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

The call to action is impossible to resist and real fighting man know the desire to close with the enemy. Thousands of young Americans are now doing so in Iraq. Iíve served my time in Hell. Its too bad 99.9 of the politicians who support war have never had a taste of it. It would give them reason to consider an alternative. Speaking of politicians, Iíll be on my way to Corpus Christi, Texas, to conduct interviews for an up coming book ĒLatino Secrets of Corpus Christi, 68-17Ē. Thank God I know how to cowboy, cause the bullshit is bound to get deep.

The big draw was Mr. Eric ĒButterbeanĒ Esch, who is often called the Champion of the four roundersĒ, itís not what I would call a great title, but it sure beats being unemployed. Mr. Butterbean, probably made more money than Ricardo Cortes who fought in the main event, a sad, watered down contest of only six rounds. Hey, anyone who knows boxing, knows its a business, it is entertainment, and boxers are entertainers. Although I donít know any who would claim that title. Lots of promoters are using six round fights as main events. It makes good business sense, even if it doesnít do a thing for boxing fans. Jerry Hoffman, another promoter has made a career of it.

The biggest disappointment was that Kelsey Jeffries bout was canceled. I look forward to her fights. She makes boxing very entertaining. I spoke with her before the show, she stated she was training with Buddy McGirt and that she flew to Florida three or four times a year to train with him,...... then trained herself. This is a recipe for disaster. There is no way someone can train another by visiting two or three times a year. There is no way a fighter can train themselves. I know Kelsey has suffered major disappointments with her coaches. Like so many amateur boxers, they select from what's around them at the time they turn pro. Then they suffer the consequences. Itís not the fighters, itís the coaches. Some might know boxing, but lack skills as human beings. A coach/trainer must be a mixture of roles and model consistent behavior. Thereby giving the fighter a reason to trust. If problems exist, then help must be found and corrections made. At the same time, no one can be all things to all people. It is not wrong to admit one needs help, however, vanity often plays a role. Coaches forget itís the fighter who is at risk, not their fragile egos. Many coaches live in a make believe world, created form their own delusional imagination. Most coaches donít know, what they donít know, so never seek assistance. Other just donít care, and figure if worked once it can work again. Boxing has changed, it is faster, more dangerous, with much more opportunity. I am stunned at how little most coaches actually know about boxing, the art of it, and the business of it. I am saddened by amateur coaches who use their students to feed their self-importance. Every real trainer would want to be involved with a great fighter, however, a good trainer also knows you must train the whole person. A trainer cannot compromise his standards, not even for a world champion. You saw what happened when Emmanuel Steward did so with Klitschko. You saw what happen with Roach and Tyson. A simple pivot would have prevented his leg injury. These are ridiculous injuries, which could be easily solved simply by teaching correct fundamentals. These men have lost face. On the other hand, many boxers donít understand they are a part of a team, yes, they must fight, but the trainer prepares them for battle. It is a team, which requires loyalty and commitment, no one can win alone. Boxers like De La Hoya, who is totally mercenary, has many skeletons in his closet, no one forgets and some day, heíll have to pay. Iíve learned there is no cure for poor judgment. In my opinion a good heart, and connection to God are the only answer. I know it sounds harsh, but life is too short to bump heads with someone. I would not waste my time with a knucklehead boxer, no matter how good he was. I wish Kelsey good luck in training herself. Iíll continue to write the story.

Speaking of writers, my old friend Rusty Rosenberger wrote a book, ĒUnclaimed Destiny, The Heart of a ChampionĒ. The book cast a shadow over world famous Lou Duva. Boxing fans would get a kick out of reading it. It is published by Zumaya Publications. Look for it. Iíve met both men and I know from experience no one ever forgets being screwed over. I also know its a very small world and what goes around, comes around. Sadly, crooks do win and good people do suffer. I want to congratulate Serigo Rios. He has made tremendous improvements on his technique and appeared to be in much better shape. He won his bout by TKO in the fifth round over Rod Grajeda who came in with a record of 5-3-1 with 3 KOs. It looks like Serigo took my advice and got a new trainer, thank God, someone still listens.

I also wanted to express my concern for Joe Bradley who suffered a devastating knock out at the hands of William ĒLil TysonĒ Harmon. Joe looked out of shape and was already blowing wind in the second round. His footwork, which has always been non-existent, was even worse that night. His method of trying to kill with one shot once again proved unwise, as he seemed to be chopping down trees instead of boxing. Joe appeared scared, and lacked confidence, while Harmon appeared to be on a religious jihad, determined to murder Joe. Harmon who is five foot four has an attitude that would peel paint off a police car.  He struts around like a gorilla in the jungle, flexing his very large muscles, seeking someone to destroy. All this aside, he is all business in the ring and never leaves any doubt about his lethal intentions. Harmon hit Bradley so hard, I feared it would knock him through the ropes. Banda Bing, Banda boom, Harmon slugged, pushed and hammered poor Joe Bradley into the canvas where he laid peacefully, Thank God, ending the punishment. Harmon, with a record of 6-3-0 and five KOs, moves up, while Joe, should consider changing coaches and being more careful about taking fights at the last moment. This calls for good judgment, something his coach seems to lack.

About the only thing I can say about the Butterbean bout is that Eric Esch takes his work seriously. The rest of us might consider his performance a freak show, but he thinks of himself as a fighter. This is important because Sal Franetti, who seemed to be even softer, fatter and less in shape, should remember, its what you think that counts. I salute Eric Esch, who is still following his dream, while so many others have surrendered theirs. When Farnetti with a record of 3-5-3, took the bout, he must have been smoking crack, or have brain damage. Butterbean has a record of 66-3-4, this even under the California Boxing Commission standards has to be a no-contest. Why on earth would a boxer to agree to this bout, one word and I hope it was a lot.... Money. Sal never had a chance against Mr. Butterbean who moved looked the Great Wall of China and did the job on Sal ĒJellyBellyĒ Farnetti who crumbled like the Berlin Wall. I hope Farnettiís paycheck was worth the pounding. I wonder why he bothered to get up after the first knock down. It was a no-contest, unworthy of Sugar Ray Leonard. I gotta wonder what happens to an individual once they become promoters, do all of their values get flushed down the toilet. This was the worse mismatch Iíve ever seen under the watchful eye and authority of the California Boxing Commission. God help us, these are suppose the good guys. My question has always been who is policing them? Is there an internal affairs officer, making sure they obey the rules? When does earning an income take president over integrity and fairness? Experience with cops tells us, very quickly. Iíve had run-ins with commissioners who make rules up as they go. Others look the other way while their buddies bend the rules. It would make a saint cry, the rest of us just get pissed off. Yet, when you complain, they act as if you are insulting them as individuals. I had a commissioner corner me in a hallway of a saloon and demand resolution to my complaint. At very best a poor example of professionalism, at worse a man drunk with delusional power, via his position as a state employee. Most people in boxing just want to be treated fairly; no ass kissing should be necessary. I hate kiss asses and politicians. Just be fair. Stop acting like you're a powerful deity on a benevolent mission sent by God. You are a state employee, you work for the taxpayers, and if you want respect, you have to earn it. Hell, yes weíll complain, that's what it means to have freedom and live in a democracy. If you donít want anyone complaining about your performance, then perform better. You work for us, not the other way around. Without promoters, boxers and the fans. YOU WOULD NOT HAVE A JOB!

The watered down main event consisted of six rounds. Not much for a main event, however as I said earlier, its only business. Ricardo Cortes, who thank God also listened and changed trainers, seems to have learned some fundamentals and actually threw a jab. He boxed, instead of brawling and moved like a boxer. He actually kept his hands up, developed some kind of defense and parried a blow. I was pleasantly surprised. Iíve always believed in fundamentals. Without these no fighter can develop or hope to advance. Of course we will also have exceptions like Mike Tyson, but you saw what happened to him. This validates what I have been saying for years, ĒYou canít be a bad person and a good boxerĒ. You might be able to get away with it temporarily, you might even get rich, but youíll never last, itís the guy who loves the game who endures. Poor Mike Tyson is just another once upon a time hero, now lost to his own demons. No amount of apologizing will ever regain him the respect and admiration, which he so carelessly threw away. Iíve said it before ĒChoices, not chances determine destinyĒ. Bye Bye Mikey.

Back to Ricardo who tore Damon Franklin apart. Damon Franklinís another example of a fighter needing to change trainers. This poor guy keeps taking a pounding. Heís lost every fight Iíve seen him in. He seems to have some natural talent, but no training. He has great balance, but never plants his feet, and therefore has no power in his punches. He has great head and shoulder movement, but no hand defense. I wish the fight program would list the coaches and trainers, just so that the public could know who is partly responsible for their performance. It would hold trainers accountable and make them less willing to risk their reputation with inadequate performances. It would also make interesting reading.

Once again the overall experience was excellent. The HP Pavilion is clean, well organized, and well run. Mr. Jim Sparaco, the event manager is a professional, and a gentleman. I send him my congratulations. I send out a hello to boxing fans around the world that have contacted me via the Internet. A hello goes out to the radio stations that broadcast our live audio coverage of boxing of The K-Guy Radio Show. A special hello goes to the American Olympic Boxing Team, many whom I know. Good Luck guys.

I know that even on the darkness days, when the world seems so crazy, as to border on insanity, I can look forward to an endeavor worthy of my efforts, to a contest between two warriors, where politicians, crooks, wannabes and fakes have no place. Once again from ringside, I gotta say Thank God for Boxing.Ē

See you Ringside,

Jorge A. Martinez