All in all, it isn’t surprising that boxers operate under a different system from the people who make money off of them or who watch and write about them. In the real world, boxers and their managers pre-arranging the outcome of fights, working collusively against a hostile system, makes sense. Fixing fights, even at the expense of the public, isn’t just good business. It’s a survival strategy for the disenfranchised class in boxing: the fighters themselves.
I got out of the business in the latter part of the 1990s. It would be a good story to say that I had a moral epiphany that lifted the veil from my eyes. That wouldn’t be true, though. I got involved with some dangerous people, and some bad things happened. So I left. Over time, I’ve come to see boxing differently than when I earned my living from it. I’ve learned that, in boxing, damage isn’t just possible or likely; it is nearly inevitable. I continue to love the art of boxing itself. But, nearly 20 years removed from it, I still find the works of the business—the larceny and the bullshit and the wheeling and dealing—the most difficult and absorbing thing I’ve done in my life.