Home / ring observations / Scoop Malinowski / 25 Years In Boxing: My Best Scoops

25 Years In Boxing: My Best Scoops

scoop

By Scoop Malinowski

Covering pro boxing since 1992, I’ve been fortunate to score a few notable scoops over the years. Here are a few memorable ones…

I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was in Delray Beach, typing a story for coverage of the Delray Beach Open ATP tennis tournament in February 2015 when a Facebook instant message came in at about 10 pm. It was from a New York City based sports marketing guru friend who revealed the Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight had been signed. I knew instantly this source was trustworthy and posted an article about it. Sure enough, the next day around noon, the rest of the boxing writers began reporting Pac vs Floyd had finally been signed.

***

Another big boxing scoop I remember vividly was back in the summer of 2008. Samuel Peter had just won the WBC Heavyweight title by TKO 6 against Oleg Maskaev in Mexico. Before Peter’s promoter Dino Duva had scheduled a first title defense for the Nigerian, I read an interview with Duva who expressed extreme frustration about not being able to pick Peter’s first optional defense opponent and hinting that the WBC was going to force him to fight a certain heavyweight boxer.  That somebody, I immediately figured, could only be the WBC Champion Emeritus, Vitali Klitschko, who had retired for about three years because of injuries. Duva and Peter were sitting at the top of the world, having finally captured the WBC title and  now they had to fight a very high-risk opponent instead of a handpicked patsy. Soon after, it was announced that Klitschko wanted to box again and go directly after Peter, and the WBC supported Klitschko’s wish. Eventually, Duva and Peter agreed and the two fought in Berlin, Germany with Vitali winning the title by eighth round stoppage. I was the first to report that Vitali vs Peter fight which had a major impact on the division.

***

Another cool scoop I got was about Muhammad Ali admitting he was not the Greatest. Jack Dempsey’s wife Deanna told me at a LeRoy Neiman art show in New York City in the late 90s that she and Jack met Ali in Puerto Rico, minutes after Ali defeated Jean Pierre Coopman by TKO. And Ali, thrilled to see and meet The Manassa Mauler, told him, “Jack, you were the greatest.” When Jack challenged Ali’s  assertion by reminding Ali of his world renowned self-proclaimed nickname, Ali replied, “Jack, when I say I’m the greatest, it’s all a bunch of bullshit.”

***

Kostya Tszyu revealed a big inside scoop when  he told me Mike Tyson was in the corner of Zab Judah, but Tyson knew his pal Judah was going to lose to the Australian based Russian. “I haven’t met (Tyson),” said Tszyu. “But he’s been in the corner of Zab Judah when we fought. But actually he was in his corner, but he knew that Zab was gonna lose.”

Scoop: Really? How did you know that?

Kostya Tszyu: “I’ve got inside sources [smiles].”

***

Bobby Czyz told me a few years ago that the meanest, toughest, greatest linebacker in NFL history Lawrence Taylor confided to him that though he had the courage and fortitude to be a dominant NFL Super Bowl Champion linebacker, he lacked what it took to lace up the gloves. Czyz told me that Taylor once told him, “Bobby, I could never do what you do.”

***

I broke the Roy Jones steroids story. The Jones Steroids scandal was first reported on a smaller boxing site which I saw linked to doghouse boxing – in an interview with Richard Hall, a recent Jones victim, who made the shocking revelation that he and Jones both tested positive for steroids after their Indianapolis fight. Rather curiously, that major news about boxing’s top star didn’t catch fire for some reason. Until I called the head of the Indiana Boxing Commission Jacob Hall and asked Hall point blank if it was true that Jones did test positive? Hall answered, “Yes.” I reported this stunning news for BoxingInsider.com however again, the scandal was largely ignored by the mainstream media. A week later I called Hall again and asked if any other media outlets had contacted him about the story. I still remember his response: “Only two – a newspaper from France and Roy Jones’ lawyer.” Can you say cover up? Or sweep the story under the rug?

***

Thomas Hearns told me in a Biofile interview that a former boxing champ sitting at ringside told him through body language how he should fight Pipino Cuevas in their 1980 Detroit world title bout. Hearns said he saw this man in the front row gesturing with his right hand, which meant to throw it. Sure enough, in the second round, Hearns knocked out Cuevas with one big right hand. Who was the man communicating non-verbally to Hearns to throw that lethal right? Muhammad Ali.

***

Another humorous scoop was about a famous former champ who got hit so hard in Madison Square Garden that he temporarily forgot his marriage status. Name withheld upon request said: “Sultan Ibragimov just stopped Al Cole at the Garden in the first round. The next fight we had at the Garden, Sultan stopped Javier Mora in the first round too. And in the ring after I was talking to one of the commission guys and he said he asked Al Cole right after the knockout, Where are you? And Al said, ‘I’m going shopping with my wife.” And he isn’t even married!”

 

About Scoop Malinowski

Author of six books including "Muhammad Ali: Portrait of a Champion" and "Heavyweight Armageddon: The Lewis versus Tyson Championship Battle" available at amazon