Of Aspergers Bias and BoxingEditorial By Esteban Erik Stipnieks
The trouble with being born again is dual operating systems one from the birth father and one from the adopted father and the two are at war with each other. I will admit there are few things that get me angrier than being talked down to and at that point "loving your enemy" is hard to do even respectfully disagreeing. So let us s see if God's Grace can enable the fine line to be walked.
The notion of bias cuts both ways….the publicist for an upcoming fight card cannot also be a journalist for the same upcoming fight card. It is like having the consumer reporter going behind the kitchen door being an hourly employee of the restaurant that you are going behind the kitchen door in. The employee has a vested interest in the success of the restaurant. If a reporter feels there is an issue with a gym the question is why would that same reporter high light and celebrate a boxer from the same gym family? I am not capable of saying it's a gym issue and then high light totally a fighter from that gym. If a reporter feels the need to highlight and build up local boxers does that focus blind them to admitting flaws in local boxers? Your stated goals often determine the outcome. It becomes a question of priorities. If highlighting local talent becomes more important than honestly evaluating the outcome seems obvious. By the same token if boxing safety a higher priority than celebrating local talent one might be more critical of leaning on the back of the neck of an opponent repeatedly.
I had admitted to being critical about Adam Lopez as an amateur. It was a safety issue and from other interaction (I may be wrong in my read of the situation) that a father is in fact living a dream through his son. I have criticized other parents in the boxing world far worse and they were NOT AT the pro level. Ringside before the start of the bout I was apologetic and I was hoping really hoping for a clean bout that Adam would win. I do not recall seeing Adam fight as an amateur. I remember seeing Hector Ramos fight as an amateur several times at Golden Gloves. What followed angered me and quite frankly the reflexes that were spring loaded for use on 1 bout turned hard on Adam Lopez. Unlike others who lack the ability to criticize themselves I will admit it to be an overreaction. Strangely enough the patterns were the same and I missed what I reckon 30% of it. Then again scripture says nothing is more deceitful than the human heart. Sunday morning I was horrified that I over shot unconsciously doing behind the camera the very the very thing I have accused photographers and photo editors of doing rather deliberately. That was LESS THAN FAIR to Adam. By the same token if Adam had not done what he did I could not have captured it so many times?
I have marveled at the political acuity of Ramos boxing. In amateur boxing it's a matter of votes for president and major issues regarding South Texas amateur boxing. If a boxing club wants to get more votes they can reproduce boxing clubs with San Antonio College district and to a lesser extent San Antonio parks Ramos boxing has secured multiple votes on the amateur boxing level that affect who is president and major decisions of the sport. Well add to the mix a publically nihilistic facebook persona of one the heads of the gym and now two generations of boxers who are quite predictable when an opponent lands a solid shot they act like Gaudalupe Perez did on Javier Rodriguez….dare I say Javier's dad was rightfully upset when that happened. Crazy old me only wanted Adam Lopez judged to the same standard. If a reporter feels like a gym has an issue than why are you running positive PR for a boxer from the gym who as an amatuer was fairly flagrant in showing this?
Finally I will admit to a having a bit of temper. I also accidently offended I DID NOT MEAN to call other reports excessively shallow in my last fight report I meant a bit a warning what was to follow was going to be VERY DIFFERENT that standard boxing reporting and to admit that many would call my work too cerebral and too deep. Sorry when the ring announcer of an event criticizes you for not knowing what you talking about as a reporter sarcastic thoughts emerge but it is more polite to point out. One fight many years ago I was bored ring side because I had sparred with one of the boxers simulating his south paw opponent. Frankly I joke I saw the fight twice good humor always has the element of truth in it. Armando Cardenas had in fact seen me spar with than professionals and top rank amateurs at the gym he trained in (when he was in middle school) and when Raul Martinez was an amateur. You know you are getting old when people you sparred with are grandparents! Sorry to claim cannot tell the difference between an accident and deliberate chicken wing with one arm and punch with the free well is going below the belt.
My rebirth had an 18month gestation in which world events interacted often painfully with events of the family. The person who walked up a dirt road from the valley of the East Fork of the Frio River May 1 1991 was a different person who began that same walk beside the Frio. The person who walked up that road not knowing where he was going on the bigger scale but knowing it was better from where became while having memories of the previous life was in a very real sense a different being. Six and a half months later that new human being was in Denton. I have access to memories of the pizza joint with the old boxing photos in Ingram Park mall across from the theatre! I have access to memories of a whole host of San Antonio boxing history (they are real) but ultimately those memories were lived by a different person. Those memories are like flash backs the character Dave Bowman experienced in the Novel 2010 by Arthur C Clarke to his past earth bound life. I think some local boxers merit support but not all local boxers. I find it impossible to believe that what happened in the Co-main was accidental on Adam Lopez's part. Could it be that I view myself as far more a North Texan….yes. I ask rhetorically what would have happened if the fight had occurred in Monterrey Mexico. Simple North Texas me says invert the situation and what do you have? I do not care where Adam resides I do not care where his opponent is from either.
Can I good conscience say Adam won a clean fight….no! Would I feel comfortable running a positive puff piece on Adam….no! Did I fail to photograph the times he landed clean blows….yes. I got simple test. If someone from the land of the mules who did not know Adam Lopez from Adam the one who stupidly took his wife's dietary advice watched video of the fight could I say San Antonio boxing has its act together with a straight face? Even the most passionate advocate for local boxers knows the answer to that one. The photographs in this editorial were not staged.
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