Into The Pit: The Media War Wages On


Jim Lampley, the man known as the voice of HBO Boxing, filled in for Jim Rome on his radio show on Monday and took the time to bash the sport of mixed martial arts; the UFC in particular. I didn’t hear the show (although I am trying to hunt down a copy), but I’ve read enough about his comments that I feel this rant is justified.

Lampley stated that boxing is a real sport, but UFC events are nothing more than a bunch of bar fights. He showed no respect for MMA or its competitors, going as far as to say that MMA fighters are “not athletes.”

I don’t know if you’re all aware of this, but the sport of boxing is in trouble, and has been for many years now. Boxing’s troubles worsened this past Saturday night when Jose Luis Castillo failed to make weight, for the second time, for his title fight against Diego Corrales. The fight was cancelled, millions of dollars were lost, fans were extremely disappointed, and the sport was f*cking disgraced.

Funny how Lampley would take the time to lash out against MMA on the Monday following this disaster, isn’t it?

Lampley went on to refer to MMA and the UFC repeatedly as “no-holds-barred fighting,” as he’s done in the past. Hey, Jim, this is 2006 calling: Come join us. MMA hasn’t been referred to as NHB for over a f*cking decade! If you’re going to bash another sport so you can feel better about the sport you cover, at least be educated about it before opening your fat mouth.

Lampley also stated that any of the top fighters from the UFC or K-1 would lose very quickly to a top boxer. Here we go with this pointless debate again. In a boxing ring, the MMA guy will more than likely lose. In the UFC Octagon, or a K-1 or Pride ring, the boxer will definitely lose. However, Lampley claims that even if an MMA fighter defeated a top boxer in an MMA fight, it would “mean nothing” because “it’s a bar fight.”

I’ll tell you what, Jim, let’s put a top boxer against a top MMA guy in an empty warehouse. Two guys, the same weight, no ring, no time limit, no bullshit…I guarantee the MMA guy comes out with the win. He has more skills at his disposal than the boxer. The thing is, it’s an irrelevant argument because you’re comparing two uniquely different sports. Imagine that rugby suddenly became very popular in America, and John Madden came out bashing rugby. Picture Madden calling rugby players thugs that just want to hurt people, and saying that rugby teams wouldn’t be shit in an NFL game. Do you see how f*cking stupid that sounds?

Lampley then made MMA fans everywhere laugh when he claimed that the UFC will never be bigger than boxing. Really? Have you seen the ratings for all the UFC events on Spike TV? With the exception of the first few episodes of The Contender, The Ultimate Fighter is far and wide a much bigger success, going into its fourth season in August. HBO is the undisputed king, with Showtime next in line, but I don’t know what their ratings are for live events. I do know that if you put a Spike TV live UFC event up against an ESPN or ESPN 2 boxing event, UFC is drawing bigger ratings. UFC’s pay-per-view buyrates might not compare to the likes of a Floyd Mayweather Jr. main event, but events like Liddell vs. Couture 3 and Hughes vs. Gracie pull in huge numbers.

I obviously don’t need to defend MMA. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a fan, so you know that Lampley is off his rocker with his statements. Look, Jim Lampley is a cheerleader. He’s f*ckin’ clownshoes, but there are people out there that will take his word at face value. It’s bad enough that Jim Rome is a know-nothing bag of douche, but Lampley is taking ignorance to a whole new level.

I don’t want this to come across like I’m bashing boxing. I truly enjoy boxing, but every time I start getting back into it, it goes to shit again. Saturday night was a breaking point for me. It’s absolutely ridiculous that Castillo pulled this shit again, and it makes the sport look like a joke. Who knows, maybe Jim is only concerned when it affects HBO.

The whole reason I started watching UFC back in the early days was because I had grown tired of boxing and all the overpaid crybaby bullshit that went along with it. MMA has grown into a sport that I’m proud to be a fan of. That said, I know old school boxing enthusiasts will always shit on MMA, no matter how popular it is.

UFC President Dana White continues to add fuel to the fire by mentioning the rumored deal between UFC and HBO. Most boxing fans, including IP’s own Rokk, will tell you that it will never happen. White has said as recently as last week in the Washington Post, that the UFC is “coming soon” to HBO. Jim Lampley will obviously not be on the welcoming committee if/when the UFC does sign with HBO. That’s okay, though, UFC will just continue to quietly steal away boxing fans without any help from the world of boxing or sports news outlets.

Other titles considered for this column: Jim Lampley: You’re an Asshole, Jim Lampley: Clueless Company Shill, Jim Lampley: Nice Cheerleader Outfit, and for the O&A fans, Jim Lampley: Shitdick.