April 21, 2005
Promoter Don Chargin and Maloof
Sports & Entertainment put on a great show. As a veteran sportswriter who
has witnessed many great fights, I have to give this show two thumbs up. It was
well organized and the main alone event was worth the trip. As usual, the Arco
staff was professional, and even the fans were well behaved. There were no
fisticuffs outside the ring and the event went smoothly, Thank God. The only
thing worse than having to watch bad boxing is having to put up with drunken
fools. Mauricio Borquez from Lakeside Ca, with five wins and three loses squared
off against Bhakari Gates, a home town hero, with only one win and one loss.
Gates simply out-classed and out hustled Borquez.
Savala, another hometown hero and the shortest toughest kid I’ve met in a long
time, proved height has nothing to do with heart or punching power. Danny, did a
great job of out boxing, and out maneuvering Luis Medina, who came out ready to
rumble and gave a good showing, until Danny landed a sweet left cross that laid
Luis flat on his back. Sitting ringside, it appeared he might never get up
again, but thank the God, he did. Danny’s record is now 5 wins, two losses and
two ties, and two KOs. If handled correctly, Danny has the makings of one bad
mother humper. Good job Danny!
next bout matched Panchito Maldanado, from Lakeside, Ca. (7-6) squaring off with
hometown favorite Anthony Charnell, (5-1-1, 4 KOs). This match was less
spectacular, less refined; it consisted mostly of brawling, slugging, and
swinging from left field, missing dozens of shots and not much boxing. As a
veteran sportswriter, I grow weary of watching young fighters with so much
potential wasted because of a lack of training. Anthony has the guts, the
height, the power, and the youth to make it, yet he appears to lack a
knowledgeable trainer. I‘ve grown sick of watching such young men thrown to
the sharks, forced to swim or sink, with no hopes of reaching their full
potential, because of poor coaching. Too bad, there ought to be a law against
it. As a believer that every man makes his own destiny, I would advise Anthony
Charnell to go elsewhere quickly. He needs to find a coach that can teach him
how to utilized his gifts. I would suggest Anthony seek out Fear No Man Boxing
Club in Stockton. I know the guy very well. Maldando got the decision.
next bout brought another tomato can for Valanna McGee, (7-2-1 3 KOs). I’ve
watched four of her fights and all of them have been with unprepared, poorly
trained, boxers. That’s why there are so many such hometown heroes, who never
leave their backyard, but when they do, K-Pow! A young lady by the name of
Kelsey Jeffries is in the same boat. The problem with this is they never
improve; they grow over confident and complacent. Her opponent Lisa Pederson
(2-3-1), from Minneapolis, MN, was clearly a no-contest. It was like watching
Lance Armstrong race against someone in a wheel chair.
is no honor in defeating an unworthy opponent. Whoopee. McGee banged out another
opponent who had no business being in the ring with her. I would suggest McGee
get better opponents, otherwise she is heading for trouble, when she faces real
opposition. There are worthy opponents all over the place, if she needs help
finding one, I would be very happy to make the connection. The Novelty show of
the evening featured Otis Griffin, of the Next Great Champ TV Show beating up
another poor guy with no chance in hell of winning. Its not Otis’s fault, his
job is to fight, but it does not make for interesting competition. It was barely
a boxing match; it consisted of brawling, wild flurries, and stranger tactics.
Neither boxer displayed knowledge of fundamentals, defense tactics, footwork,
hand positioning and they did little more than swing form every angle
imaginable. Finally after a hundred missed punches, Otis landed a lucky shot
that rocked McAllister. JJ McAllister was making his Pro Debut and got knocked
out by Otis who’s had six bouts with two KOs. Let me also say Otis is one of
the nicest people I’ve met, as are his trainers. However, I would strongly
suggest Otis get a real trainer. The two guys I met might be wonderful human
beings, but they are not doing him any favors by allowing him to continue to box
as he has. He has the tools to be much better. Otis is building up a record that
will eventually lead to a real fight, then he’s gonna get hurt. I suggest he
look up Fear No Man Boxing in Stockton and beg the coach to take him under his
wing. It would be worth it.
main event was one of the best fights I’ve seen in a very long time. I’ve
watched main events with Gilbert Martinez who was so boring I actually
surrendered my sit ringside. I’ve watched Montel Griffin, hug and dance with
his opponent at nauseum. This bout was a sportswriter’s fantasy. There was
anger, emotion, fury, and righteous outrage. To give the fight more juice, the
replacement was not the one originally scheduled to fight. Eric Regan, with
23-wins, one loss and 15 KOs was suppose to meet Middleweight Champion Eduardo
Ayala, who failed to materialize. In his place, the powers that be, accidentally
found a tougher, cooler, more deadly opponent, Darmel Castillo, with only 9 wins
and eight loses, and only one KO, was brought in to take a beating. No promoter
in his right mind would knowingly pick an opponent that had a chance of actually
defeating the hometown hero. Too bad things don’t always work out the way
they’re suppose too. This is why boxing beats the rest.
knew Darmel was tougher than the rocks used to build the Alamo. He had to be to
survive the mean streets of San Antonio. There, the loser usually dies. It’s
just the way it is. Fistfights are not events between gentlemen, but between men
who have battled all their lives, just to survive. Fighters are not guys who bow
and wear white and practice kicking and punching make believe opponents. Kick
boxers are not guys who compete for trophies, there everyone kicks when they
street fight, and fights continue until one of the combatants is unable to get
up. Having been raised in the same area, I knew Eric was in for a big surprise.
Darmel Castillo proved me right. I was the only one in the entire arena cheering
him from the beginning of the fight. I have to admit I wanted Darmel to win. It
was a real contest for about the first two rounds, then Darmel clearly beat down
the Hit Man. Castillo, out smarted, out punched, out moved and out balled, Eric,
who was clearly afraid of “Darmel, The Texas Tornado”. In one of the most
exciting fights I’ve witnessed, Darmel knocked ³Glass Jaw Eric Regan² down
early in the fight with a dynamite right. As his corner begged him to get up, he
lay like a dying beached whale. The crowd was going nuts and everyone expected
him to stay down, but he got up. Regan, who stumbled about like a drunken sailor
barely survived thanks to the referee. I’ve not seen this obviously biased
refereeing before. I’ve known the referee for many years, and up to that point
he had always acted as a detached, professional. However, he clearly gave Regan
a chance to finish the round, even though he took twenty-five punches without
fighting back. Even the ring doctor stepped into the ring and had words with
him. Everyone was surprised the referee failed to stop the fight. I feared a
tragedy, especially after watching the TV special on Emile Griffin who killed
Kid Paret. Thank God, no one died. Eric continued to take a beating from this
crafty, gutsy unknown. The remaining rounds saw Darmel calmly administer a sound
thrashing, as he waited and carefully picked his shots. The crowd, which had
booed Castillo during the introduction, was clearly impressed. Where there had
been hostile cat calls and boos, now there were wild cheers and applause. Sadly,
Eric, the hometown hero fell from the pedestal where he’d been placed by
crafty matchmakers who thought they found him tomato can. This is why boxers
should not surrender their careers to their handlers. This is the type of defeat
I see in store for Valanna McGee, unless she faces better opponents. By the way,
I like Valanna, she is attractive and the perfect rags to riches story. A single
mom, fighting to make it with her daughter. Who wouldn’t like her? As much as
I like her, it does not mean what I say is not also true. I see years of
suffering in her eyes, I don’t blame her for wanting to fight. I wish her lots
of luck, lots of money, and much better opponents.
“Glass-Jaw Regan”, who’s been protected is now paying the price. He’s
fallen a very long way. His desperation has only began, next come the jeers, the
stares, and the “I coulda told you so’s”, from people who once cheered
him. Eric learned the same lesson all protected boxers have learned. A fighter
can only be protected so long, eventually he has to step up and face a real
opponent. This is why boxing is the best sport in the world. There is no room
for fakes, and less for fools. There is no joy in the River City tonight. The
after fight party was canceled and Eric is not taking calls. Darmel Castillo
will return to Alamo City, and those of us who witnessed the fight will talk
about it for a long time to come. Congratulations Darmel.
Tzu, the great Chinese General author of The Art of War, might suggest a new
strategy for Eric Regan, once known as “Hit Man”. He might suggest one with
less sizzle and more meat. He, as well as I, would suggest new coaches, new
managers, and a return to old fashion, time proven training methods. I would
once again direct him to contact Fear No Man Boxing Club in Stockton. The coach
there might be able to resurrect him to his former self.
am signing off for a while. I am heading to Arizona to stand watch with the
Minutemen along the Arizona-Mexican border. Having done my time during actual
combat, I don’t anticipate any heroics. My philosophy is the only good war, is
the one you can walk away form. I do feel the need for a semi adventure, one
without rockets, artillery, snipers and body bags. I send a heart felt hello to
all my fans in uniform now serving in Iraq. Remember Guys, Never drop your
guard, and don’t forget anything.
special hello to Mr. Roy Egelbreight, formally of Golden Boy Promotions, now
working his magic in Sacramento. As a fan of this great sport, I am privileged
to be able to do something I love. I am blessed beyond words, so in closing
I’ll say as always, Thank God For Boxing.
Fernando Vargas Vs Ray Joval
March 28, 2005
the most impressive detail of this over-dramatized, pseudo boxing spectacle was
that it was held in my hometown of Corpus Christi Texas. Other than that I was
not impressed. I wanted Vargas to demonstrate the old black magic that once made
him dangerous. I wanted to see him explode into a fighting frenzy like a caged
lion, instead all we got was a boring, lack luster main event that looked more
like a sparring session.
believe the embarrassing tears during the pre fight interview were just
emotional baggage. I’d have to say, “Toughen up boy, a lot of us had a hard
coming up”. Vargas failed to take advantage of being in Texas. The Southwest
is famous for spiritual healers. Any “curandero”, would have told him to
embrace his pain and use it to fire himself up. Instead of whining, he should be
pumped up and proud. How many guys can claim to be professional fighters? It
seems Vargas has lost his mojo. A curandero could have done a “trabajito”
and performed a “limpia”. It might have helped him get his magic back. As it
is now, his nickname “El Feroz”, no longer applies. The half crazed warrior
that once launched kamikaze attacks with blood thirsty abandon has become as
domesticated as a house cat. What we have now is a less confident, very
cautious, emotionally challenged, old looking, 28-year-old nice guy. Nothing
wrong with that if you wanna sale shoes for a living, but not as a fighter. I
gotta ask, what happened? Where has the real Fernando Vargas gone.
never cared for his trash talking, but Vargas once had something. He was a tough
street kid who took no shit from anybody. He never hesitated to trade blows with
anyone who gave him an excuse. He was interesting to watch and impossible to
predict. As crazy as that might have been, its preferable to the guy who cried
on national television. Its bad enough Oscar De La Hoya’s, “Next Great
Champ”, brought us a crybaby a week. To add insult to injury, they were all
supposed to be Mexican American tough guys. Now we got Fernando Vargas, the once
upon a time bad ass, crying, before the fight. Please.
was embarrassed for Vargas. Who told him it was ok to cry while being
interviewed? Someone should punch out Vargas’ advisor and fire his trainer.
His coaches better feed him some loco weed, or do something else quick. I liked
him better when he was talking trash and insulting Oscar. I miss his brashness.
I miss his tough guy personality and his “screw you” attitude. It may be
antisocial, but it’s preferable to this milk-fed-creampuff, who wants to be
understood. “Vargas, You’re suppose to be a fighter, not a guest on the
Doctor Phil show”. Even Doctor Phil would say, “crying dogs can’t hunt”.
suggest he visit the area where he grew up, and rediscover the ugly realities
that made him want to fight. Life may have changed him, but it’s still the
same for millions of Chicanos everywhere. There are hundreds of tough, hungry,
young fighters ready and willing to risk it all. My confusion is why did he
change? He had the right formula, all he’s got to do is stop “feeling” so
much, and just go for it.
in the past is the last thing a fighter should to do. Everyone has had
disappointments and heartache. Its private stuff that needs to stay private. Old
time trainers wanted their fighters to be bachelors. Women tend to make men
soft, they steal a man’s fury. Look at what Robin Gibbons did to poor Mike
Tyson. She had him whipped, he acted like her house pet. A fighter has to be
willing to risk it all without fear, remorse, or regret. The more civilized a
fighter becomes, the more apt he is to get hurt. A fighter has to be half crazy
to begin with. Once he becomes too “civilized”, he might as well quit. A
fighter had to be able to distance himself from all those emotion that make most
men tame and “civilized”.
suggest Vargas re-dye his hair blonde, walk up to Oscar, and spit in his eye,
then challenge him to another fight on national television. This strategy worked
for Hopkins. After Hopkins beat Oscar, they became partners, now Hopkins is
gonna make big money. Maybe, if Vargas gives Oscar a good fight, they’ll
become buddies, and he can also make millions. Spitting in Oscar’s eye would
get him negative press and a lot of people would want to see them tangle again.
might work, Oscar is loosing money, His sports wear Idea is a flop, they’re
practically giving away his stuff at Big Lots. I also suspect things are not
going well between him and his lady. I’ll bet if Vargas spits in his eye,
Oscar will swing back. Then the media will jump on it, and make it more
interesting for all of us. But please, enough with the crying. After watching
those fake tough guys on the “Next Great Champ”, I don’t want to see
anymore crying Mexicans. Its gonna ruin our tough guy reputation.
still have a problem believing Vargas did not know someone was giving him
steroids. I know he’s not a brain surgeon, but he must have known they were
gonna test him. I understand the pressure to win, but come on man, get real.
watched Vargas pummel Fitz Vanderpool in July of 2003, then fight in December,
then vanish. He reappears in Tejas, and almost brings me to tears. He was
terrible. The problem was that Joval only came to show off his hairstyle.
Carefully selecting your opponents is necessary so it may not be Vargas’s
fault, but someone blew it. The matchmaker should have found someone who
“wanted” to fight. Joval demonstrated no balls, and few boxing skills. I
would not spend money to watch Vargas dance around for another ten rounds. I
hope he gets his act straight. His notoriety may help, but he’s got to make it
fun to watch. If he wants to play it safe he should take up golf. Boxing is not
for the meek. Otherwise he should do like Oscar, and get into promoting.
watching this terrible performance, I felt deceived. I came to watch a warrior
destroy some fool wearing a halo. Not witness another tragedy. If this is a good
as Vargas can do, maybe he should consider taking steroids. I heard steroids are
suppose to make people crazy. It would at least make it more interesting.
Speaking of steroids, I’ve asked Sylvester to cut the crying scenes form his
next episode of The Contender, lets hope he listens. I’d rather watch replays
of Rocky, then more crying tough guys.
I want to send
out a special hello to the Escobar’s of Main Dr, and Hererra’s of
Kingsville, Texas. I want to say hello to Father David Mac Donald, of Virginia,
my best friend. I want say hello to the Minutemen along the Arizona-Mexican
border. Keep in mind, No matter how bad things get, they can get worse, ask any
solider in Iraq, which is why I say, Thank God For Boxing.
Las Vegas NV March 19, 2005
are many worthy competitors in boxing, but few real heroes. I remember when
Antonio Barrera wiped the floor with wonder-punk Prince Hamed. It was memorable
because it striped away the phoniness from that trash talking fool. I refuse to
call him anything other than ridiculous for his before fight performance and his
delusional self-importance. What a jerk. Thank God, Barrera shut his mouth.
Morales, who has played a major role in Barrera’s life also touched the stars
by defeating Manny Pacquiao, a much more respectable opponent. While Barrera
defeated a fool, Morales presented us with an opportunity for a great rematch.
was happy Morales won, not because I have similar roots, but because he was the
best fighter of the two. He fought smarter and better. He picked his shots,
attacked with ferocity and strategy. He proved that as a boxer/ puncher he is
worthy of respect, and should never be counted out. Manny Pacquia did not
disappoint me. No one can say he did not put forth his best effort. He may lack
fundamentals, and punching power, but nothing when it comes to courage. Pacquia
won my respect because of his unwillingness to surrender.
expected Pacquiao started fast, coming out blazing with both guns, nailing
Morales with serious shots that had the crowd on its feet. Morales demonstrated
tremendous pose, and a counterattack worthy of an ancient Gladiator. Fans in the
ancient Roman Coliseum would have been impressed with this bloody battle. I saw
Pacquia loose the spiritual battle early on to Morales who fought as if
possessed. Manny seemed to grow smaller as the fight went on. I saw him falter
and loose confidence in himself. I believe he stopped believing he could win,
and kept fighting on pride alone. He knew he’d lost, before the last bell
sounded. It was never the less, a fight worth watching. I must admit I believed
Pacquiao would take Morales out. Especially after disposing of his two prior
opponents. Morales had much to make up for when he squared off against him.
Great job Erik!
word should be said about referee Joe Cortez, who has done an excellent job.
Such consistency is rare and reason for praise. I cannot remember a
controversial stoppage by Cortez. As a former referee, I gotta give Joe a thumbs
up and a pat on the back. You’re Aces in my book Joe, keep up the good work.
in Your Corner,
Jorge A. Martinez