Retired Boxers Foundation | Documentary Idea
by Bernie McCoy
My documentary idea is based on a conversation I had with former professional boxer Alex Ramos and an article I published in WBAN (Women Boxing Archive Network). Below is my letter to Alex outlining my concept for what could be a powerful documentary.
Thank you for the material you sent me. As I told you on the phone, it reinforced my feeling that your story, both in the ring and in your current capacity with RBF, is a compelling one and would translate well to the documentary screen. Each story element could, easily, stand alone, but when combined makes for a powerful tale.
An athlete literally and figuratively fighting his way out off the mean streets of the Bronx, traversing the pitfalls of the cruelest of sports, making headlines in the ring while, at the same time, falling prey the almost ritual mistakes of every young athlete. The story of reaching the cusp of the top of the boxing world is one of success and failure that serves as both encouragement and a cautionary tale for those thinking of a future in boxing or for others who are drawn to the sport as fans. That part of the story alone serves to powerfully establish your credibility for the second segment.
Which is, unmistakably, a story of redemption and giving back to a sport that has, at the same time, given and cost you so much. The fact that you have devoted your time and effort, your being, to trying to improve the lot of those fighters who have been ravaged much more savagely by the sport is singular in itself. That you are getting little more than cursory recognition from those in the boxing community who have and continue to gain financially from the sport is a tragedy of unspeakable proportion.
If the theme of the first part of the story is one of success and failure so common to the sport, then the subsequent theme of the second part is one or rage: rage, on behalf of those fighters who have given the prime of their lives to a sport that has largely abandoned them. It's a rage encapsulated in questions to the boxing community and their benign neglect of your efforts. Questions that you continue to ask the boxing establishment on behalf of those neglected by that boxing community: "If not you, Who? If not now, When?"
As I told you, I have no skill in putting together anything longer than a 800 word essay (and skill may be significantly overstating my capabilities). What I've briefly outlined are just my thoughts about how your story could translate to a documentary format. I would tell the two stories concurrently on the screen, the contrast of a young fighter making his way up the ladder of the sport, contrasted, via flashbacks, and a much wiser, experienced former fighter continuing to crusade for those who can no longer fight for themselves. As I said, it's a compelling story.
It was my great pleasure talking with you and having the privilege of putting a very small part of your story in brief, modest words. I hope these thoughts help in some small way in your admirable journey. Please do not hesitate to call on me if you think I can be of any assistance in the future.
Cell 805- 390-7334