"Hey, you! You a boxing fan? Go fuck yourself!"

"Jerk-offs, Wannabes, Haters, and Nobodies!" Gary Shaw as Twitter Beast, At Least

****

Twitter is a wild and wooly world, overflowing with rumors, hostility, bile, arrogance, libel, vendettas, poor spelling, and general malaise, but the strangest part about it is seeing the messages promoters are actually stupid enough to commit to the public sphere.

Great literature has been made out of having idiots narrate tales, but Oscar De La Hoya is no Benjy Compson, and his timeline will remind no one of William Faulkner. Lou DiBella frequently Tweets hypocritically about one boxing “outrage” after another—except, of course, the ones he profits from. But the biggest dunderhead on Twitter has to be Gary Shaw, who never fails to call someone who disagrees with him or criticizes his cards a “jerk off,” a “wannabe,” a “hater,” and, best of all, a “nobody.” Most people who interact on Twitter are boxing fans, and, of course, Shaw has been treating boxing fans like nobodies for years.

In the real world, fans would be the equivalent of consumers and no company in its right mind would ignore, much less insult, its customer base. Most companies are interested in developing a quality product and maintaining some kind of relationship with their clientele, who have purchasing power behind them. But “promoters” like Shaw are impervious to market forces because…well, because market forces, for the most part, do not exist in boxing. All Shaw needs to do is bend the ear of a network executive, preferably one with little interest in quality control, and—voila!—he is flush until the next time he stages a Kimbo Slice fiasco somewhere in Kill Devil Hills or Walla Walla.

A laughingstock in MMA circles for his multi-million dollar EliteXC as Hindenberg experiment, Shaw has been called an idiot by Bob Arum, worse than an idiot by Dana White, has been sued by Main Events, and has been dropkicked to the curb by one fighter after another. In fact, why any boxer would sign with Shaw is mystifying. Shaw has been smacked around like a shuttlecock over the years by Winky Wright, Jeff Lacy, James Kirkland, Nonito Donaire, Diego Corrales, Manny Pacquiao, and Timothy Bradley. His telenovella saga with Alfredo Angulo, who was–cue out of tune violins–like a son to Shaw ended with Shaw selling Angulo’s contract to Golden Boy Promotions. Everybody is like a son to Shaw until they sue him, or he sues them, or they are deported to Mexico under mysterious circumstances.

To be fair, Shaw has a good eye for young talent, probably matches some of his fighters harder than most promoters, and is In Like Flynn with Showtime honcho Ken Hershman. He also deserves credit, like certain insects that become immune over time to Raid and Black Flag, for tenacity. It is no easy feat to hang on in boxing for as long as he has without the financial muscle of Golden Boy or Top Rank.

In the end, however, no one makes contemporary boxing any clearer than Gary Shaw does on Twitter with such undisguised contempt for those who follow the sport. With only 140 characters at his disposal, Shaw crystallizes the perverse business side of boxing, where fighters who cannot sell tickets or earn ratings get paid millions of dollars and promoters who cannot be bothered to print up a dozen flyers have a virtually risk-free pursuit so long as they can skim off of disproportionate television licensing fees.

These days, Shaw continues to work hard at bringing Shobox to far-flung Indian casinos, confabbing with lawyers to sue his disgruntled clients, and basking in his recent discovery—along with Lou DiBella—of Puerto Ricans, over 500 years after Columbus first brought colonialism to the Tainos and the Arawaks. DiBella and Shaw seem to think that their partnership regarding Boricua fighters ranks them right up there with other famous duos: Romulus and Remus, Antony and Cleopatra, Lewis and Clark, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Bert and Ernie. Of course, the Roseland Ballroom in New York City looked sparsely attended on both nights of back-to-back “Boricua Invasion” cards in June. But what does that matter? Nobodies and wannabes be damned!

*****

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Tags: Boxing Promoters Dana White Gary Shaw Twitter

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