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

 

HP Pavilion
San Jose California
August 18, 2005

The boxing event billed as ďThe Best Damn Night of Olympian BoxingĒ, showed us just how much help our Olympic boxing program needs. Teddy Atlas said it best. ďOur amateur boxing program is just a training ground for the pros. These kids are just building a name for themselves, they are not receiving the proper training to compete in international amateur competitionĒ. Teddy dared say such things because he doesnít have to appease the big shots at USA Boxing Incorporated. Iíve been calling attention to their monopoly for years, and Iíve yet to catch a politicianís ear. This is the only nonprofit, (super rich) amateur boxing association in the United States. To my knowledge, this organization has a monopoly on amateur boxing. It controls every aspect, and outlaws anyone who is unwilling to comply. This has been going on for years, yet to my knowledge no one has taken a look into their operation. Iíll bet they also make large donations to several politicians.

Anyone who believes the Olympics are about sports must be a flying monkey from Oz. Its about the money, the athletes are incidental. Millions are made on television coverage, product endorsements, and advertisements, etc. Very little of this goes towards training poor, talented athletes. The Olympic committee has repeatedly been found guilty of corruption. They consider accepting brides, gifts and favors normal. The ďallegedĒ Team Coach is a political appointee who has jumped through all the right hoops. The Olympics coaches like to brag, but they only serve as towel boys. They donít really train the boxers, even if they knew how. Individual boxers have their own coaches. Being appointed as an ďOlympic coachĒ is about status and bragging rights. USA Boxing Incorporated uses it as politics and influence peddling. Teddy is one of the few who will speak up. Heíll call an inadequate boxer, a tomato can and move on. Our Olympic program is in desperate need of help, but heíll never get the job. Heís got too much brass. Theyíll find someone whoíll sing their tune, and jump through hoops. Americans only say we want honesty, yet whistle blowers are rarely rewarded for taking a stand. As a matter or record, they are blacklisted, shunned and alienated. The road to hell is lined with good intentions, because in America, we only reward results. As much lip service as we pay to good sportsmanship, itís all for show only the winner gets attention, everyone else is forgotten. We donít like truth-sayers. Any one with brass ones, better get use to being shunned. The administrators at USA Boxing Inc. set the example, and like other stuff, it runs down hill.

Local Amateur boxing is riddled with political maneuvering. Itís like wadding through a sewer. The smell is enough to drive most well-meaning people away. Those who stay can only stand it, if they keep theirs mouths shut and donít get involved in the politics. Youíve not seen so much brown nosing, ass kissing, and boot licking in your life. Itís as bad as anything youíd see at the pentagon. The only worse example I can think of is college professors with tenure. Most of my college professors were complete assholes. Talk about bloated, pompous egomaniacs. Itís the same in every amateur association across the country. Many amateur officials have their noses up so far an USA Boxing administratorís crack, itís a wonder they donít suffocate. Itís sickening. I couldnít handle it, that's why I quit being a referee. Hundreds of well meaning individuals are disillusioned every year. Even with evidence in hand, nothing is done to replace individuals or correct wrong doings. Very few volunteers stay longer than it takes them to learn the real story. They arrive with their hearts in their hands, wanting to help, and leave disappointed.

Our 2004 Olympic boxing team was the worse in decades. Those that won did so unimpressively. There were better candidates, but Its not just about ability, it takes money to travel, many kids, like those form around here, donít have it. So itís not true that only the best get selected. Thatís one Olympic Myth, and there are many. Truth be told, without all the TV hype, it wouldnít be such a big deal, but there are millions to be made. Many Olympians are said to be receiving ďassistanceĒ from special interests. The Organizers look away, they canít let something like the law, disrupt their money making machine.

I am not knocking the athleteís accomplishments, God knows anyone whoís ever boxed, including me, wanted to go to the Olympics. That being said, we cannot admire the kingís clothing, if heís not wearing any. I might as well join the opposition. Iíve never been a brown nosier. I find those that expect it, dishonest, and those that are good at it, repulsive. I avoid both as much as possible and only deal with them at a distance.

As usual cooperate America does a great job at selling the sizzle. They beat drums, hang banners, bright lights, and hire celebrities. This Gossen Tutor Production was a lot of noise, selling the sizzle, and no steak. At the same time, I take my hat off; it takes a lot of money to put on such a spectacle. It also takes a lot of gall, but someone said it better. ďYou canít fool all the people, all of the timeĒ. The staff at HP Pavilion did a great and the facility is top notch, that being said, the boxing was awful. I was not allowed to sit ringside, so I donít have pictures, again itís the politics.

I canít believe Mr. Gossen thought the opponents selected for our ďheroesĒ were worthy. They might have looked adequate on paper, however they fell way below standard. I know there is a lot of money at stake. I can rationalize a businessman trying to make a buck, but how do you explain a gold medal winner who lacks boxing skills. As much as I like Andre Ward personally, he lacks fundamentals. Iíve said so for years, he swings his arms without using his weight, making his punches weak. He moves awkwardly, lacks balance, and has no defensive techniques. Still, Christopher Hold wasnít in the same league. Heíd had sixteen fights and I suspect little or no amateur experience. Andre had four pro fights, and over a hundred amateur bouts. I expected Andre to give Holt a boxing lesson then dust him off with efficient expertise, but it never happened. The fight was barley interesting, and never measured up to the hype. Andre won, whoopee.

I wish I could praise Andreís performance. I like him. Its a shame his managers have so little faith. Or maybe they donít want to kill the goose that could lay a golden egg. Andreís promoters are gonna squeeze every dime they can out of him. To bad his opponent was a bottom shelf tomato can. Whatís troubling me is that it took Andre too long to take him out. Other members of the 2004 Olympic team, who did not win gold, are doing much better, like Vincent Escobedo. He has not only fought more, heís torn his opponents in half. He has destroyed his opponents completely. Heís out boxed and out gunned them so thoroughly theyíve surrendered. I donít know if any of them said ďno mas≤, but I wouldnít be surprised. I predict big things for Vicente. Heís got the passion to make his dreams come true. I believe heís got more to prove. He is one of those rare individuals that grew from his failure. Instead of pouting or wallowing in his misery, he got busier and meaner. It proves his mettle and demonstrates character. The loss at the Olympics lit a fire within him. He is angry with himself. This makes him a dangerous fighter, and I suspect, a dangerous man. He wants to hurt and destroy, not merely defeat, his opponents. I can relate.

I first met Andre Dirrell in Reno years ago. He looked exactly as he did tonight. I predicted heíd take gold at the Olympics, but he only took silver. Even then he lacked fundamentals. He swings his arms like a windmill, punches without planting his feet, which makes his punches weak. He is able to eventually wear down his opponents, but it takes a lot longer. Maybe Iím expecting too much. What can I say, Iím Sorry, but I am not impressed. He is a good kid, but I donít believe he has what it takes to be a world champion. On the other hand, he is being very carefully groomed. Gossen is feeding him tomatoes. His opponent Juan Camacho was no contest. The poor guy had nothing. I still canít believe Gossen thinks the crowd is so naive. I doubt anyone believed Juan ever had a chance. Juan was hand picked from thousands of prospects to give Dirrell an easy win, and provide entertainment. It was the worse match making such Manuel Noriega declared war on the United States. It was a no contest. I gotta wonder what Dirrell thinking. Heís got to know these guys are tomato cans. What kind of explanation are they giving him?

The last fight to be televised was the main event, Audley Harrison squaring off with Robert Wiggins. No wonder the heavy weight division has taken so much heat. It was another disappointment. The hype never got close to what was actually presented. The lack of action almost put me to sleep. It was dull, then at the end of the third round Harrison, who is supposedly gonna take the title, stopped Wiggins. Robert Wiggins did not impress me, neither did Audley Harrison. To bad, it looked like a pretty good match up on paper. Harrison had 18 wins, and 14 KOs. Wiggins had 19 wins with 12 KOs. I gotta hand it to Gossen, he must have a great intelligence organization to be able to hand pick these guys, and get the results he wanted.

The rest of the fights are not worth lengthy descriptions. Devin Vargas defeated David Johnson with a unanimous decision. Juan de Dios Navarro defeated Aaron Robinson with a unanimous decision, and Sean Holley beat Lorenzo Reynolds in a majority decision. I met have enjoyed the show, if I knew less about the sweet science.

Speaking of fighting, I just became a Life Member of VFW post 52 in Stockton. I once again ask everyone to say a prayer for our boys in harmís way. Lets keep supporting our boys, whether we believe Georgie was right in getting us mixed up in another war, just like his daddy, or not. For a cream puff whoís never fought a day in his life, heís gotten us into a mess bigger than his daddy. My question is, why is gasoline still so expensive?

Fight fans in Stockton will be happy to know James Grunsky, the youngest promoter in California, is putting on another show, September 23, 2005 at the Civic Auditorium. Fans are urged to support it. Fans should also get involved in writing letters to our Governor, urging him to keep a closer watch on the commission. Commission members should bare in mind they are only state employees, not big shots, or tough guys. They are not experts or policy makers, nor can they bend or change the rules. They have no personal power or authority, other than what their job title lends them, while they are working. All the prancing around, like peacocks, is just misguided self-delusion. Itís the result of poor character and people blowing smoke up their whazoo. Misconduct or suspicious behavior by any state employee should be reported immediately without fear of repercussions or reprisals. Screaming matches in saloon hallways are not appropriate places to resolve differences. Start with your local representatives. Remember, only the squeaky wheel gets attention.

I received a death threat. Someone out there decided it would be amusing to threaten to me. Several sportswriters have been murdered by irate individuals. All threats are taken seriously and will be dealt with according to the law. As Iíve said many times before, boxing has many dark sides. Boxers should realize I only describe what I see; I can not control someone elseís behavior. If attacked I will defend myself enthusiastically by all means available. I have contacted the appropriate police departments and taken appropriate measures. Boxers are entertainers, whether they see themselves that way or not. Boxing is part of the entertainment industry, if they canít handle anything less than positive observations, they should quit. If they seek praise, they must be praise-worthy. I receive hate mail from boxers who take issue with my description of their performance. Like I said, being a truth-sayer is not a popular status, I love this game, in my efforts to do it justice, I must call it as I see. It may not gel with others opinion that is not my concern.

I want to congratulate the referees and judges who worked the event. A special hello to Marty Sammon, Marcos Rasales, Jon Schorle and my old buddy Dave Nelson. These guys love the game as much as I do. Look for my coverage on referees and promoters soon to follow. All promoters and referees wishing to share their experiences should contact me via my e-mail. Once again from ringside. I gotta say Thank God for Boxing!

Always in Your Corner,

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

 

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