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


Stockton Civic Auditorium

David Martinez vs. Angel Mata

September 25, 2003  

Remember when I said one of the best things about Guns Smoke is that it has two freeways running through it, because it makes easy to leave? Residents now have another reason to leave. It seems that according to the San Francisco Chronicle, we have some of the most lenient laws pertaining to prostitution. According to the story in the paper, the district attorney is making hookers sign contracts with the police, stating they will not return to the same street where they were arrested. Consequently, prostitution has increased, and we are now attracting out of town hookers. We are getting hookers from Las Vegas and other parts of the country. Residents who were once only afraid of being shot, mugged by newly released convicts, or their children attacked by registered sex offenders now have something else to worry about. The real joke is that Mayor Pedesto, is running for the state senate and Police Chief Chavez is running for mayor, dig this,......... on their merits. What can anyone say, reality is stranger than fiction. Thank God we have boxing to help us out of depression.

Boxing fever has once again taken root amongst Stockton residents. The most recent boxing event held at the Civic Auditorium proves that the town known as "Fat City" has not forgotten its rich history. The event promoted by George Chung was called "Return to Fat City"; George is famous in Central Valley boxing circles. Like all promoters, George is likes money, oh he may like boxing, but he certainly isnąt going to be overly generous when he pays the boxers. Match Maker Jeff Ruf, made the matches. The objective of any promoter is to cover his expenses, put on a good show and make some money.  That's the reality of any business. Another reality, which is not commonly known, is that man, by nature can not walk a straight line. An individual without some assistance would wonder aimlessly in circles. This may sound out of place in a boxing story, except that without the supervision of a state agency, promoters would not walk a straight line. They might pocket most of the proceeds and take advantage of the boxers, you know like in the good old days of Fat City. Take this event. The contract I inspected said the event would not be filmed, yet, unless you are totally blind, you noticed the large overhead lights and all the professional cameramen. The Boxing Commissioner present either did not notice the overhead lights, or did not connect the dots. When this was brought up to her attention, she stated that the event was being filmed for George Chung's personal use. This sounds very suspicious and should have set an alarm in her head, but it didn't. I've never seen any promoter spend money unless he was going to make money. I am not a heartless person, however I canąt believe anyone would believe that. Talk about Pollyanna.

The other side of this is that unless someone is willing to file a law suit in civil court, the commission will not act upon this knowledge, so one might wonder, if they do not use their authority to enforce the rules that they require the rest of us to follow, WHAT GOOD ARE THEY? Its a troubling set of circumstance and no one seems willing to step up to George and ask him directly if he intends to market the film. Because if he is, then he owes every fighter fair compensation. The dark horse of reality however, is that if a boxer, or his trainer files a written, formal compliant against George, they would most likely be blacked listed and never fight in his events again. So once again, I ask. What good is the boxing commission if they are not going to enforced the rulebook, which they supposedly use as their bible? The little guys, the boxers and trainers need them to step up and say, Hey whatąs up with this?

As much as we need whistle blowers, no one seems to like them much. Oh yea, we pay lip service to them, but when have you ever heard of a whistle blower receiving thanks and acknowledgment from the agency they embarrassed by showing up their incompetence ? I donąt want to be known as a whistle blower. I would just like to have the commission bring some attention to this topic, and if necessary address it, without someone having to risk their future by filing a formal compliant. After all, they wear badges and enjoy showing them off. Shouldnąt they address a violation when they see one occur? Why must a trainer or boxer, risk being blacklisted by filing a compliant, if they witnessed the act themselves? It just seems pointless to have a commission if they lack the necessary grit to do their job. 

I expected the commission to be made up of highly intelligent individuals with impeccable credentials and character. Yet, for the most part, the ones I have met seem uncomfortable in their roles, unclear about their authority, uncertain on the rules and mean spirited when challenged. I was disappointed when unprofessional comments were made concerning individuals not present. You got to wonder, why is it man can not walk a straight line without assistance of a compass, map or someone playing the role of policeman. What makes us so weak spirited. Why do we need someone watching us all the time? I tell you, the more I know people, the better I like my dog. 

The attendance according to some was 2353, others say it was more like 1100, Personally I donąt care. It gave local boxers a chance to show their stuff and fight fans a chance to see professional boxing in their own back yard. I had a spot on the card. My boxer Raul Talaments made his boxing debut against a tough little guy from San Francisco. Raul was the winner of nine tough man shows and proved his mettle against a much heavier opponent. After knocking down Joe Bradly twice, Raul still lost a decision. It was a hard fought battle, both fighters displaying some of their inexperience, but overall a very good match. As a sports writer and trainer I am in a difficult position. Some might say I would be bias towards my own boxer.  However, I still believe that the less one deceives oneself, the better you can sleep. I believe Joe Bradly won the fight and earned the decision. I told my fighter so. It was a tough lesson, one that will not go unnoticed. The necessary changes are already in process.

The big event was Gentleman David Martinez battling Angel Mata of Sonora, Mexico. I was honestly too busy to watch all the fight. The rounds I saw seemed even, perhaps a little towards Mata. Anyone who knows David will tell you he is the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. His is respectful, down to earth never bragging or acting irresponsibly. I have been a fan since he was an amateur. Not all of the crowd was happy with the final decision, but whatąs new about that. Boxing is controversy, end of story. The best part of David fighting is that Stockton once again has a hometown hero. The predominately Latino crowd loves this kid. He is a good role model for younger kids and always gives one hundred percent. Congratulations David.

The fight between Sal (Jelly Belly) Fernetti and Dan McGarry was a rematch.  Both of these guys need to get into better shape. They seemed to be out of gas after the first round and were slapping and wrestling each other throughout the fight. Fernetti got the decision.

Juan Carlos Garcia knocked out Warren Kronberger in the second round. Rodney Jones, 37 years old knock out 43 year old, former champion Manning Galloway in the sixth round. It was not a very exciting bout. Nothing like what was expected. Galloway seemed to be just trying to survive the event and never went for it. Jones, who dominated the entire bout stalked and took shots at Galloway, until he finally nailed him and put him down.

Overall one could say it was a Return to Fat City. The only down note is that the Black populations of Stockton did not turn out to support Rodney. For some reason Black sports fans donąt follow boxing or donąt care for it. They seem to love football and basketball, but when it comes to boxing, no dice. Some say its because Black sport fans have so many other sports to choose form. Others say that Black sports fans wonąt spend their hard earned money to support local fighters. Once a Black fighter reaches the big time, then everyone seems to like them, but not until then. Latinos sports fans love boxing, they always have. I believe its because Latinos love to fight themselves. They might not all be good at it, but most Latinos I know would step up and take a swing, if given an excuse and an opportunity. I donąt know, perhaps no one ever will. I do hope more Black sports fans get behind Rodney. Promoters donąt usually promote fighters, unless they draw a crowd.  In speaking with local promoters, it seems Latino boxers draw bigger crowds and will fight for less. As I said the more I know about boxing, the more I wonder if I shouldnąt have taken up chess, as my sport of choice. Speaking of choice.

I donąt care for the book Fat City. It presented a very negative picture of washed out, drunk boxers, knocking up their girl friends in the fields and behaving irresponsibly. If any of those images are true, I hope we never return to Fat City. So much of the book is negative and depressing. Boxing in those days was a reflection of the terrible economic times. It also reflected the corruption and dishonestly of our society. Oh, no, it sounds like we have returned to Fat City. Stockton is exactly as the book depicted, this is Fat City.

Darn, I've discovered another reality I didnąt really want to learn. I know you've had that experience. Anyway, The next fight is scheduled for Feb. 27th, 2004 and will be presented by Fred Lewis a new comer to the promoter’s circle. I know Fred personally and I wish him luck.

See you Ringside,

Jorge A. Martinez