vs De La Hoya
Las Vegas Sept. 18, 2004
I hate to be right at times. I
get no satisfaction from being right when it comes to watching a great hero
like Oscar, whom I know personally, loose.
I got no pleasure in calling it perfect. I predicated Oscar would give
a better than expected performance. I predicted he would be fearless, move
laterally and be aggressive. I know this East L.A. boy has balls. Oscar proved
a lot more than he failed to do. I hated him to see him loose, yet Bernard the
ex-convict, the former street thug, the once upon a time criminal seems to
have earned a new status in the world of average people. He has become
respectable, at least in front of the cameras. I canít begrudge his win, he
earned it fair and square.
Oscar came out looking sleek as
a greased pig, slipping in and out, scoring with his jab, and avoiding
Hopkinís punches. Hopkins seemed intimidated by Oscar, who was ready to risk
it all, just to score a point. Hopkins was behind on my card the first and
second round. His came back more
aggressively in the third, then kept getting rougher and rougher. Oscar,
maintained his momentum, but lacked punching power.
Throughout the fight, I continuously pointed out Oscarís foot
positioning, his lack of power and his wide stance.
I could teach Oscar how to punch, if he only would listen. All though
we have talked several times, he always seems to be performing for the
cameras. He may have forgotten how to be humble, but I am certain he is much
more in touch with that after this experience.
If he would have listened for ten minutes, he could have avoided this
ass whipping which I predicted. Itís too bad his big time trainer, famous
throughout the land, failed to stress this point. I also did not like the way
he was hugging on the enemy. This may be grounds for termination. Oscar never
pivots when he punches, heís feet are too far apart, and he drops his hands
after he throws. Hopkins who is taller had the advantage, he is naturally
stronger. Hopkins is also bigger, and could afford to take chances with
Oscarís meek, little baby punches.
No one can dispute Oscarís
hand speed and heart. Too bad, his big time coach failed to correct his lack
of fundamentals and instill a deeper sense of good old respect. He also failed
to tell him not to stand in front of Hopkins.
This was a fatal mistake, as I predicted.
Hopkins has managed to clean up his act, stay on the right side of the
law, and win a lot of fights, as a fight fan, I could not ask for more.
The body shot Hopkins landed
was perfectly placed, even without the benefit of proper foot positioning or
full strength behind the punch, it was still effective. I gotta wonder why
Oscarís wife and father, who never sit together, were not present at the
fight. I gotta wonder where his
mind was and what's going on in his life.
I canít believe that a semi famous wanna be rock star like his wife
would enjoy hanging around smelly gyms, old men and horny guys.
I canít imagine an East LA guy, married to an attractive lady, liking
a lot of men staring at his wife, who seems to like to wear a lot of revealing
clothing. The best thing to do may be to hire a punch of body guards, or put
her in one of those special boxes, reserved for the millionaires, up and away
from the common folk, where Oscar seems to be more comfortable. Maybe
everything is not so rosy. Oscar wonít be the first guy who married a
beautiful women, then discovered she only married him for his money. Letís
hope Iím dead wrong on this one. Thank God heís got a new TV show. I bet
he misses the good old days, when fighting and chasing women was just for fun.
It might have been a lot of Mexican Macho bullshit, but it was fun and
he still thought he could sing. Dreams die hard leaving broken hearts along
the way. My antenna tells me weíll hear more about this.
I would suggest Oscar, rethink
his next fight, take some time to really learn proper fundamentals, study
boxing the way a lawyer studies the law and learn how to pivot with his
punches. Old dogs can learn new tricks. He
needs to do the same thing Rocky did, after Clubber Lane kicked his ass, he
needs to go back to being hungry. Not
for money, but revenge. I can teach you Oscar, my least experienced fighters
know about shifting their weight, pivots, breathing and proper hand
A loss to Bernard Hopkins is
actually a sort of ďRed Badge of CourageĒ; it proves that youíve got the
right stuff, because only the very foolish or the very brave take on his man.
Oscar has been in the ring with all sorts of fighters, but heís never
been in the ring with someone as strong, or as experienced, and as hungry as
Hopkins. I gotta give Oscar a BOB, a B for balls a O for zero brains and a B
for bone head, what on earth was he thinking?
This is what happens when a super rich superstar is surrounded by a
punch of ass kissing groupies. Someone should have taken Oscar aside and read
to him from the good book. No,
not the good book, but Ring Magazine, the bible of boxing, he could have
easily done some research and discovered it was a bad idea.
They would have soon agreed it couldnít be done.
Iíll be making another trip to visit him soon, maybe heíll let me
take up some of his precious time and let an old war dog teach him some old
tricks. No matter, except for the
smog, the low riders, the gang members, the crowed streets, the shooting, the
attitude and general hopelessness of the area, as they say ≥ I love LA≤.
Iím actually headed to
Sorrento Italy with my honey. Weíre flying into Rome after spending some time in The Big
Apple. Weíll be visiting
Naples, and then several towns along the southern coast.
The weather is super fine now, and most of the tourists have gone home.
I have appointments in several gyms to speak with Italian boxers. Who
knows, maybe Iíll form a California -Sorrento Connection, nothings
impossible, if one is willing to work hard enough. I hear Naples is home of an
old world organization with a lot of connections all over the world.
Who knows, right?
Once more, I feel privileged to
be a part of this game, even though there are so many darks spots, and some of
them smell like that stuff you scrap off your shoes. I gotta say. Thank God
Martinez vs. Anthony Martinez
Sept 10, 2004, Stockton CA
As much as I love boxing, Iím
the first to say that parts of it are like that brown stuff you get on your
shoes. No matter how much you
scrap off, the smell lingers. Thank God, I also get to see the bright side.
Speaking with David Martinez is a breath of fresh air. I met David when he was
still an amateur. I was refereeing. I asked him to get me a soda, I gave him
the money and he returned quickly, wearing a smile.
Itís a miracle David has managed to maintain a positive demeanor,
especially in Stockton. Many
people here make the Taliban look like choir boys. You've never seen so much
senseless meanness in your life.
Case in point, recently a
rookie coach I know, attended his first boxing match at Atwater. He mistakenly
believed he would be amongst friends. He
brought his fighter, made the weigh in, and spent the entire day at the venue.
Ten seconds before the bout, he was told he could not work the corner, because
he was not registered. His
fighter was also not wearing an "official" helmet, and was almost
disqualified. The poor guy was
publicly humiliated. No one
bothered to tell him he had to be registered, or anything else.
Itís hard to understand. Iíve
never lived anywhere, including war zones, where people mistreat each other so
badly. Iíve been in Stockton a long time, and I still donít get it.
Iíve come up with several theories as to why Stockton is such an
awful place. One of my theories includes the 175 prisoners released into the
population every month. I believe the descendants of these criminals, are
multiplying and creating generations of individuals with the values and
attitudes of inmates. A dog eat dog mentality, here only power and money are
respected. This and the
hundreds of board and care homes, treatment programs, multiplex apartments,
and government subsidized housing, all which attracts the worst of society.
Stockton also has a state halfway house for the criminally insane. As our
mayor, if he runs for the senate, the rest of us, who donít owe homes in
Santa Cruz, or live behind guarded gates have to deal with the crime, the
hookers, the dealers and random gunfire that are normal in Stockton. Oh and
get this, the former, police chief, a Mexican Republican, is gonna be the new
The event in Stockton, on
Friday September 10, 2004 was James Grunsyís first successful promotion. The
problems in staging a professional event are monumental.
There are hundreds of details, dozens of little problems, and then
there is the commission. For
example, Kenny Lopez, told me he was denied a license. According to Kenny, a
commissioner demanded he spar several rounds, so that he, could evaluate
Kennyís ability. I gotta wonder, what on earth
makes him think he knows boxing well enough to evaluate a fighter. And
how can he withhold someoneís license, without due process.
To add insult to injury, this same guy, told Kenny he could not fight,
several days before the event. Kenny,
stated that he had not been told anything about sparring until he called, and
spoke with him. When things
heated up the guy hangs up on him.
I believe this individual is over stepping his authority. I checked the
Rule book and I did not find any section stating a commissioner has the right
to make a known professional boxer, demonstrate his ability to box after have
been licensed. But, if he has the
legal authority to require a sparring match, then he must also have a time
line for informing the boxer, weeks before the event is scheduled, not days.
I believe the Commission needs
an outside overseer. Each individual commissioner should be held legally
accountable for their behavior, like any other licensed individual.
The Governor should step in and do something.
I suggest Kenny hire an attorney and file a civil action.
Unless he does so, the behavior will continue. I suggest everyone write the Governor in Sacramento. Boxing
belongs to the fans, NOT, the bureaucrats in Sacramento. Donít brother
writing the Sacramento office, contact the big office in Los Angeles.
Write 5757 W. Century Blvd.. GF -16, LA, CA 90045.
I am following up on this one.
I only went to watch David
Martinez fight. The other bouts
were awful. I donít mean bad, I mean awful. Itís a pity, because the
boxers were in good condition, unfortunately, brawling, slugging, swinging
from left field, and throwing hay makers, is as boring as listening to old
guys talk about their days in the ring. Plus,
aside form Carlos Sepeda, form Stockton, the rest were strangers. I have no
idea where James found these other guys, or why he put them on the card. Hey,
James, you need LOCAL TALENT. If you must hire strangers, at least get
American boxers. Most Mexican boxers are awful, have no technique and swing
away as if chopping down a tree, which might be interesting, but they usually
miss. The main enough was so boring, people got up from ring side and left.
David Martinez, stepped into
the ring against an older, much more experienced boxer named Anthony Martinez, form
Costa Rica. David told me before the fight, he never took anyone lightly.
He also agreed, it was great being a hometown hero. I think half the
audience was related to him, the other half just come to watch him fight. Any
promoter wishing to make a buck in Stockton must have David on the card.
Davidís simple and direct manner, along with his boyish smile are a
winning combination. David keeps his behavior low key, respectful and
courteous. David ďThe
GentlemenĒ Martinez, is a good kid. However,
it is still my job to be a truth teller, and I gotta say.
I donít agree with his version of the fight.
I had Anthony ahead the first two rounds. Yes, there was a lot of
punches thrown and David demonstrated courage, conditioning and heart, however
Anthony out scored him. At one
point Anthony nailed David with a right hand that would have dropped a
buffalo. David came back in the
third, fourth, fifth, then lost the sixth on my score card. According to The
Stockton Recordís story, David states he believes he won every
round. This is common
amongst fighters, they get tunnel vision, and canít see the forest for the
trees. Itís also a sign of impending danger, if a fighter always thinks
heís winning, he does things differently. I canít believe his corner could
not see David was cut over both eyes. Knowledgeable
trainers will testify that tunnel vision is a common trait amongst undefeated
boxers. Guys like Roy Jones Jr., and De La Hoya, etc. once thought they were
bullet proof. I believe David
needs to learn better defensive skills. His trip to New Mexico helped
tremendously, because before he went, he took too many shots.
At one point the skin over his eyes looked like mashed potatoes. He was
getting hit too much as an amateur. He returned a much improved fighter.
Thank God heís got a great chin and always in top shape.
Never the less, he should change coaches.
I believe David deserves a chance at big money, and a better trainer. The reason most good fighters donít make it, is because
their coaches are small minded, and fear having some big time trainer stealing
their boxers. The fools must not have heard about contacts. Fighting in Stockton may be fun, and it may be a great ego
boost, but that's it. The poor old guy that trains him, seems about to keel
over. How on earth can a broken down old man teach a young fighter anything.
The guy might have been a good boxer in the 1930ís, but that does not make
him a good coach, besides boxing has changed in the last 60 years.
Plus no one really cares. David
needs someone like Buddy McGirt, or Emmanuel Stewart, not some old guy with a
bad attitude and a foul mouth. He needs to learn how to pivot on his feet,
shifting his weight into his punches. As
it is now, he lacks power. No
oneís taught him the importance of putting his weight into his punches. This
is why he brawls and takes so many shots.
Hitting the bag for a dozen rounds may improve you conditioning, but it
does nothing for your boxing skills. Bags donít hit back, but hitting the
bag the only thing most boxers do at the PAL gym in Stockton. Aside from
having no trainers, there are also too many students. That's the problem with
publicly funded community programs. They
have to take everyone who walks through the door.
The alleged trainers are just some old guys who hang around, and tell
lies about their lives. The only
one who gets any attention is David. Iíve
turned away dozens of fighters who have come from there, they have absolutely
no fundamentals, no idea how to parry, slip or block a punch. Iíve had
dozens of calls from unhappy parents, wishing to have their kids enter my
program. I usually say no, theyíve been ruined, and only know how to swing
away like crazed lumber jacks trying to knock down a tree.
Poor kids, it is such a waste of potential. Itís too bad the old guy
who calls himself a coach never cared enough to teach them proper
fundamentals, or anything else. Itís
worse than the poor kid who goes to karate school for self defense. They think
they know how to fight, the alone comes some street thug and knocks the crap
out of 'em. Hitting the bag, and wearing a white outfit doesnít teach you
anything. I hope the new mayor, Chavez, will at least hire a younger,
healthier, knowledgeable coach who gives a shit about the new guys, who are
now completely ignored. The old guy with the foul mouth and bad attitude is
awful. At least hire someone with manners. The use of four letter words in
front of children is not proper role modeling and that old guyís favorite
word is F---You. Oh yea,the poor old guy thinks he OWNS the PAL gym, funded by
public donations and the police department, someone should enlighten him. I
feel sorry for the poor old guy, boxing is all he has left in the world. Its
too bad he never took the time to make any friends. David took control of the
fight in the seventh and eight rounds. I thought David won the fight and the
judges did an accurate job of scoring it.
David rocked the house at the Stockton Civic Auditorium, and made going
to the show worth it. I believe that it was a great fight because it was not a
one-sided battle. I think Anthony Martinez should be congratulated for never
quitting, fighting until the last moment, and giving it hundred percent. I
donít believe Carlos Zepedaís bout was a draw. I thought Jean Elissia of
Fresno won it. The home town
crowd screamed their disapproval, but that's the way it's supposed to be,
Stockton is a fight town. Letís
hope new trainers turn out better prepared boxers to take the place of aging
veterans like Kenny Lopez, and Tony Dominguez. Both of these tough veterans
have been around a very long time. However, if the commission gives them a
license, they will keep punching. Hopkins
may also be 39, but heís as rare as a Congressmanís son in combat.
Strangely enough one of the
least known boxers, Rodney Jones, a hell of a fighter also
lives in Stockton. He holds the NABF title . The trouble is, local
black sports fans don't want to pay to watch him fight. So, the poor guy is
not sought after by promoters in Stockton.
He is not a good draw, as they would say. This fact is common knowledge
amongst promoters and many a black fighter suffers because of it. Without the
fans, promoters can not afford to promote fights.
Rodney Jones has worked hard , and yet relatively unknown. Another
problem is that he has no one doing PR for him. His trainer Richard Perez,
lacks the polish or knowledge necessary to promoter Rodney. Richard a
nice enough guy, appears to be in over his head. My observation is that he
doesn't trust anyone. This
condition is common amongst city
dwellers, prisoners, soldiers, gang members, social workers, nurses and cops.
Theyíve seen so much injustice and bad, they suspect everyone.
I must ask, if everything you see and know is bad, what does that make
you? In the end we are what we live, and unless we work to maintain our
humanity, life becomes a never ending conflict and a terribly lonely
existence. Instead of basking in the spot light,
Rodney Jones, is ignored and forgotten. There is no Rodney Jones fan
club, there are no banners with his name.
There is no standing applause or cheering section. After countless
battles, he remains mostly unknown. As
it is now, I would advise any up
and coming boxer to change their name to one which will attract better fans.
With a name like Martinez, or Perez, Rodney would be a hero, toasted and
respected. Its common knowledge that Latinos are the best and most loyal
fights fans in the world, and without fans, in this business, youíre nobody.
If heís lucky, he might find a small article in the sports section, yet when
I speak about Rodney Jones to fight fans, their response usually is ďWhoís
thatĒ? He just won another fight, and did with a broken hand, that's the
mettle Rodney Jones is made of. Congratulations,
keep punching. It's too bad, that
is the way things ought to be, and the way things are. No amount of wishing is
gonna make a difference. So much
of what needs fixing is way out of our control.
In closing I send out a hello
to Robert, Sylvia and Angel, of
Kingsville, Texas. A special
hello to Mr Felix and Yolanda Landin, and Residents of Main Dr; My old barrio
of Corpus Christi Texas. A hello to Yolanda Waters of Houston.
With so many things going badly, the War, the election, and all sorts
of shenanigans. I am grateful to
once more be able to say, Thank
God for Boxing!