The president of the World Boxing Council today derisively applauded television commentator Howard Cosell's decision to refrain from announcing any more professional fights.
"I would like to extend to him my deepest appreciation," said Jose Sulaiman. "I believe it is one of the best moves this year. It will help to put into the mentality of fans what boxing really is. We don't need an assassin of the sport."
Cosell told The Washington Post this week that he would not provide commentary for any more boxing shows because he was disgusted by last week's Randy Cobb-Larry Holmes heavyweight title fight. He said the lopsided victory by Holmes should have been stopped by the referee to avoid injury to the overmatched Cobb. Cosell also decried the "sleaziness" of the boxing business.
Sulaiman, whose organization sponsored the bout, agreed it was "one-sided," but said Holmes was "one of the greatest heavyweights ever, fighting a rated contender." He said Cobb "never trembled, was never shaky and he was making jokes in his corner."
Said Sulaiman, "We don't have a rule in title fights to stop a bout that is one-sided. Maybe we should. But the man wasn't hurt. He was the first one there at the postfight party."
Sulaiman said Cosell's on-air comments were "inhuman to Cobb. You should pay admiration to the courage of a fighter who gives to the fans value for every penny."
Sulaiman said boxing gives an opportunity "to the humblest, poorest people to become heroes, to live well and to become examples to youth." He added that Cosell "doesn't need boxing and we don't need him. He used boxing and we don't need him now."