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


San Jose Pavillion
March 23, 2006

I attended the ultimate fighting contest at the Pavilion, and I wasnít impressed.  Iíve never been a fan of large individuals, pumped up on steroids, prancing around a cage, beating holly hell out of each other.  The whole thing had an air of World Wrestling Federation.  Iíve never been a wrestling fan, or of loud mouth performers.  Sorry.  I wanted to like it, but I just couldnít.  Compared to boxing this is nothing more than a back ally brawl.  Plus, I once met Shamrock.  It might have been a bad day, or maybe it was the steroids.  He impressed me as a mean spirited, bully who uses his size to intimidate.  I hate bullies, always have.  I see nothing admirable about a large person pushing smaller people around.  I find people who think this is worthy behavior repulsive.  This is the ultimate definition of coward.  If heís so tough, he ought to go to Iraq.  Thereís a war going on over there.  A huge, half crazed monster like that using drugs is a nightmare.  I predict prison in two years for him.  On the other hand, I have to say these guys threw themselves into the fray like ancient gladiators.  It was a hard-core, violent bloody event.  These guys are the closest youíll find to human mad dogs outside of prison.  I found few redeeming qualities and only a few recognizable skills.  It was two guys just beating the hell out of each other.  Swinging wild haymakers, and wrestling around on the floor.  It seemed like whoever got the other on the floor, got on top, and pounded the tar out of him, won.  Once they got on the mat, it was impossible to see, unless you looked up at the overhead monitor.  I hate looking at the monitor, its like watching TV.  If I wanted to do that Iíd stay at home.  Watching to guys on the floor is about as interesting as watching paint dry.  Finally, I just got bored and left. 

It is an All-American made sport.  Like Christmas, Valentines Day, etc. it was created to make a buck.  Itís gaudy, loud and violent.  Where else can you find human giants, pumped up on steroids, dyed hair, mad-dog attitudes, trash talking, and egomaniacs prancing around like peacocks?  Only in America.  The first boxing event of the 2006 season was great, although, I was very disappointed Kelsey Jeffriesí bout was canceled.  No matter what else can be said about her, she always puts on a great show.  Plus, sheís got great legs and a cute smile. 

The first bout matched Alex Perez, from Los Angeles making his pro debut against Hector Rivera form Mexico.  Marty Sammon was the referee.  Alex lacked fundamentals, typical of Mexican fighters.  Hector had a good right hand and threw combinations.  I gave the first round to Rivera.  Perez came out swinging his arms like a monkey swinging form a tree.  He failed to jab, which would have made a huge difference.  He missed dozens of punches, swinging wildly, finally one landed and Rivera was hanging on by a thread.  When it comes to taking punishment Mexican fighters are as tough as a politicianís heart.  These guys are like the Duracell bunny; they just keep going and going.  The Third round saw Perez trying to get on the inside, while Rivera was doing his best to stay in the fight.  Smelling blood, the crowd began to cheer, hoping for a knockout.  Perez, demonstrated a good defensive position, but lacked the skills to use it effectively.  I had him ahead in the third round.  He stayed busier, while Rivera was fading.  The final round was a brawl with both fighters throwing wild haymakers, trying to take out the other.  The crowd added their cheers.  Both fighters were exhausted, but continued to swing, grab each other, taking blows, suffering, enduring, without much technique, but lots of action.  I gave it to Perez. 

The second bout matched Francisco Santana, 152 lbs. from Santa Barbara, CA with one fight and one KO, with Jesus Alvarado with three fights and three loses, of Mexico.  Macros Rosales refereed.  Alvarado was taller but failed to impress me.  Santana demonstrated good fundamentals, defensive position, better footwork and took his time.  Alvarado demonstrated poor technique, dropping his hands after a punch.  Santana read his mistakes and landed a hook that laid him out.  It was a beautiful punch.  Alvarado dropped like a shot buffalo.  Santana was clearly the better fighter.  I suggest Alvarado take up bus driving.  He looked awful.  If Santana can maintain his development, continue to improve his technique and get better sparring, he may be someone to watch.  I recommend he head to LA as often as possible and get as much sparring with other up and comers. 

The third bout matched Malcolm Tann, with a record of 16 fights, with 2 KOs, from Chandler AZ, with Shaun Ross, of Murrieta, CA with a record of 3 wins and 3 KOs, heavy weights.  It looked like a mismatch on paper.  I was expected these boys to bang.  Instead, I saw trash, poor fundamentals, no hand speed, and no jabbing.  Ross dropped his right hand, while Tann had good counter punching skills, but lacked aggression.  It got so slow the crowd began to boo.  I gave the first round to Tann.  Ross failed to move or use his jab, or pick up his right hand.  Then Tann finally landed a left hook that stunned Ross, who tied him up.  Both fighters traded shots, and repeatedly tied each other up, causing the crowd to boo.  When the bell rang for the third round, both fighters appeared tired.  Ross failed to properly read Tann, who clearly demonstrated fatigue and could have easily been taken out.  Any fighter worth an ounce of salt should have noticed such weaknesses.  Ross, tried to get on the inside, but lacked power in his punches.  The fight became a hugging and dancing contest, with Tann hanging on for dear life; the referee stepped in and stopped it.  It was a terrible example of what happens when individuals donít respect the sport.  Lazy fighters are like fat models, nobody wants to watch Ďem.  Such performances bring dishonor to the sport.  Tann lost by TKO, but it was just bad conditioning, poor work ethic, and stinking thinking.  I wonder if the commission even paid him, or if they should?

The fourth bout included Ricardo Cortes, 15-1-11 KOs, a hometown hero.  Ricardo has made tremendous improvements from his earlier brawling days.  Heís come far from his early days of Kamikaze tactics.  Thank God, he had the good sense to find himself another trainer.  You gotta watch this kid go for it.  He always comes out with lethal intentions and makes no qualms about it.  He wants to hurt someone right away.  Every one of his punches are meant to destroy.  His opponent Juan Carlos Sanchez, of Mexico had a record of 24-16-3 with 16 KOs.  This was the fight I came to watch.  Iím not a big fan out of big named out of town talent.  No matter how they do, it doesnít matter.  If Iím not interested, its too much like work.  Sanchez came out in a Southpaw stance.  Cortes demonstrated better fundamentals and quickly saw an opening.  He started throwing upper cuts and right hands, followed by left hooks.  Sanchezís feet were out of position, making his punches ineffective.  He was clumsy, awkward and off balance.  Cortes threw a beautiful five-punch combination that had Sanchez on the ropes, hanging on for dear life.  Cortes kept coming in throwing rights, and left hooks.  Sanchez took several shots and said, ≥ come on≤.  Much to his credit, Cortes looked relaxed demonstrating professionalism and confidence.  Round three, was in my mind going to be the last.  Cortes was landing solid shots, while Sanchez was unable to keep Cortes away.  Cortes charged in and started banging away like a bloodthirsty maniac, chopping away, landing solid shots that would have killed an elephant.  Finally, after delivering a dozen punishing blows, Cortes delivered a beautiful upper cut, and a left hook that rocked Sanchez, dropping him to the canvas.  The crowd fired up on airport priced beer lifted the roof with an explosion of applause and cheers.  It was a great demonstration of skill.  My hat goes off to Ricardo, Great fight!

Thank God for fighters like Ricardo Cortes.  He brings honor to this game, which is filled with crap beyond belief.  Take the main event.  What a smelly load this was.  Talk about using your daddy's name.  Hector ďTaco TruckĒ Camacho Jr. looked like he parties more than he trains.  He needs to push himself away from the table and shut his mouth.  What a load of dung this was.  His performance was disappointing.  He was fat, slow, and lacked the killer everything that made his daddy famous.  This kid is not a chip off the old block.  He might have been adopted, or maybe someone left him on Machoís doorstep.  He was unimpressive, and lacked technique, pose, or hand speed.  He should have easily won.  Instead, a game fighter from Ohio, named Virgil McClendon, demonstrated boxing skills and more heart.  Like I said, I donít care for big named, out of town fighters.  I would have left after Cortezís fight, but if I was having a good time just being there.

San Francisco was simultaneously hosting the Golden Gloves.  I was there for the first night.  Too bad itís so far away.  As usual it is jammed with controversy, back stabbing and infighting.  USA Boxing Incorporated out of Colorado Springs is fighting for control of the multi-million amateur boxing industry.  Its not about the kids, nor is it about improving young hearts and minds, it about the money.  Anyone who believes the Olympics are about establishing good will and the athletes must also believe the war in Iraq being about freedom.  Congratulations to the winners and participants. 

Closer to home, there are 7.  1 million dollars missing from the Stockton treasury.  Our good mayor, the former police chief, has thus far been unable to account for it.  Corruption in Stockton politics is as normal as dishonesty, making all elected officials suspects.  However, One must be careful in Stockton.  Everyone is related, via marriage, divorce, girlfriends, cousins or something.  You canít throw a rock without hitting someoneís relative.  A recent article in the Stockton Record explains the high crime rate as a ďprevalence of mental illnessĒ.  Itís a little scary.  I wonder if this was hinting at inbreeding.  Stockton is also the dumping ground for early release prison programs, mental health patients, board and care homes, drug abuse programs and has two major highways running through it.  Making it an easy landing place for thousands of undocumented aliens, which make up 27% of inmates in prison in California.  It also adds to the number of violent gangs, drug dealing and murder.  Its number two in murders, and car thefts.  It sits on a flood plain, and its been raining like hell recently.  Images of New Orleans and broken levees are a real threat here.  What really freaks me out is that natives of Stockton think all of this as normal.  Theyíve lived in a quagmire of political corruption, police shootings, tribal disputes, racism, elitism, indifference and beatings on handcuffed prisoners, its considered normal.  Things get so hot here, even Satan himself was sighted at a local nightclub, Iím not kidding, and it even made the paper. 

Its still business as usual in Stockton.  Bob Dylan just performed at our new Sports Arena.  Itís like a bad movie that never ends.  This is what Caesar did in Rome, during a crisis; heíd have free games at the coliseum, keeping the population distracted, entertained, and happy.  Lets hope things get better, but until they do.  Thank God For Boxing!  

Always in Your Corner,

Jorge A. Martinez