collective shrug because people like Chris Mannix-- and most other fans and media members-- are wildly inconsistent with how they treat those who abuse women. 

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