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MASAM SPORTS 46: 100 YEARS OF THE RING MAGAZINE


PhilBoxing.com




The Ring, also called The Ring magazine or Ring magazine, is an American boxing magazine that was founded in 1922 as a boxing and wrestling magazine. When the legitimacy of professional wrestling as a real sport was questioned, The Ring became exclusively a boxing publication. It began publishing annual ratings of boxers in 1924.

The Ring was founded and first published by future International Boxing Hall of Fame member Nat Fleischer. It was always referred to as "The Bible of Boxing."

In 1979, the magazine was purchased from Loubet by a group led by Dave DeBusschere and Bert Sugar took over as editor. In 1983 Sugar was succeeded by future New York boxing commissioner Randy Gordon.

By 1984 the publication was reported to have more than $1 million in debt and several top employees, including Gordon, were laid off. Nigel Collins of the Ring's defunct sister magazine Boxing Illustrated took over as editor.

In 1989 The Ring was purchased by Stanley Weston's G.C. London Publishing later known as Kappa Publishing Group, which also published KO Magazine and a number of wrestling publications. KO senior writer Steve Farhood became The Ring's editor.

Weston was a sentimentalist and began working with The Ring magazine as a stock boy, and 52 years later, Weston purchased the magazine that gave him his first job. He revived the magazine from bankruptcy and resurrected the publication as the reliable source of boxing news.

Weston is an excellent boxing artist and painted 57 covers for The Ring and his first cover was a painting of Billy Conn in the December 1939 issue. Weston was also a photographer who shot over 100,000 boxing photos of which the majority are contained in the archives of The Ring magazine.

Sports and Entertainment Publications, LLC, a subsidiary of Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Enterprises, acquired The Ring, KO Magazine, and World Boxing in 2007. The magazine's rankings are recognized as "official" by some in the U.S. media, particularly ESPN.

While some may see a conflict of interest in a boxing promoter being paymaster of what is essentially a magazine/rankings organization that awards world titles and belts, De La Hoya says that is not the case.

"These magazines will be held in an editorial trust where they will be operating totally independent of any influence from me or others from the Golden Boy Companies as it relates to editorial direction or content".

Likewise, a 35-member ratings advisory panel, consisting of several media that cover boxing, would prevent Golden Boy Promotions from using the magazine for self interest.

The Ring had its headquarters in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania until 2011 when it was relocated to Los Angeles, California.

The Ring also awards its own championship belt in a given weight division where "The Ring champion holds a linear reign to the throne, the man who beat the man."

The Ring began awarding championship belts in 1922. The first Ring world title belt was awarded to heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and the second was awarded to flyweight champion Pancho Villa. The Ring stopped giving belts to world champions in the 1990s, then reintroduced their title belts in 2002.

The Ring issued a list of its top 100 best boxers of all time and published in its February 2022 issue on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the revered boxing magazine.

Top photo shows The Ring magazine first issue, dated February 15, 1922, with 24 pages and cost 20 cents. The cover featured black and white photographs of American promoter Tex Richard and Lord Lonsdale, a British aristocrat and boxing patron.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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