By Paul Magno | January 11, 2024

Every Thursday here at Fight Hype, we make a space among the video content for a good, old-fashioned written word money shot from the depths of my bulbous, bulging sack. So, get ready for some of that infamous Magno-rific gooey, salty, sometimes NSFW truth. This week, we have comments/questions regarding the Tony Weeks/NSAC/GBP debacle and a Fighter of the Year prediction.

Tony Weeks/NSAC

Hey Magno. 

What do you make of this Tony Weeks controversy where he says Frederick Lawson’s brain scan showed signs of an aneurysm, but that he was later cleared to fight after another scan said otherwise? He appears to be using this as a justification for his quick stoppage of Lawson against Vergil Ortiz. The Nevada State Athletic Commission later issued a statement that said Lawson was cleared to fight, something which Weeks also said. But the statement didn’t address whether Weeks’ other assertion was true or not. Am I wrong in thinking that this is a much bigger story than how it was addressed by your favorites, the boxing media? Either Weeks took it upon himself to kill off a fight where he knew one of the fighters was in danger beforehand or the commission and Golden Boy found a way to backdoor a physically vulnerable fighter into a fight where he stood a good chance of being permanently injured or even killed. Or maybe Weeks made the whole thing up to cover his ass after another poor ref job? What do you think?

– Dennis from Boston

Hey Dennis. 

Well, none of this would’ve happened if Golden Boy hadn’t put a young, bursting-at-the-seams middleweight+ monster Ortiz up against a career welterweight whose punch resistance is clearly lacking and whose skills/ability suggest that he was going to be chum in the water. So, there’s that, first and foremost. 

I should have a piece posted here at this week at some time (maybe it’s up already?) about this mess. But, to pretty much sum this up, are we the least bit surprised that neither the commission nor the promotion nor the fighter in question nor Weeks, himself, are all that forthcoming with real answers? And are we the least bit surprised that the boxing media hasn’t gotten to the bottom of any of it or that their investigation into the matter appears to have ended with vague generic statements from the NSAC and Golden Boy! 

Please. You know as well as I do that we’re never getting to the bottom of this. And we’ll never get to the bottom of any boxing mess now that mainstream journalists have completely abandoned coverage of the sport and its goings on. Seriously, look who we have covering the sport-- a cast of shills, wannabe shills, convenient idiots, and the hopelessly lost. There’s not a real reporter or journalist among the lot. That’s why reform via journalistic efforts, for sure now, is a lost cause. Boxing media is a dead industry.

What troubles me the most about this Weeks/Lawson/GBP/NSAC debacle is, precisely, the lack of accountability all around and the general disinterest in following up on stories that may be hard to handle, frustrating to wrangle, and generally unsexy to post. Equally troubling is the public’s matching disinterest in forcing the media to do its job. 

What else can I say? It is what it is. 

Fighter of the Year, 2024?

Hi Paul. 

The year is just starting, so what better time to force you into a binding prediction where all the chess pieces are still on the table. Who do you see winning Fighter of the Year honors at the end of 2024? Who has that kind of path to glory and general greatness ready to take the year?

– Dean 

Hey Dean.

There are a lot of factors that go into predicting something like this, especially so far in the beginning of the year. Who’s going to be in the right place at the right time to get the truly big fights needed? They have to be in a deep division or have plans to move up or down in weight. They also have to have the right business ties behind them to facilitate making those big fights. Then, of course, there’s skill and talent and whether he has the mindset of a fighter willing and eager to conquer. Public perception also plays into it as Fighter of the Year is voted on by boxing media, who are nothing if not swayable and malleable by appearance and public opinion.

So, with all that in mind...My pick is Terence Crawford. Many say (myself included) that he deserved Fighter of the Year this year, but sticklers insisted that having only one fight in the year removed him from serious consideration-- even if that one fight was by far the biggest, most impressive performance of the year. Enough voters for Fighter of the Year at the end of 2024, will compensate for that slight at the end of 2023 and will show voting deference to him. In his 147-154 weight range, Crawford also has a wide assortment of quality opposition open to him, so he will have the bodies there upon which he can build his case for year-end honors. And, of course, we all know he has a real conqueror’s mindset when it comes to whoever he faces in the ring. So, provided he fights at least twice, beats a high-end name or two at 147 or 154, I think he’ll be named Fighter of the Year. If he fights and beats Canelo at 168, he’ll be named Fighter of the Decade...and maybe rightfully so. But I see him notching at least two quality wins against welterweights and/or junior middleweights and that will be enough to earn him honors. Also, don’t sleep on David Benavidez, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, Artur Beterbiev, Bam Rodriguez, Oleksandr Usyk, and Teofimo Lopez when it comes to Fighter of the Year possibilities.

Got a question (or hate mail) for Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack? The best of the best gets included in the weekly mailbag segment right here at FightHype. Send your stuff here:

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