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

Boxing Coverage of the 2004 Olympics
August 29, 2004

Watching the American boxers get their butts whipped was like a visit to the dentist. Nobody likes to go, but we have too. What happened?  My God, we're the richest, most powerful country in the world. We have the best of everything. The truth is we blew it big time. Not only did we fail to measure up, we lacked the courage to face the consequences. The excuse the Director of USA Boxing Inc. made about being unfamiliar with the scoring system is bulk, and a poor reason for failing so miserably.  The other about other countries having semi-professionals athletes is also dung. Few, if any of the young men on the Olympic team would accept being locked up, regimented and controlled, as athletes from other countries must do on national teams.  The guys I met at USA vs. France at Reno were barely manageable. Personally, I was more impressed with the French boxers. It’s too bad I wasn’t able to speak with them, my French stinks.

The truth is we lacked character.  Team Coach Abdullah said it himself, when he referred to statements made by Jason Estrada who came in at a superfatso 263 lbs.   He put on 30 lb., since I saw him. This is what defeated us.  To add insult to injury, Estrada stated.  “If I‘m gonna loose, I’m gonna get hit as little as possible”. He quit, and is not worthy of the status awarded him as a member of the US Olympic Team. Not only is it shameful, its harmful. He is a terrible role model. I have zero hope for him as a professional. I don’t believe he has the balls to make it.  This is only a small glimpse of why athletes want to go to the Olympics; it’s about the Benjamin's, pure and simple. Remember, this is the land of greedy and home of materialism. It’s the dark side of our American culture.

I predicted disaster in 2004, after watching the sloppy performance in Reno. Not only was I right about our chances, I was right about why.  We lack dedication, and we lack coaching.  The men picked to work the corner during the Olympics are not really the coaches.  They met in Athens and were assigned to be a team coaches.  USA Incorporated blew it, so did the individual boxers.  I think its time Congress stepped in.  We need another intervention, and another invasion. We need to invade the USA Boxing Incorporated headquarters in Colorado Springs, Col. and demand an explanation.  Maybe we’ll find them hiding as Saddam, in an spider hole, wearing long beards and smelling like cheese.  We should send in the Marines and hold every one of those rich, well paid fat-cat administrators living off our registration and membership fees responsible.  We need to clean up this mess and demand a better selection process. We need to make character one of the criteria for being selected.   Lets agree that thugs, tough punks with attitudes and street brawlers should not be allowed to represent American, no matter how good they can box.  No More Mike Tyson’s.  In reality the Olympic coach never speaks to the boxers during the year. They don’t really know any of the boxers. Each boxer has their own coach and own agenda.   The so-called Olympic coach never had a chance.  I feet sorry for him. Too bad, he will be remembered as the worse Olympic Team Coach since 1940, in reality it was not his team, much less his fault.

I was disappointed only one of the two boxers I picked to win gold, won. After observing their bouts in Reno against the French team, I picked Andre Ward and Vincent Escobido.   I will not make any observations on Vincent's performance; God knows he is doing that to himself.  Having been equally as disappointed, I can understand the torment. There is nothing anyone can say or do.

Andre Ward, proved what I have been saying. It’s a question of character. It’s about who you are, and what you are fighting for. Sadly our amateur program has always been a breeding farm for professional boxing.  Ask yourself, where is there to go after you’ve been to the Olympics?  Nowhere. The pro ranks will grow by the exact number of boxers that went to the Olympics. Every one of the boxers will go for the money. It’s the American way, we worship the dollar. We don’t go to college for an education; we go to get a job.  We don’t get into politics to help our country, we do for the money. Ask former President Bush, now advisor to the Shah of Iran. It’s about the money.   Any politician, in any position, anywhere in the United States, no matter what kinda of spin they try to put on it. It’s only about the money. Does anyone really believe Cheney likes kissing Georgie’s ass?

The problem, and there are many in USA Boxing  Inc., Is the manner in which they control boxing. They want to control every aspect of it, everywhere in the United States. They’ve assumed a role like the Boxing Commission.  Yet, when they blow it, they refuse to take responsibility. No balls, no class, again poor role modeling.   They want to control it all, under the pretense of “safety” and “liability”. Its nothing more than greedy men, hiring other greedy men to control every aspect of a money making machine.  Amateur boxing is a business. You would not believe the ass kissing that goes on amongst the amateur referee ranks. It’s disgusting to watch chief of officials using their position to squash, remove or interfere with anyone unwilling to kiss their ass. It’s like looking for Jesus in Las Vegas. Hopeless, Again, it’s a question of character.  I have been beating this drum for years. We must clean up amateur and professional boxing and do it now.  I speak from personal experience. I’ve witnessed first hand the manner in which local amateur boxing officials use their status to squash others. It’s disgusting. How can we expect character from our boxers, when every example given them is one of self-perpetuation? Ask the old farts in the Central California Boxing association about fairness, I’ll bet none of them can give you a definition, much less an example. The poor bastards, thank God, will soon be doing time in hell. These pitiful bastards really think their miserable status as amateur politicians gives them power, poor bastards.

My friend Teddy Atlas said it best, “they should take that electronic scoring system and throw it into the sea. There is nothing computerized about it, except the wires, its still people pushing the buttons. All they’ve done is found another way to steal fights without leaving fingerprints. What we need is real integrity”.  If Teddy’s balls were any bigger he’d need a wheel barrel to carry them in. I love this guy. Teddy is my choice for most Honest Gustiest Boxing Commentator of the year.  Too bad things are the way they are. Guys who know do-do about boxing, like Larry Merchant get the big bucks, while guys like Teddy get sent off to Athens. Yes, I don’t like Larry Merchant; No I don’t have time to go into it. It would take too long and in the end it wouldn’t change anything.  I believe he has sold out, has no integrity and would kiss anyone’s ass, if he were paid enough.  They call these kind of people, prostitutes.

Frankly I don’t see any needed changes coming. I don’t believe USA Boxing Inc.  will make the necessary changes.  I don’t believe anything will change. There is simply too much money involved. That would be like Enron, giving back all the money they stole. It would be like Bush admitting he lied about 9-11 or Cheney admitting he is in only for the money. It would be like Clinton, Saying. “Yes, I banged that woman” it will never happen.

Having just returned from my home town of Corpus Christi, Texas after visiting my old high School Tuloso-Midway, I can honestly say, the more things change the more they stay the same. Rednecks, ignorance and self imposed blindness. Its the same everywhere, I don’t believe we as a nation, possess the “character” to implement the changes needed to improve. Historically, no other great nation has been able to do so, even when faced with doom.

Our poor performance at the 2004 Olympics is only a small sign of the decaying inner structure of our national soul.  I should add being able to forecast the future is no comfort. I suffer alongside millions who seem trapped on a ship headed towards a tremendous waterfall, having the tools, the power, and the money, yet being unable to change course. However, I am still unwilling to surrender, and thus I will continue to beat the drum, sound the alarm and if nothing else, satisfy myself, that I tried to make a difference. Knowing that even if I fail, I will face my creator with a clear conscious.

I thank God that even during the darkest days, I have always had faith. I get the gift of hope from my departed mother, who prayed every night my father would stop drinking, or at least get home safely.  After thirty years of suffering, he was amongst those who helped carry her coffin. He still drinks, and she’s dead, buried under Texas skies, near an oak tree where passing birds stop to sing her a lullaby. I play my guitar, and watch my tears fall. As she would say. “You’ve got to keep trying”, so, I will.  

See you Ringside,

Jorge A. Martinez