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

 

Radisson Hotel
Sacramento, California

Feb. 3, 2006

Dark clouds loom over boxing in Sacramento. These dark omens come in the shape of God-awful boxers and coaches. Iíve seldom witnessed such a miserable example of the sweet science. It was so bad I left after the third round of the Main Event. Anyone who calls this boxing must also believe our Governor really is a robot form the future. This is not to say I donít appreciate the effort. Boxing fans should applaud Nassar for putting on the show. Its not his fault the boxers found in the area are so bad as to require an apology.

To add insult to injury it was an hour late getting started and I had to pay for parking. The whole thing seemed like something out of a bad movie. We had to endure kickboxing. I donít know why Nassar believes boxing fans care about, or wanna see martial arts. It added time to the already long show. I would recommend just sticking to boxing.

What bothers me the most is that the trainers of this miserable display believe they are doing a good job. I canít imagination how believe they believe this is boxing. Whoever is training Christian Cruz, Ernesto Castanada, Richard Page and Cullen Rogers should be striped of the title. These guys displayed no knowledge of fundamentals or boxing skills. This is not to say they canít swing away like lumberjacks. If they held an ax in their hands, I am sure they could chop down any tree. I however, this is boxing and I would argue it takes more than putting on a pair of gloves to call yourself a boxer. What breaks my heart is that every one of these individuals is a nice guy. All of them are polite, well mannered and present themselves as gentlemen. It breaks my heart to think these young men with so much potential, are depending on fools to train them. I can only imagine how good these young lions might be, if they had trainers who knew what they were doing. As it is now, they will make cannon founder for better-trained boxers. It is no wonder why when area boxers leave our little pond, they are beaten bloody and returned humiliated.

Bout number one. Thank God Andrew Kim, a kid making his debut. He was the best boxer of the entire evening, sadly, he was also the least experienced, but the best trained boxer there. He defeated a clown named Everett Gunman whose performance was so bad; he could only call himself a boxer in a self-made world of delusion. This poor idiot smiled the entire time, which adds credence to my theory of him having a death wish. No one, I know, would step into the ring this poorly prepared and not have a death wish. I know God works in mysterious ways, I hope he brings this terrible excuse of a boxer enlightenment... soon. He is making a mockery of the sport.

Bout number two matched Ignacio Slario, with a record of 3 wins and one loss with Ramon Espinoza with six wins and five losses. I was surprised Ignacioís coach, agreed to take a fight with someone with twice the experience. Not a good idea. Iíve seen Ignacio fight before and he demonstrated skill and promise, however this was more then he could chew. Ramon, whose ring name is ďKillerĒ demonstrated pose, determination and better discipline. Ignacio seems to have lost his fire. He waited too long, seemed dull and unable to find Killerís weaknesses. Espinoza won by decision, I agreed. This is another of our local boxers in need of better coaching. Whomever is in charge of his training needs to do a serious self evaluation and ask themselves if theyíve taught him as much as they can, its time to get help. Egos are fragile things and self-importance is manís worse enemy, I have no hope this will take place. The one to suffer will be Ignacio, whose dreams of greatness may never be realized.

Bout number three matched local boxer Danny Savala with five wins, three losses and two knockouts, with a professional opponent Anthony Martinez form Los Angeles. Both of these warriors weigh 133 lbs. Martinez has a record of 19 wins and 19 losses. Thatís 38 fights. I donít know what kind of logic Dannyís manager used in order to agree to this fight. I wonder if his lost a couple of screws or is smoking crack. I was however, not surprised Danny held his own and gave a good account of himself. He demonstrated good boxing skills and conditioning, however he failed to read his opponent and lacked a power punch. His footwork was poor; he had no pivots, never shifted his weight into his punches and never earned Martinezís respect. Martinez on the other hand grew more confident as the fight progressed and took the fight to Savala. I instructed Danny not to lay on the ropes and take punishment, but I was not in his corner. Martinez landed hard, solid body shots, which Danny took with indifference, kept running, and only fought back momentarily, then repeated his running strategy. Martinez cracked heads with Danny, whose head proved harder, a cut was soon bleeding, but closed by his corner. I have no idea what Dannyís corner was thinking, they had to have known the judges were scoring against him. Danny lost, because his corner failed to give him better direction. Anthony Martinez won the decision.

The next bout cannot be called a fight. Darin Freeman, from Susanville permitted Paul Vasquez to pound him mercilessly and rarely punched back. It was awful to have to watch and must have been worse for Freeman, who took the beating. I have no idea what concept his coach must have of boxing, but it should require at least some fighting back. Vasquez with four wins and one loss dominated the entire bout. It was like watching Custerís last stand, only there were no Indians. I gotta wonder whatís going on in Darinís head, if he still has a brain, because he was terrible. Losing a fight is one thing, surrendering before the fight begins demonstrates cowardice, I cannot say form which Freeman suffers worse. He may lack the most important ingredient necessary in a boxer, balls.

The worse fight of the evening was Ernesto Castanada and Richard Paige. Iíve followed Richardís career because Iím amazed he has survived this long. The poor guy has all the natural ability to be a great boxer. He is built lean, strong with long arms, perfect for a boxer. Yet, he has not learned the first thing about how to actually box. He lacks everything. He has no stance, no defensive hand position, no footwork, no upper body motion, NOTHING. He has survived by having an incredibly ability to take a beating and keep swinging. He has an unbelievable sense of balance and does everything wrong, yet manages to actually hit his opponents. My heart breaks for this kid who could actually develop into a boxer, if he had a real trainer to help him. His trainer must be retarded. I can think of no other explanation for such a terrible display. Now, take everything Iíve said and multiply it by two, and youíll have an idea of just how bad Ernesto Castanada is. I am told he is trained by his father. Boy, talk about suffering for the sins of your father. Ernesto has all the physical tools necessary, plus courage and determination, yet he fights like some kind of ape, swinging his arms around like a mad man. He lacks balance and any apparent understanding of boxing. He did not throw a single good jab. How on earth his father could be proud of this performance is beyond me. Watching him up there made me wanna call Child Protective Services, because his father is responsible for this awful display. His idea of boxing must come form some Mexican barrio where two fools stand toe to toe and pound each other senseless. Standing in front of your opponent and swinging your arms in giant arches, and out like an ape, is not boxing. I stood several feet away from him, and overheard him giving advice to some other misguided individual. I was simply amazed, he sincerely thinks of himself as knowledgeable. I suspect he is perpetuating his self-delusion and risking his sonís life in order to feed his ego. I would describe the Castanada - Page fight as The Worse Boxing Match Iíve ever witnessed. I have to admire Ernestoís raw courage, for stepping into a possible deadly situation with only his faith in God, courage and a snowball chance in hell of surviving. I suggest he fire his father and get a real trainer.

The Main Event was a another major disaster. Christian Cruz, another mislead young lion with lots of potential and no training faced Cullen Rogers, a coward from Ohio who cam to get a pay check. These guy a ďProfessional OpponentĒ, came to earn a payday, not take any chances, didnít care about winning. After watching three rounds of what appeared to be a repeat of the Page-Castanda disaster, I could no longer endure the pain and left. I donít care who won, as it will not matter any where outside of Sacramento, which is earning a reputation for terrible boxers and worse trainers. God help our local boys if they ever leave our small pond and get into the deep water with the sharks. Aside from Vicente Escobedo and maybe one are two others, Sacramento's boxing stinks. The Castanda- Page fight will go down in history as the worse boxing event I ever had to surfer through. I will keep it in mind when Jorgeís Corner makes its 2006 awards for best and worse of Northern and Central California Boxing.

I am happy to report it was not all a horrible waking nightmare. Thanks to Andrew Kim, Ignacio Slario and Danny Savala, local boxers who may have a chance. I will continue to keep an eye on Andrew Kim who seems to be the best bet. Those of you who want to watch more terrible boxing can come to GunSmoke, on Feb. 11th, 2006, where you are guaranteed an exciting evening of two men beating each other bloody, demonstrating few skills, in front of a crazed crowd of drunk fans screaming bloody murder and stomping their feet in unison. The only thing missing are the drums and headdresses, otherwise it is primal and very tribal. These tribal behaviors are considered normal in Stockton, and outsiders should be warned to park nearby and leave quickly, as the hostilities usually spill out into the streets. Visitors should bare in mind that 150 ex convicts are released into the population monthly from surrounding prisons. Living in Stockton often makes me wish birth control was retroactive and makes me wonder if they closed the insane asylum to soon. Outsiders should also be aware of the revolving doors at the county jail, which cannot house repeat offenders who are released quicker than the cops can complete their paper work. If you are still willing to venture into our borders, you are welcomed, just donít say you werenít warned. Boxing events where everyone gets home safely are considered a miracle

I will continue to keep a good thought, and pray that out of this darkness a real boxer and coach will emerge to remove the dark cloud of shame that looms over the Central Valleyís professional boxing circuit. As it stands now, we are in desperate need of a miracle. Nevertheless, I will endure and keep hope alive. I will also continue to Thank God for Boxing, even in the dark times it beats any other game out there.  

Always in Your Corner,

Jorge A. Martinez
Sportswriter/Trainer/Manager
dancingskyhorse@earthlink.net


 

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