LET’S talk honestly about the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in boxing.

A lot of people are competing these days to “break stories.” News outlets quote every utterance from Eddie Hearn, Conor Benn, and others involving performance-enhancing drugs. But there’s relatively little reporting that puts the recent spate of positive test results for banned PEDs in context.

Donald McRae wrote an exceptional article about performance enhancing drugs that appeared in the April 1, 2023, issue of The Guardian. Matt Christie has written some excellent editorials about the use of banned PEDs for Boxing News and Tris Dixon has followed suit on other platforms. But pieces like these are the exception rather than the rule.

So let’s go back to square one. Here are some basic building blocks for anyone who wants to understand recent developments regarding illegal performance-enhancing drugs and boxing.

(1) The first fighter of note to test positive for steroids after a professional championship fight was Frans Botha, who decisioned Axel Schulz in Germany to win the vacant International Boxing Federation heavyweight crown in 1995 but was stripped of the title by the IBF after a urine test indicated the use of anabolic steroids. It’s a matter of record that, since then, numerous fighters (many of them world-class) have tested positive for the presence of a prohibited performance enhancing drug or masking agent in their system.

(2) PEDs work. They take an athlete to a place that he (or she) might not be able to get to without them. When used in conjunction with proper exercise and training PEDs create a better athlete and give an athlete who uses them an unfair competitive advantage.

(3) A liar is a liar even if he tells the truth most of the time. And a drug cheat is a drug cheat even if he tests clean on most occasions. PED use is difficult to detect. With today’s sophisticated microdosing techniques, traces of illegal performance enhancing drugs often leave a fighter’s system within 24-to-48 hours. Just because a fighter tests clean on a particular day doesn’t mean that the fighter is clean.

(4) Many athletic commissions and other entities that govern boxing are run by men and women who don’t understand performance enhancing drugs and have little or no interest in dealing with the issue. Their testing is woefully inadequate. The adjudication process varies wildly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. And the decentralised nature of boxing allows for rampant abuse.

(5) Almost always, fighters who test positive for an illegal performance enhancing drug express shock and maintain that, if the prohibited substance was in their system, it was ingested without their knowledge. Then they threaten legal action that will cost the decision-making entities hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend against. So often, the decision-makers find loopholes and issue rulings that allow the fighters to continue fighting without further sanction. Because the threat of legal action works, it’s used again and again.

(6) The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) is the most reliable PED-testing agency in boxing. It conducts more thorough testing than any other entity and has the best reporting requirements. When fighters sign up directly with VADA prior to a fight, VADA sends all test results to both fighters, their designated representatives, the supervising commission for the bout, any sanctioning body that is sanctioning the fight, the Association of Boxing Commissions, and the promoter(s) for the fight. VADA will not conduct testing pursuant to a contract where results go only to the promotional entity that pays for the tests or only to a fighter who has tested positive. Nor does VADA sweep positive test results under the rug by privately “adjudicating” matters in favour of a fighter who has tested positive. VADA tests and reports. It doesn’t adjudicate.

(7) The World Boxing Council Clean Boxing Program is a good-faith effort to address the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in boxing. Under the program, all fighters ranked by the WBC in the top 15 in any weight division are subject to random testing by VADA at any time. Some of the WBC’s adjudications with regard to positive test results have been problematic. The Conor Benn “eggs” fiasco referenced later in this article is an example of that. And the WBC Clean Boxing Program program is underfunded. But give the WBC credit for bearing its fair share and then some of the cost of combatting illegal PED use in boxing.

(8) There was a time when the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) raised eyebrows because of its relationship with Golden Boy (under the guidance of Richard Schaefer) and Premier Boxing Champions (under the leadership of Al Haymon). From January 1, 2010, through August 22, 2018, USADA administered 1,501 tests for performance enhancing drugs on 128 professional boxers. Yet it reported only one adverse finding regarding a professional boxer to a governing state athletic commission. And that report came after a website called Hale Storm Sports revealed that Erik Morales (who was scheduled to fight on a Golden Boy card two days hence) had tested positive for a banned substance. It’s not plausible that USADA administered 1,501 tests to 128 professional boxers and that only one of those tests came back positive. By contrast, during the same time frame, VADA reported a positive test rate of almost four percent. Using the VADA benchmark, one would have expected that 60 of the 1,501 tests conducted by USADA would have yielded a positive result. After these numbers were made public in an investigative report, USADA stopped testing professional boxers. https://tss.ib.tv/boxing/featured-boxing-articles-boxing-news-videos-rankings-and-results/52512-1501-tests-one-reported-positive-whats-going-on-with-usada-and-boxing

(9) Some fighters simply refuse to be tested when confronted by a collection officer. Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr was scheduled to fight Danny Jacobs on December 20, 2019, in Las Vegas. On October 24, pursuant to a request by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, a VADA collection officer went to the gym where Chavez was training to collect a urine sample from the fighter. Chavez arrived at the gym shortly before 2pm. The VADA collection officer introduced himself and Chavez refused to provide the sample. As the afternoon progressed, he repeated his refusal several times. On October 30, the Nevada State Athletic Commission placed Chavez on temporary suspension. So promoter Eddie Hearn simply found a more compliant state athletic commission and Jacobs vs. Chavez Jnr was contested in Arizona.

(10) Some fighters find a way to “miss” a test, as Jermall and Jermell Charlo did when they were unavailable to be tested by VADA prior to their December 22, 2018, fights against Matt Korobov and Tony Harrison in Brooklyn. In that instance, the New York State Athletic Commission sought to distance itself from the issue, saying that the VADA tests were “separate from the New York State Athletic Commission’s Rules and Regulations.” It then ordered the Charlos to undergo new tests administered by the commission which failed to meet VADA and World Anti-Doping Agency standards.

Frans Botha (Daniel Gluskoter/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

(11) Dillian Whyte was suspended from competition by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) for two years after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine following a knockout victory over Sandor Balogh on October 13, 2012.

(12) Prior to his July 20, 2019, against Oscar Rivas in London, Whyte tested positive for epimethandienone and hydroxymethandienon (two metabolites of the banned drug Dianabol) in a test administered by UKAD. The test result was reported by UKAD before the fight to Whyte’s team (including promoter Eddie Hearn) and the British Boxing Board of Control but not to Rivas’s camp. The BBBofC allowed the fight to proceed without Rivas knowing of the positive test result. Whyte won a decision. Then, on December 6, 2019, UKAD ruled that the metabolite levels contained in Whyte’s urine were “consistent with an isolated contamination event” and “not suggestive of doping.” A joint statement issued by UKAD and Whyte read in part “Having rigorously scrutinised and investigated the detailed factual and scientific evidence provided by Mr Whyte, UKAD is satisfied that the presence of the very low amounts of metabolites in his June 20, 2019, sample was not caused by any fault, negligence or wrongdoing on Mr Whyte’s part and, given the circumstances, could not have affected the fight between Mr Whyte and Mr Rivas.” The statement further declared, “Since the charge against Mr Whyte has been withdrawn, neither UKAD nor Mr. Whyte intend to make any further public comment in respect of this matter. Any public comments made by anyone other than UKAD or Mr Whyte will not be made on the basis of an understanding of the full facts.”

(13) The UKAD-Whyte statement left open numerous questions regarding “the detailed factual and scientific evidence provided by Whyte.” More specifically: (A) What was the “isolated contamination event” that introduced the metabolites in question into Whyte’s system? (B) Did UKAD test other samples from the source of the “isolated contamination event” and, if so, what were the results of those tests? (C) Who provided Whyte with the substance in question? (D) When and in what amount did Whyte take the substance in question? (E) What steps did the BBBofC and UKAD take by way of notification to other athletes to ensure that a similar “contamination event” did not occur in the future?

(14) More recently, Whyte’s scheduled August 12, 2023, rematch against Anthony Joshua was called off after urine samples taken from Whyte by VADA on July 15 and July 19 came back positive for a banned performance enhancing drug. Although no formal announcement has been made, the drug in question is believed to be Molidustat – an experimental drug still in trials that’s taken in pill form and increases the endogenous production of erythropoietin (EPO). Molidustat is banned by WADA both in and out of competition. VADA immediately notified all relevant parties of Whyte’s positive test results. Reliable sources say that BBBofC General Secretary Robert Smith told Matchroom that the BBBofC would not allow the fight to proceed. On August 5, 2023, Matchroom announced that Joshua-Whyte II had been cancelled.

(15) The British Boxing Board of Control licences fighters who don’t live in the United Kingdom on a fight-by-fight basis. Whyte is now believed to be a resident of Portugal. He had applied for a licence to fight Joshua but the licence hadn’t been granted at the time his positive test results were reported, so his lawyers might argue that the BBBofC has no jurisdiction over him. However, Whyte is licenced as a manager by the BBBofC. This means the BBBofC can conduct an inquiry into the matter and, if warranted, take some form of action against him. Also, UKAD is believed to be taking the position that its rules allow it to investigate and take action against a fighter whose licence has expired or been relinquished within the preceding year. That category would include Whyte. Dillain has professed his innocence in the matter.

(16) On July 25, 2022, Conor Benn was tested by VADA for banned performance enhancing drugs pursuant to the World Boxing Council Clean Boxing Program. On August 9, Matchroom announced that Benn vs. Chris Eubank Jnr would be contested on October 8. On August 23, VADA notified Benn, Matchroom, the WBC, and BBBofC that Benn had tested positive for Clomifene. Clomifene is a hormone that is used as a fertility drug in women and also to boost testosterone. It’s on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of substances that are banned at all times. The BBBofC notified UKAD of the test result but Eubank was not notified because of WBC CBP and BBBofC “confidentiality” protocols.

(17) On September 1, 2022, Benn was tested by VADA pursuant to contracts signed by Benn, Eubank, Matchroom, and VADA relating to the then-scheduled Benn-Eubank fight. On September 23, pursuant to its own protocols, VADA notified Benn, Matchroom, the WBC, BBBofC, and Eubank that Conor had tested positive for Clomifene in this second test.

(18) On October 5, 2022, the Daily Mail reported that Benn had tested positive for Clomifene. That same day, Eddie Hearn defended Benn and said that Benn-Eubank would move forward. One day later, Hearn told IFL TV, “He [Kalle Sauerland, Eubank’s promoter] got all the medical information. They’re happy to proceed with the fight. And that for me is the most important thing when you’re talking about people being aware of the situation. All the important parties were aware of the situation and the decision was made.” Also on October 5, Sauerland told the media, “The medical advice was that traces were found of a female fertility drug. This drug can raise testosterone levels. The levels that were shown to us and we showed to the medical people were non-performance-enhancing. We then looked at the other test results and saw they were all negative. We can’t say anything was withheld from us. It was all disclosed. We are looking forward to a great fight on Saturday night. I do believe it will go ahead.”

(19) Contrary to Sauerland’s belief, Benn’s first positive test for clomifene (taken pursuant to the World Boxing Council Clean Boxing program) had not been disclosed to the Eubank camp at that time. Eubank later told IFL TV, “When we spoke, it was like, ‘Alright, this has happened and we’re going to get to the bottom of this. I don’t know how this happened.’ And then, obviously, I found out about the second failed drug test. And I was like, Wow! So he lied.'” Eubank later reaffirmed this point in an interview with Ron Lewis in which he declared, “I was never told about the first failed drugs test, which is pretty incredible but true. Nobody told me. Conor nor Eddie, nobody told me. By the time I did find out, it was too late. It was a very bad situation for me and for boxing and the fans. If he [Benn] plays the victim and blames contamination and says everyone has it in for him, if he keeps going down that route, then nobody is going to be able to forgive him.”

(20) On October 5, the BBBofC announced that it would prohibit Benn-Eubank from taking place. On October 6, 2023, Matchroom announced that the fight had been postponed.

Conor Benn (James Chance/Getty Images)

(21) On October 11, 2022, the Daily Mail published an article saying that Benn was “being investigated over claims he failed a drugs test prior to the one which forced [cancellation of Benn-Eubank].” The article quoted Frank Warren (Hearn’s rival promoter) as saying, “A few of us have known about this earlier test for some time. This makes it even more of a scandal, more damaging to our sport than everyone thought.”

(22) Benn has maintained his innocence at all times.

(23) October 26, 2022, the BBBofC announced that Benn had declined to attend an October 21 hearing and instead voluntarily relinquished his licence to box in the UK. Subsequent to the hearing, the BBBofC announced, “The allegations of misconduct against Mr. Benn were upheld.”

(24) On February 22, 2023, the World Boxing Council rejected claims made by Benn’s legal team that his urine samples had been improperly tested, concluded that “there was absolutely no fault attributable to the laboratory that analysed Mr. Benn’s samples,” and reaffirmed “the unquestionable integrity of VADA and the sample collection agencies and laboratories which services VADA uses in connection with the WBC CBP.” However, the WBC then ruled that, “Mr. Benn’s documented and highly-elevated consumption of eggs during the times relevant to the sample collection raised a reasonable explanation for the Adverse Finding.”

(25) On February 28, 2023, Benn issued a statement on Instagram in which he said in part, “At no point did I indicate that I failed any VADA tests because of contaminated eggs.” In a March 6, 2023, interview with TalkTV, Benn further stated, “The 270-page report that my legal team sent over to them [the WBC] had nothing to do with eggs.”

(26) On March 15, 2023, Benn was provisionally suspended by UKAD.

(27) Benn appealed the suspension on multiple grounds and, on July 28, UKAD confirmed that Conor was no longer provisionally suspended as a consequence of a ruling by a National Anti-Doping Panel. Informed sources say that the panel confirmed the integrity of VADA’s testing process (which had been challenged by Benn’s representatives) but ruled that, because VADA is not a national anti-doping agency, its test results could not serve as basis for suspending Benn in the United Kingdom. On August 17, UKAD announced that it had appealed the National Anti-Doping Panel ruling. Benn is still not licenced to fight in the UK. But pending the result of the appeal, he is no longer provisionally suspended by UKAD. This means that other jurisdictions can license him to fight should they choose to do so.

(28) The first Conor Benn sample that tested positive was taken pursuant to the World Boxing Council Clean Boxing program. The second Conor Benn sample that tested positive was taken pursuant to a contract between VADA, Matchroom, and the fighters. In other words, the WBC had nothing to do with the second Conor Benn sample. It never even got the test results for it. Indeed, Benn’s attorneys advised the WBC in writing, “The September Sample was not collected pursuant to the CBP. The WBC therefore has no jurisdiction in respect of this sample.” Benn and Matchroom now maintain that the BBBofC and UKAD can’t recognise the VADA test. But if that’s the case, why did they provide for VADA testing in the contract? And who do they maintain does have jurisdiction over the second positive test result if the WBC, BBBofC, and UKAD don’t?

(29) After Billy Joe Saunders (who was promoted by Frank Warren at the time) tested positive for oxilofrine leading to cancellation of a scheduled 2018 fight against Demetrius Andrade, Eddie Hearn declared, “What is the point of signing up for drug testing if, when you fail, everyone says, ‘Oh don’t worry about it, just let him fight’? And the argument of ‘well, it’s all right with UKAD’, it’s totally irrelevant. You’ve signed up for drug testing with VADA, the best testing agency, in my opinion, in the sport.”

(30) Multiple sources say that Matchroom’s contracts with fighters sometimes reference VADA with the qualification that the choice of which entity will be retained by the promotion to test for PEDs will be at Matchroom’s sole discretion. Eddie Hearn has used VADA testing for some fights. But Matchroom has also contracted for PED testing with Drug Free Sport.

Alycia Baumgardner (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

(31) Victor Conte is one of the most knowledgeable people in sports with regard to the use of, and testing for, illegal performance enhancing drugs. In 1984, Conte founded the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), which was at the heart of several much-publicised PED scandals. In 2005, he pled guilty to charges of illegal steroid distribution and tax fraud and spent four months in prison. Conte has since become a forceful and formidable advocate for “clean” sport.

(32) Earlier this year, Conte reached out to Drug Free Sport and spoke with Bradley Strauss (whose title with DFS is director of professional sport). Conte recently told this writer, “I told Bradley my name, that I had a boxer who was interested in Drug Free Sport testing, and I wanted to know how their system worked. His exact words to me were, ‘We can set this up so whoever pays for the testing gets the results and no other entity gets the results.’ In other words, a promoter can order his own tests from Drug Free Sport and completely control how the test results are handled. I asked, ‘What if a positive test result is given to the promoter and it never comes out?’ And Bradley told me, ‘We are not involved in the results management.’ Drug Free Sport,” Conte continued, “might get a lot of business that way, but it’s not how drug testing should work.”

(33) Conte also told this writer, “Bradley said that Drug Free Sport doesn’t do EPO [erythropoietin] or HGH [human growth hormone] testing except as add-ons that cost more and that the same is true of IRMS [Isotope ratio mass spectrometry] testing, which Drug Free Sport rarely performs for boxing promoters. VADA,” Conte noted, “does IRMS testing as a matter of course. It’s far and away the most effective way to catch drug cheats.”

(34) This writer reached out to Drug Free Sport and Bradley Strauss for comment regarding Conte’s remarks but they did not respond.

(35) A fighter should have the right to know if an opponent that he’s scheduled to fight, or has fought, tested positive for a banned performance enhancing drug. The supervising boxing commission should also know. Whether or not they’re informed should not be at the whim of the promoter or whoever else might have paid for the testing. The testing and reporting of positive results have to be under the control of people who don’t have a vested interest in a fight happening or the future of the fighters involved.

(36) Question: If Conor Benn’s drug tests had been paid for by Matchroom and the information that Benn had tested positive for Clomifene twice had been reported only to Matchroom, would Eddie Hearn have postponed Benn vs. Chris Eubank Jr last October? And would he have reported the positive test results to UKAD, the BBBofC, and Eubank’s team before the fight? Or would he have said that he wasn’t at liberty to tell anyone because Benn’s privacy was involved?

(37) Subsequent to Alycia Baumgardner’s victory over Christina Linardato in a July 15, 2023, title unification bout in Michigan, Matchroom announced that Baumgardner had tested positive for a banned substance (Mesterolone metabolites) pursuant to a test administered by Drug Free Sport. The sample in question was collected on July 12 and the result reported to Matchroom on August 10. Matchroom then reported the result to all four sanctioning bodies, DiBella Entertainment (Linardato’s promoter), Baumgardner’s representative, and the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission.

(38) On August 17, Jessica McCaskill suggested without supporting evidence that Baumgardner’s positive test result might have been fabricated because Alycia had refused to extend her contract with promoter Eddie Hearn. McCaskill subsequently retracted that unfounded comment. A more troubling issue involving Baumgartner is the power that Hearn had over the entire process. Alycia’s positive test result appears to have been reported by the lab only to Hearn. And Baumgardner had recently declined an offer from Hearn to sign an extension of her contract with Matchroom that expires in April 2024 (unless extended because of a suspension or other tolling provision).

(39) Subsequent to Baumgardner’s positive test result, it was revealed that two more fighters who participated in significant bouts promoted by Matchroom this summer tested positive for illegal performance enhancing drugs. On August 25, VADA reported that Robert Helenius had tested positive for a banned substance pursuant to a test administered one day before his August 12 fight against Anthony Joshua. Then, on September 1, the New York State Athletic Commission reported that Joe Cusumano had returned an adverse analytical finding in conjunction with tests administered by the NYSAC on June 24 (the day he fought Adam Kownacki). Matchroom didn’t have control over the reporting process in either instance.

(40) As the Conor Benn PED story unfolded, Tris Dixon asked, “Why did it take the Daily Mail to break the story for anyone to find out what had been happening when all parties had been informed of the positive test last month? Why didn’t the British Boxing Board of Control act immediately? Why won’t Mauricio Sulaiman, always wanting to be considered a force for good in the sport, discuss anything about Benn’s role in the Clean Boxing Program? Why won’t the British Boxing Board of Control release any kind of statement about the tests or what is going on other than ‘prohibiting’ the fight?” The answer to Dixon’s questions is rooted in a misguided notion of “confidentiality.”

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (Getty Images)

(41) Fighters who have tested positive for illegal performance enhancing drugs and their teams use “confidentiality” as a sword and a shield. They often claim that the fighter has been fully vindicated and proven innocent of any wrongdoing while the facts underlying the case and various rulings which state no such thing are hidden from public view. The fighter, of course, could waive his claim of confidentiality and authorise that the details surrounding his testing be made public. But he rarely if ever does.

(42) An attorney for Conor Benn sent the World Boxing Council a 270-page memorandum challenging the technique used by the Salt Lake City laboratory in testing Benn’s samples and threatened legal action if the WBC showed the memorandum to the lab. Entities who received the memorandum were also threatened with legal action if they shared it with UKAD.

(43) Conor Benn hasn’t been “fully vindicated.” Conor Benn hasn’t been “cleared” of all wrongdoing.” As noted in #26, Conor Benn’s provisional suspension by UKAD was lifted because of a technical ruling that may well be overturned on appeal. As Chris Eubank Jnr told the Daily Mirror, “Lawyers and court hearings and essays and Eddie Hearn saying all the things he’s saying; it doesn’t mean anything. The fact is, you got caught twice and no one’s ever gonna forget it. It doesn’t mean that you didn’t do what you did because you did do it. You wanna say, ‘I’m absolved and it was all a big misunderstanding.’ Bullshit!”

(44) More than a century ago, United States Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis wrote, “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” Updating that quote for modern times, Victor Conte has declared, “The lack of transparency and interference with the flow of important information is a huge part of the problem which it comes to combatting the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in boxing.” Or phrased differently, when it comes to dealing with the use of banned PEDs, there’s too much “con” in confidentiality.

(45) As of late, Eddie Hearn has been at the vortex of the issues surrounding the use of banned performance enhancing drugs in boxing, in large part because of how he has handled Conor Benn’s multiple positive test results. Hearn knows how dangerous boxing is. He was directly involved in a tragedy when Patrick Day died as a result of injuries suffered in a fight that Matchroom promoted in 2019. It should also be noted that Nigel Benn (Conor’s father) was involved in a fight against Gerald McClellan that left McClellan brain damaged and horribly disabled for life. And Chris Eubank Snr was involved in a fight against Michael Watson that left Watson with life-changing brain damage.

(46) Hearn now says he’s an advocate for clean sport and that Matchroom is “proactively ramping up the testing.” In a September 4 interview with IFL TV, he addressed his fellow promoters and urged, “Put your hand in your pocket and make the sport safer. And please, don’t ever rely on, ‘Oh, there’s UKAD testing.’ Look at the stats of how many British fighters are actually being tested under that random program from UKAD. Liam Smith might have been tested once, twice. If he signs up for VADA, he’s tested an extra six times across the camp. You talk about wanting to make the sport safer,” Hearn continued. “You’re all complete hypocrites. If there was just UKAD testing, Conor Benn would never have failed a test. Everybody should be VADA tested. We made the decision moving forward that we’ll be having VADA now for all our shows. Every show now has VADA testing.” The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Let’s see if Matchroom really retains VADA to conduct extensive timely drug testing for all of its major fighters and big fights in the future.

(47) The money to fund boxing today comes in large measure from television networks and streaming services. Matchroom Boxing in concert with DAZN, Queensberry Promotions in concert with TNT Sports, Top Rank in concert with ESPN, Premier Boxing Champions in concert with Showtime, all promoters and networks, should take the following stand: “In order to fight under our promotional banner and on our network, fighters will be required to submit to year-round VADA testing. A small percentage of each TV license fee will be used to fund the program.”

(48) Boxing at its core is the most honest of all sports. But too many people in boxing today don’t want truth. They want whatever serves their own economic agenda. As Tris Dixon wrote, “In boxing, if you’re a big earner and are seen to be taking PEDs, there’s no remorse, punishment or sanctions. It’s find a suitable excuse and carry on from where you left off.” Every time promoters, managers, and others leverage their power to avoid just consequences after a positive test result, they’re making boxing more dangerous for all fighters including their own.

(49) Someday, a fighter will suffer serious brain damage or be killed in a fight and it will be revealed afterward that the opponent tested positive for an illegal performance enhancing drug. When that happens, the civil and criminal consequences will be staggering.

(50) When a fighter has used illegal performance enhancing drugs and his opponent hasn’t, it’s not a fair fight. But too often in boxing, “fair” is just a four-letter word.

Thomas Hauser’s email address is thomashauserwriter@gmail.com. His most recent book – The Universal Sport: Two Years Inside Boxing – was published by the University of Arkansas Press. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism. In 2019, Hauser was selected for boxing’s highest honor – induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.