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Jorge's Corner
The Voice of Boxing in Central and Northern California


Arco Arena
January 5, 2006

The management at Arco Arena gave me a professional black eye, and Arcoís reputation for having consistently bad cards continues.  (Arco was recognized for the Worse boxing cards in 2005) The show was terrible.  According to my old friend and referee Marty Sammon, three bouts were dropped due to problems of an unknown nature.  Iíll bet Andre Ward, wanted top billing and more money.  To add insult to injury, I was shoved aside to the outer rim of the main floor.  In order to view the fights, I had to look up at the overhead screen.  After working like a field hand consistently covering the fights at Arco, it was a black eye to be removed form ringside. 

Again, adding salt on the wound, most of the guys sitting ringside were not working.  They were just watching the fights.  I go there to work, not sit and stare.  If the guys who were given my sit had actually been ďcoveringĒ the fight, and providing reliable, consistent coverage, Iíd feel less slighted, If Iíd known I was gonna be shoved aside, Iíd stayed home and watched the fights on TV.  I am not expecting fairness or even honesty, just improved judgment on those who decide whom to sit ringside.  Doesnít it make better sense to give those sits to the people who have been constantly doing a good job? You know the people who pull the plow every time works needs to get done.  What can you do, you try to do a good job, be consistent, reliable, shoot straight and be a stand up guy, and it still rains on you. 

If Vicente Escobedo, a kid Iíve been following since before he fought in the 2004 Olympics had not been the main event, Iíd left; Instead, I remained and endured the insult.  As I said earlier, this was the worse boxing card Iíve seen.  Promoter Don Chargin must be loosing his marbles.  Or perhaps Karma is catching up with him.  Most promoters are notorious penny pinchers and master manipulators.  Many promoters remind me of the sleazy guys selling stolen goods in packing lots.  Who knows, how many skeletons there are in his closet.  God only knows, and I donít care, all I know is it was awful.  I wonít bore you with details; let it suffice to say anyone who paid for a ticket was overcharged.  The boxers were so bad, I am not even gonna mention their names.  They donít deserve any coverage, because even negative press is exposure.  The coaches should be fined for allowing them into the ring.  It could almost be considered fraud.  It was another black day for boxing in Sacramento, and there have been too many to count. 

Vicente Escobedo the hard-luck story kid form a poor neighborhood in Woodland is on a fast track towards stardom.  Vicente scored an impressed victory, dominating the fight during the first round with lighting jabs, then sending Jefferson Rodriques to the canvas with a powerful, perfectly timed left hook.  His opponent who has more than three times Vicenteís experience, and shouldíve provided better competition.  Maybe heís taken to many head shots, or maybe he wasnít ready, who knows, all I know is, it was a no-contest.  Vicente knew he was gonna get some, and remained as cool as a football hero on prom night.  His shots were precise and perfectly timed.  Vicente was awarded, The Most Improved Local Boxer Award for 2005.  (See Jorgeís Corner last edition). 

The second round saw Vicente in charge of the action.  He stalked his prey like a shark, smelling blood and victory.  He waited patiently and was rewarded with an opportunity.  Vicente landed a perfectly timed shot that rocked Rodriques, and sent him to canvas.  The referee counted him out.  I thought he had enough left to get up, but Jefferson lacked the grit.  His unwillingness to continue was disappointing.  I was surprised.  I expected much better, especially after all the hype.  I expected Rambo, but instead found Bambi. 

Nevertheless, Vicente Escobedo deserves a pat on the back; he beat a man with three times the experience.  Letís pray and ask God to open a path for him.  I plan to be there when he wins a world title.  Congratulations Vicente! Fans should know one of Vicenteís aces is his brother, Jose who is also his manager, but according to trainer Don Clemente, the real engineer is Mr. Eddie Gomez, the matchmaker for Golden Boy.  I hope things improve at Arco Arena.  I hope the management wakes up and realizes its consistency that gets the job done.  Not the celebrities who only show up for the big shows.  Most facility managers would reward consistency.  I also hope there is an improvement in the quality of fights and Don Chargin gets his head out of the sand, he must have found these guys at a Wal-Mart blue light special. 

The laws of Karma show us nothingís forgotten, it should serve as a constant reminder that the Universe is watching.  There will be consequences.  Meanwhile, I will continue to struggle against the endless tide of individuals that just take up space in the world.  I will continue to struggle to make the best choice, even if isnít not the easiest.  I will reach for the stars with a smile, as Mason, a nine year old kid said today, after being asked why he was so happy.  ďToday is my happy dayĒ.  Iíll continue to do my best, not out of loyalty, which they do not value, but because to do less is beneath me.  I choose to believe things will get better.  So, I gotta say with a smile, Thank God For Boxing.

See You Ringside ... Maybe,
Always in Your Corner,

Jorge A. Martinez