The Bernstein approach to boxing: 30 years later, it’s still working, and it may even lure you into watching this Mayweather mayhem

International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Al Bernstein looks out to the crowd during the induction ceremony in Canastota, N.Y., in June, 2010 (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

Amidst the mayhem that’s often counterproductive to the counter punches taken regularly by the sport of boxing, Al Bernstein “can always be counted upon to calmly and coolly assess the situation,” writes Jeremy Schaap in the afterward of the recently released autobiography by the longtime boxing analyst entitled “Al Bernstein: 30 Years, 30 Undeniable Truths About Boxing, Sports and TV” (Diversion Books, $15.95, 176 pages).

“A big man with a big voice, he has never needed to shout – the hallmark of a true pro.”

Funny story, though.

Bernstein, before heading out the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for Saturday’s Showtime pay-per-view telecast of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s title defense against Robert Guerrero, found himself yelling at a dry cleaning owner on Wednesday.

All the tuxedos his wife dropped off to be neatly pressed for the telecast had disappeared. After three trips to the back to look, they finally find the order – it was listed under his wife’s first name.

“I admit, I’m usually easy going, but I was being difficult,” Bernstein said. “I was really annoyed they couldn’t find the order.”

As Bernstein left the place finally with his wardrobe in tow, a woman stopped him on the street to make it known: “They (the owners) are very nice people, and you are a jerk.”

That part didn’t make it into the book, because as far as we know, it’s not an accurate statement.

Boxing often jerks viewers around when it comes to hyping performers under the auspices of building an audience of paying customers. Which is why we tracked down Bernstein to see why in the world we should care about a 36-year-old who just got out of jail for spousal abuse getting into the ring and asking customers for as much as $69.95 to watch at home if they really needed the high-definition feed of this so-called defining moment:

Floyd Mayweather Jr., right, talks to Boxing Channel’s Al Bernstein prior to his 2011 fight against Victor Ortiz. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Hogan Photos)

QUESTION: Seriously, why is Floyd Mayweather Jr. still relevant today, with all the baggage he carries and the way he kept avoiding facing Manny Pacquiao? Continue reading

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Weekly media column version 05.03.13 — The first column on a Friday about this week’s coverage of the first semi-active male player on a major sports team deciding to come out

Jason Collins, left, explains himself again to George Stephanopoulos during an interview Monday in L.A. that aired Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” (AP Photo/ABC, Eric McCandless)

What made it into this week’s sports media column: The news cycle on Jason Collins’ sexual orientation announcement seems to have pushed on to other pressing issues. But what did we learn from this revelation that says more about how the media believes it has to operate rather than giving some proper perspective to what actually happened?

What ended up missing from action in today’s column: Continue reading

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Why Egraphs finally had to sign off

Less than a year after it’s formal launch, the high-tech personalized autograph company known as Egraphs has closed operations because of cash flow problems as well as a pending lawsuit, the Sports Business Daily reported today. The website Geekwire.com also reported it recently.

Former Taft High and MLB standout Gabe Kapler and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly’s son, Preston, had been involved in the company in Southern California, as we profiled in a story last August. The company is based in Seattle.

A message posted on the Egraphs.com website from CEO David Auld said the company “ran into some unforeseen obstacles that ultimately prevented us from continuing to operate. It has been a very difficult time for us here at the company, as every one of us was dedicated to building out the future of fan-celebrity interactions. …
“We gave Egraphs everything we had, but the landscape proved a little too treacherous.” Continue reading

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The clustermess of a split-screen playoff storm, not perfect at all for Kings or Clippers fans who spit up their responses

Maybe the only thing more infuriating for Kings’ fans watching their team lose the way they did in overtime Tuesday night was having it only visible on half the TV screen.

Honestly, when has a split screen ever really satisfied a viewer of either of the two games vying for space on one channel?

The compromising position that Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West put itself in confirms only the fact that in trying to please everyone, you rarely please anyone. Continue reading

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