Thomas Hauser Talks HBO, Judges Scoring, Rios-Alvarado, and Chavez-Martinez Rematch

    Part 2 of our talk with well respected writer Thomas Hauser

    One of the most respected literary artists in boxing today is Thomas Hauser. The man demands respect through the accolades of his work and not through Twitter like some of the other writers. I respect any man who can dig through the depths of sanctioned violence and dissect the humanistic values of life that so closely associate itself with the sport. However, there are those who feel that when Hauser took the job as a consultant with HBO he was basically making a deal with the devil — the same devil he once so valiantly challenged throughout the years.

    Mr. Hauser spoke with on a variety of issues last week and discussed briefly his experience with HBO and what it has been like thus far.

    “There are things that I find rewarding about it and things that I find frustrating about it. It’s still early in the going, so I’d like to see how it plays out.”

    Hauser felt that he wasn’t at liberty to discuss some of the ventures he’s been involved with as it pertains to his job at HBO — at least not the ones HBO has yet to disclose — but he did make it clear what he has and hasn’t had a hand in, specifically matchmaking.

    “I have not been involved in the making of fights for HBO. I certainly put my two cents in, but I’m not involved in the acquisition of fights. HBO has done some fights that were very good, they got a fight coming up October 13th and I like that double header an awful lot — particularly the Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado fight,” Hauser said.

    It seems as though Hauser’s role as it pertains to fights being made is basically the same as it was before he got the job, except now instead of HBO execs reading an article from Hauser they just go straight to the source. There is no way of knowing for sure just how much impact Hauser’s opinions have had on fights being bought or being passed up. For all we know, Hauser’s impact on buying fights could be the same as it was when he worked from outside the HBO bubble.

    However, there are other much more important factors where Hauser’s impact is being made.

    “One area where I did some work which they did ask be made public was in the area of instant video review (instant replay). Baseball, football, basketball and tennis have instant video review, and it’s made a difference.

    “HBO asked if I’d take a look at the possibilities of that and right away the inclination is to say ‘yes it’s a great idea, why not get it right,’ but boxing is different from other sports in that you can’t interrupt the flow of the sport. You can’t stop a fight in the middle of a round. I looked into that and talked to a number of people.”

    See, buying fights is very miniscule when compared to issues that affect boxing as a whole. Perhaps it seems that playing a role in Pacquiao-Mayweather being made would be some sort of triumphed accomplishment –and maybe it is — but in the scheme of things it’s just a fight and it will come and pass. Hauser’s job seems to entail issues with much more sever and lasting consequence, or at least that’s how I perceive it.

    HBO seems like it wants Hauser behind very specific projects, perhaps to capitalize off of his decorum and simultaneously hoping that his influential stature can sway their agenda one way or the other. Hauser spoke of the activeness of his role and the representation he’s been bestowed.

    “I went down to the Association of Boxing Commissions in Tampa this summer and made a presentation on behalf of HBO sports, saying this is how we view the issue and HBO would be happy to assist you in any way that you want, but obviously something like that has to come from the individual commissions. There are areas where I personally think that video review would be helpful.”

    After discussing instant video review, Hauser then spoke about the state of judging in boxing. Specifically he spoke about Joe Cortez’s 20/20 system. Cortez was a guest on a few weeks ago and broke the news about his revolutionary study that supposedly proves the current vantage point of judges is flawed and how they would be much better served with higher viewpoint of the fight —  much like that of a lines judge in tennis as discussed here:

    Hauser — who wasn’t familiar with Cortez’s system until the interview — felt that the notion was preposterous and from what he could gather from his quick assessment wouldn’t serve the greater good.

    “The problem with the judging isn’t that the judges can’t see the fight– they’re sitting at the ring apron. The problem with the judges is that too many of them are incompetent or biased. It’s no accident that whenever there is a “controversial decision” that decision has gone in favor of the house fighter, the sole exception I can think of is Pacquiao-Bradley. The problem isn’t that judges can’t see the fight, that’s just ridiculous.”

    Hauser provided his own insight as to what could curve the trend of controversial decisions.

    “I think that the answer is the state athletic commissions should appoint quality judges. Any judge can make a mistake from time to time, but there are very clear patterns in judging. Most people know who the good and unbiased judges are. What you do is you reward the good judges and you don’t use the bad ones, it’s not rocket science.”

    Before letting Hauser go, wanted his take on the potential for a Martinez-Chavez Jr. rematch. The two schools of thought are it is warranted because of the 12th round and it isn’t merited based solely on one round.

    “The 12th round raises a lot of questions, particularly what would’ve happened if Chavez Jr. trained more diligently and spent more time working in the gym with Freddie Roach trying to cut the ring off as opposed to moving some sofas and chairs around in his living room to train. That was a great last round.

    “Watching a fight is about being entertained and knowing what happened in the first fight we’re going to be glued to our TV sets because even if Martinez is dominating we know what could happen at any moment. The great thing about watching action fighters is that you say to yourself, ‘I can’t make a sandwich or make a phone call’ because if you turn away then Boom, at any moment something might happen.”



    Check out the first part of the Thomas Hauser interview where he discusses Gennady Golovkin and the middleweight division: