The recent chatter that Triller is out of the boxing business got me thinking about a quote attributed to the humorist Mark Twain, after I reached out to Triller boxing boss Ryan Kavanaugh.
Dan Rafael had Tweeted out that, “I'm told (Triller) are done putting on boxing events” on Sept. 14, in response to a question from one of his followers, who asked if the entity known for outside the box content creation would be putting on events moving forward.
Kavanaugh, a California-based expat from Hollywood dealings, answered when I messaged him asking if it's true, that Triller won't be continuing their path. Their plans included, as of a few months ago, spotlighting the sons of Fernando Vargas as they started in the pro game, while papa preached from the sidelines and hyped up his offspring.
“Nope, that's Dan being Dan,” Kavanaugh replied. So, rumors of Trillers' death are grossly exaggerated? Correct, Kavanaugh shared: “We're going to announce another Vargas event shortly.”
That summoned the Twain ancedote. In 1897, a reporter from the New York Journal contacted Twain to see whether the rumors that he was deathly ill or already dead were true.
OK, yeah, not sure how that would have worked…”Are you dead” is not an answerable query under certain circumstances, right?
Twain, not dead, spoke to the rumor mill. He wrote a response, part of which made it into an article that ran in the Journal on June 2, 1897:
‘I can understand perfectly how the report of my illness got about, I have even heard on good authority that I was dead,' Twain told the reporter, who filed a story to the Journal. “James Ross Clemens, a cousin of mine, was seriously ill two or three weeks ago in London, but is well now. The report of my illness grew out of his illness. The report of my death was an exaggeration.’ This story explains how the permanent record is erroneous. A Mark Twain biography published in 1912, two years after Twain’s death, told the tale with a tweak: “Just say the report of my death has been grossly exaggerated.” The author took a little license, I guess, seeking to “improve” the flow of the phrasing.
“Big headlines get clicks,” Triller chief Kavanaugh said to me. “Small pauses or burps don't.”
I myself for sure can get into “assume mode,” especially with a subject like this. Why? Because after covering boxing for near 25 years, I've seen scores of folks enter the fray, with high hopes and enough loot to sustain things until they smooth out and a consistent revenue stream from promotion is established. The “fray” isn't what these newbies pictured, though–NYF day to day boss Abe Gonzalez made that clear here–and after too much time learning expensive lessons, they declare their intent to exit the space, and allow another optimist to fill the vacuum. Seriously, there are a few of these plays operating right now, and I'm not referring to Triller. If you are a betting man, you should probably choose the “under” if you are offered a wager on length of time of involvement in the boxing promotional business. It's always the under….
Twitter users who dig boxing might follow the account @BoxRecGrey. Recently, that account featured a thread that drew attention and compliments for the mixture of comprehensiveness and sarcastic brutality. With that laundry list of stains, you can maybe understand how/why many folks think Twitter's grand plans have been reduced to rubble. Plenty of fight fans are thinking the May 14, 2022 boxing card from Triller Fight Club will stand as the book-end to the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones exhibition which launched the Triller ship in these perilous waters.
Or not…Sometimes a listing ship can get patched and resume forward movement.
Usually, no, but in this case, maybe so. The Triller Fight Club situation brings to mind a phrase attributed to the Greek brainiac Aristotle, which stated that nature knows no void that doesn't get filled, because denser material slides into empty spaces. It's physics, it's over my head. But the concept shifted over the millenia. More often now the “nature fills a vacuum” theory is used to explain often dismaying developments or reactions that could be seen as crassly opportunistic or predatory. “Nature may abhore a vacuum,” I told Kavanaugh, “but the internet loves them!”