BOXING

Writer Kevin Iole Shares Story About Being On The Outs With Dana White

Veteran fight writer Kevin Iole came on the latest “Talkbox” podcast and shared some insights into how he’s been able to stay full-time in journalism since 1979.

His appearance on the Everlast-powered pod came on the heels of a kerfuffle in the press space, with the Twittersphere erupting after a spicy and savage set turned in by Michelle Wolf at the Saturday night White House Correspondents Dinner in DC. Wolf, unknown to the majority of the masses previous to her comedy classic, saw her profile explode, with haters screaming that she went over the line with vulgar language and cruelty towards some in the room, such as press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (below, and next to that a pic of “Aunt Lydia,” from “The Handmaid’s Tale,” to whom Wolf compared her with).

In the days after, we saw many in mainstream media…

..coming to the defense of Sanders and others, demanding an apology to the comedian, who didn’t back down an inch, and drew applause from fans who saw her effort as speaking truth to power to targets richly deserving of the treatment. The ones calling for the apology, such as the NY Times’ Maggie Haberman, weren’t they perhaps going out on this public limb in order to suck up to sources, maintain their good relations with persons they feel they need to speak to in order to do their job, like President Trump? With that in mind, I touched on the subject of how Iole handles this dynamic, that of trying to be authentic, without destroying relationships with sources.

“I’ll say this, but last summer, not too many people know this, but in the summer of 2017, starting I think in May, so it’s about a year now, Dana White did not talk to me from May until August, right before the Mayweather-McGregor fight. He refused to return texts,” Iole said, and calls and everything.

Iole said he knew White before he was DANA WHITE, when he used to run boxercise classes in a Vegas health club which Iole worked out at. “I wrote a story that he did not like and he did not talk to me as I said for three months. Suddenly, I don’t know why, he started talking to me. Oscar De La Hoya doesn’t talk to me much, hasn’t talked to me in a long time.” At the Gennady Golovkin fight with Canelo, Iole said, he was seated in the last row for press, whereas normally he’s in row one, with the likes of Dan Rafael.

Message: Sometimes the big guns don’t dig what the writers write, and let them know. It’s a hazard of the realm, he told us.

“You just have to go on and do your job.”

Some folks decide to get along too much, and bend over backwards to suck up to sources, he continued, and yes, they might get that occasional news nugget, but you will be missing bigger picture issues. “If you (report in a tough but fair manner) then people respect that,” he said.

Listen to the whole pod episode here

Michael Woods
About the Author:

Michael Woods. Host, TALKBOX podcast, powered by EVERLAST; 1st VP, Boxing Writers Association of America; http://NYFights.com is my site

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