I've been offered interviews with Panama Lewis several times in the past. I always turned them down because I didn't want to give him any publicity. I believe that what he did is a cardinal sin in boxing and I agree with his banishment from the sport.
The film Assault in the Ring on HBO did nothing to change my opinion, though I'm sure that Resto knew what was happening. Assault has received a ton of media attention and when Panama was offered to me again because he wanted to comment on the film, I agreed.
I was offered the exclusive interview because our mutual friend knew I would be fair. And I will be. But I told my friend this will not be a feel good interview. Lewis was convicted by a jury and I believe the conviction was just. He said that's fine, but Panama has some real problems with the film and wants to get his side of the story out.
I also invited the filmmaker Eric Drath to go head to head with Lewis. He declined, saying that he's not Lewis' accuser and didn't want to debate him. Drath was on with us about a year ago when he was still trying to get the film picked up.
Tune in Thursday night for some real fireworks.
Also, on the show, a boxer who is one of the real good guys in the sport and a newly crowned champ, Devon Alexander.
A couple of funny moments from the road this weekend:
My kids came to watch me ring announce for the first time. I announced ShoBox Friday night and the undercard of Bradley - Campbell Saturday night. They attended the Friday night show.
The hotel was promoting the show and "special guest ring announcer Sugar Ray Leonard". That was news to me and wouldn't be the first time that I've traveled to an event to find out someone else was doing my job. Turns out SRL was simply a VIP guest.
In the elevator where one of the Sugar Ray posters was prominently featured, I said to my son, "Shouldn't it say, special guest ring announcer Marc Lichtenfeld?" He replied, "No, you're not special." Thanks kid. Thanks a lot. I'll remember that when the college tuition is due.
During the show, both my 8 year old son and 5 year old daughter noticed the ring card girls. After getting an eyeful, my son proclaimed rather innocently, "Some people look good in bikinis."
My daughter was perplexed. She asked my wife why the girls were doing that. Rule #1 with kids is when asked a simple question, give a simple answer. The correct response would have been, "so that everyone knows what round it is." I'm 100% certain that would have satisfied her curiosity.
Instead, my wife goes on a sociological rant about how the girls weren't raised right and never went to college and this was the only way they could make money, etc, etc.
Good wholesome family entertainment at the fights in the casino.