Boxing shows it can still make a spectacle of someone and itself

Finally, we have documented proof that boxing has totally lost its mind. And that’s not a big step.

Thursday, Top Rank Boxing announced that a TV reporter named Ines Sainz had been “signed” to provide “fresh and insightful reports” from the upcoming Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito fight Nov. 13 in Dallas.

First, there will be no “fresh and insightful reports.” It’s boxing and she’s not George Plimpton.

Second, this is the woman who was in the center of the hubbub a month ago in New York, when she walked into the Jets locker room to interview Mark Sanchez and there were lots of derogatory remarks tossed her way from several members of the pro football team who, stunningly, did not achieve Phi Beta Kappa status at their universities prior to signing on in the National Football League.

Apologies were made, the NFL pretended to investigate and be shocked and appalled that a room full of jocks might react this way when a pretty young woman dressed in a pretty outfit sauntered in. Of course, these guys should have more class. Of course, they don’t.


So Sainz, who is a veteran sports reporter for the Mexican network TV Azteca, became a martyr of sorts. Once the apologies were made by the Jets — certainly heartfelt — and the NFL wrapped up its investigation — certainly deep and heartfelt — Sainz was free to venture forth, once again, in pursuit of her personal Woodward and Bernstein legacy.

And, lo and behold, it will be at the fights.

Could it be that boxing is trying to capitalize on that notorious moment with the Jets? Gee, you think?

This great moment for both boxing and sports media was breathlessly revealed Thursday morning in an e-mail announcement that included a photo of Sainz, bare shoulders on up. That somehow seemed unusual.

Is Sainz a reporter or a circus act? If she’s truly a reporter, she now has allowed boxing to make her into a circus act. If she is a circus act, then boxing has simultaneously enabled her and reduced its own credibility. And the media, of which she claims to be a part, needs to point out to whatever real customers it has left that this is not all of us and not how we do our business.

Top Rank’s news release greeted her as if she were Diane Sawyer.

“Top Rank feels very fortunate to have her for this event,” President Todd duBoef said.

A suggestion for Sainz: Bring to Dallas a briefcase full of research on each fighter. Since access to them will be difficult because of how close it will be to the fight, wear out some shoe leather tracking down family members, acquaintances, former trainers, some cut men, some sparring partners. Dig for those telling anecdotes. Start first thing in the morning and keep at it till late at night.

Top Rank hired you to be a show. Show them you are a reporter. Do the ultimate. Report something negative about Top Rank. That won’t be a tough search.

Or, do what you are apparently being paid for — to look pretty and be a story, not report one. The public won’t notice because it has been so overwhelmed by so much dreadful media that it no longer can tell whether the story or the storyteller is more important.

There have been times, over the years, when things happened in boxing that made it seem as if it could stoop no lower. Thursday, we found out there is still more room at the bottom.