By Marcus Dysch
December 1, 2011
Remember the “Jew goal”? Well now it seems another sport may have adopted a similarly tasteless phrase.
Welcome to the world of the “Jew punch”.
Subscription boxing channel BoxNation this week apologised and launched an investigation after a retired boxer made a rather dubious remark on one of its shows.
The channel cancelled repeats of the Bunce’s Boxing Hour show – hosted by respected boxing journalist Steve Bunce – following former cruiserweight Dominic Negus’s comment.
Mr Negus had been discussing his career on the November 21 edition of the show when he described his fighting style and said: “I’m very Jewish when I throw a punch”.
Mr Bunce made an on-air apology during a broadcast this past Monday.
But BoxNation chief executive Simon Green said he did not believe the remark had been intended as a “racist comment” and argued that it had instead been “misinterpreted”. He added the bizarre caveat that the on-air apology was “voluntary” and applied only to those who had made the misinterpretation.
Viewer Matthew Kane complained to BoxNation, saying the comment was made in the context of Mr Negus “being sparing with his right hand. If it was not meant to imply that Jewish people are mean, what was he saying?”.
Mr Kane rightly pointed out that if the comment was innocent, as Mr Green protested, then the channel would not have felt the need to apologise.
Defending BoxNation, Mr Green said: “Mr Negus is upset and sorry that his comment caused any offence. I understand that Mr Negus’s partner is a Jewish lady and his children attend a Jewish school.
“Although innocent in its intention, [the phrase] can also be misinterpreted and as such I apologise on behalf of Mr Negus and BoxNation.”
Make what you will of the inclusion of the line about Mr Negus’s partner being “a Jewish lady” with Jewish children. Some of his best friends may or may not be Jewish, but his missus is? That’s ok then.
I’m not the world’s biggest boxing fan, but my understanding is that references to a Jewish punching style are not common boxing parlance. I’ve yet to find anyone who had heard such phraseology before this occasion. Pushed to explain what exactly Mr Negus had meant – if he wasn’t referring to Jews being stingy – Mr Green offered no further answers.
Mr Negus, of Chingford, north east London, had a relatively short professional career, fighting 19 times, winning 13 – with six knockouts (not so sparing then) – and losing five times.
He also once appeared on “documentary series” Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men, where he discussed his past exploits working with the East End’s criminal fraternity, and recalled how he head-butted Olympic champion Audley Harrison during a fight in 2002.
No doubt he is an interesting guy, but perhaps he should stick to letting his fists do the talking – and not by throwing “Jewish” punches.
BoxNation broadcasts on Sky to subscribers paying £10 a month. I’m not tight, but I think I’ll spend my money elsewhere.