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

 

Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo
Las Vegas, Oct. 8th, 2005

Iíd seen the first fight and I was very disappointed no one in Corralesí corner advised him to fight Castillo differently. I guess I shouldnít be surprised, you can take the thug out the street, but you canít take the street out of the thug. As much as Diego try's to come off as a nice guy, heís a plain street dawg. Anyone whoíd beat his wife is a thug in my book. His disguise as a ďnice guyĒ who made a mistake doesnít wash. Iíve said it many times, ďyou canít be a bad person and be a good boxerĒ. The life styles will eventually conflict. Iím sure it seems like that isnít true, but youíll see, thereís been hundreds of guys like Corrales. They come and go so quick itís hard to remember them. When you fight a person, you have to fight the whole person. You canít separate the fighter, from others roles as husband, father, thug, etc. The whole person goes up there, as does all your history. I wanted to see Corrales win, but Iím still not sure why, maybe because heís form Sacramento. I canít respect anyone whoíd beat a woman, no matter how good a boxer he might be.

If I were Corrales, Iíd be pissed off at his so-called trainer, you know the guy who wears those weird shirts and has a jaw like a pit bull. Iíve met this guy in person, and sorry to say, heíd didnít impress me. Maybe if he spent more time working on a winning strategy rather than picking which ugly shirt to wear, heíd be a better trainer. Heís gotta be 90 percent fool, to allow someone with Corralesí reach to fight on the inside. What for! Diego could have fought Castillo easily from the outside, as everyone saw when he used his jab. It was stupid, ego-driven, Mexican macho bullshit, to want to beat Castillo on the inside. Fighting on the inside is what he does best. The point is to win, not take a beating and need brain surgery afterwards. He sounded like he had a mouth full of cheese after the last fight. My biggest question is why take such a beating? For Godís sakes, smarten up Diego! Fire Gossen and get a trainer who sees you as more than a money making machine. He doesnít give a damn about you personally, get some help.

I am not a fan of Jose Luis Castillo, but I recognize a winner. Castillo used great strategy when he decided not to drop the weight, but stay where he was. So what if he had to pay a fine. Whatís $10,000 of out the millions he earned and will continue to earn He came back to beat Corrales. I donít believe he gave a damn about the title. What good is a title if everyone just watched you take a whupping? Everyone under estimated Castillo, which is why he won. Rule number one in any fight, is never under estimate your opponent. Rule number two, is use your tools to your greatest advantage.

Goosen should be fired. Why didnít he tell Corrales to fight form the outside and use his jab? Itís like having an arsenal, but only bringing a knife to a war. Goosen should be hung upside down for making such a stupid mistake. I think his greed got in the way of his better sense. Why subject your fighter to another beating if the belt was not at stake. Castillo broke the contract. If you gonna make a concession, at least get more money, a free car, and a trip to Europe thrown in for good measure. Then just do enough to win, not risk your reputation as well. What an idiot. Now, Diego holds a belt only worth a damn on paper. I gotta give Castillo a thumbs up for his strategy. Heís taking his lead form Hopkins who guaranteed himself at least two more big paydays by allowing himself to get beat. The third Castillo-Corrales will be a super payday. Pretty smart for some poor guy form a country where corruption is considered an art form. Oops, It sounds like ours.

The referee Joe Cortez made an excellent call when he stopped the bout. As fired up as Castillo was he might have killed Corrales, and there have been enough dead boxers in Nevada this year. A real investigation would disrupt the billions that are made so I donít believe theyíll be one, but coaches and boxers should be weary. This is a very tough, brutal game. Its sole purpose is to beat the crap out of your opponent. Some do it with pose, technique and superior ability; others just wanna go in there and beat each other down like two mountain gorillas. Either way, itís a hurting business. I also hope someone will slap Jim Gray, the announcer who continues to ask stupid, disrespectful questions of the fighters. When did he ever have the courage to step into the ring? I hate this guy. Larry Merchant is full of shit, but this guy deserves to get a beating. I wonder if itís against the law to slug an announcer in the ring. As stupid as this jerk is, Iíd dare him to come into our locker room and ask such disrespectful questions. His plastic smile is as phony as the act he puts on in front of the camera. I knew this guy when he was kissing ass in Sacramento Arco Arena. Iíve also seen how this guy acts when the cameras are not rolling. The only time heíll talk to Mexicans is when heís steps on one. Heís just trying to stir up controversy because he believes heíll get a pay rise. Or that itíll somehow make him famous, punk. What a jerk. Anti-social and dysfunctional must be used to describe this piece of work.

Could someone also talk with whoever hires the translators and get someone who speaks the language. Anyone who speaks Mexican Spanish can tell you, the translators sucked. There are a lot of differences, just like every other language; there are dialects, and regional phrases. They left so much out itís ridiculous. The audience is missing out on a lot of information, which I find very interesting. One of the Mexican fighters made a statement, which if it had been translated would have stirred up plenty of controversy. He spoke of using magic to win. He clearly said thanks to his wife, whoíd sent him some magical powders that worked, as he never got hit in the face. This opens up a whole lot of interesting questions. Like did he use black magic to win his fight? Were the powders illegal substances? Did his wife, whom he said, sent the powders, do a Mo-joe on his opponent? You know like in the movies. Does the Nevada Boxing Commission permit the use of ďmagical powdersĒ? Iíll bet that jerk Jim Gray could have plenty to say, if he was smart enough to also speak Spanish. Unfortunately, he demonstrated as much disrespect for that fighter as he did everyone else and the voice they used in the voice- over, was a joke. The poor guy sounded like some kind of stereotypical bandito, it was clearly intended to be so. It made Spanish-speaking people sound stupid. It was very disrespectful and racist. I was offended, and I never let assholes offend me. Thanks to Bush, racism and elitism are back in vogue. Iím glad Iím not of draft age, if heís gonna keep fighting the war, heíll need to also draft rich peopleís kids, thatíll never happen. Iíll bet Jim Gray never talks to anyone heís not paid to talk with. He appears to be 100% asshole. The station managers, promoters and maybe God himself should be petitioned to drop a ton of shit on him and end his evil reign. I would personally thank whomever lights a couple of magic candles and prays that the same deity that helped the Mexican fighter win, take care of Jim Gray. They should ask that he be turned into a fire hydrant, so dogs can piss on him. Or maybe that heíll just get a less offensive personality.

All joking aside. As much as I hate jerks and fools, I gotta say Thank God for Boxing!...... Iíll see you ring side.

Mr. Jorge A. Martinez
Editor; Jorgeís Corner, The Voice of Boxing in Central and Northern California
Email: dancingskyhorse@earthlink.net

Stockton Civic Auditorium
Stockton, Ca. September 23, 2005

Boxing returned to Stocktonís Civic Auditorium, thanks to the youngest promoter in the state James Grunsky. Without entrepreneurs like James willing to risk so much, there wouldnít be any fisticuffs in Stockton. Local fight fans are as whimsical as a prom queen. One can never be certain what it is that makes them wanna get out and witness live boxing. Thanks to one of these whimsical quirks my boxer Major Mendozaís fight was canceled. The business of boxing has nothing to do with pride or courage, itís about ticket sales. Without them, nothing works.

Watching such events in Stockton is interesting, or it is for me. Iím not from the Central Valley; I donít understand the subtleties that move people here. I donít pick up on the vibes, nor sense the tribal winds that seem to mysteriously move amongst the natives. I donít respond to the unheard tribal drums whose unheard rhythms seem to stir these people into a frenzy. I am contiguously amazed at how much the mood of the people changes, depending on whose fighting. I noted a more peaceful mood amongst the tribes when Tony Dominguez, the over 40 fighter from Manteca, doesn't fight. Heís never left the valley to fight, but has a crowd gathering appeal like no one else in Stockton, accept for David Martinez. Tonyís supporters come to Stockton to party. They seem to guzzle more beer and misbehave more regularly than other fight fans. Iíve not taken a scientific poll, so please donít quote me, but sitting ringside, it seemed less hostile. The other local boxer who seemed to attract a rowdy crowd was Kenny Lopez. His supporters were openly hostile, threatening, and didnít give a damn who knew it. I sat ringside the night Kenny got knocked out, aside form his sonís screams, the entire auditorium was silent. Like the lull before a storm. Thank God for the large number of security and police officers. Iíve learned never to under estimate the power of large numbers of stupid people. I was in Barcelona during the riots. I was also in Paris during the student riots. It was not fun, and many innocent people were killed and injured.

As I write this, one of Stocktonís least known boxers, Rodney Jones is preparing for several very important matches. Rodney is a class act. He is a genuinely good human being and living proof that life is not fair. Although I heard say he is somewhat of a tight wad, and hates to spend money. Rodneyís had a pretty good professional career, yet he has zero crowd appeal in Stockton. I wonder what kind of career he might have had if heíd had a better trainer. Local promoters wonít put him on the card because he wants too much money, and he is not popular. But he has no fan base. It seems black sports fans donít care to spend money to come watch on of their own. This phenomena was first pointed out to me by Fred Lewis, a once upon a time promoter whose disappeared. For some reason, black sports fans donít like to spend money to watch something in person, when they could watch it on TV for free. Iíve never taken a poll, but Iíve noted the lack of black faces at boxing events. He should have gotten a better trainer and moved to the East Coast. His trainer hasnít taught him a new move in years. Latinoís are the best boxing fans in the world I can only feel for Rodney Jones, he should have taken my advice and changed his name to Gomez, or Garcia, right before he turned pro. . Heíd have become another Tony Dominguez, over forty, and still able to earn a paycheck, doing something he loves. I wish Rodney all the luck in the world. Youíd think Rodney would hire a press agent, or someone to beat the drum for him. I donít know why he hasnít. Like I said, rumor is he hates to spend money. He should be doing better.

Talking about unfair. The dark side of boxing is always of interest. I recently learned another of my former boxers, who did not pack the gear to make it in the game. Russell Green is coaching his brother. Russell is a big guy, about 250 and stands about six foot. He wears a fu-man-chu goat tee and a Mongolian ponytail. He looks dangerous, but as soon as he smiles, youíd bet he was the nicest guy in the world. The problem is he didnít like to train. He didnít like to ran and would ran out of gas after one round. He had fast hands, but no gas. I tried everything I could to motivate him, including taking him to Kingís Gym in Oakland where he took a beating for one round. He sparred a kid about 80 pounds lighter than himself. The kids took several hard shots from Russell during the first minute, and then unleashed a vicious body attack that broke two ribs on Russell. He faded away and I did not hear form him for over a year. He showed up again wanting to box. Against my better judgment I thought Iíd give him a chance. He couldnít afford to pay me so I let him work it off; trouble was he didnít have transportation and all sorts of family problems. The truth is that Russell was simply lazy. He would not train. Not wanting to just cut him off, without any hope of redeeming himself, I placed him on a 90-day suspension. I was completely honest with him and gave him a clear written evaluation of his performance. I hoped it would wake him up, and heíd worker harder. Instead of making corrections, and recommitting himself to boxing, he took offense at my observations. He was insulted. His delusional self-image blinded him and got upset that I had placed him on a suspension. We parted ways on less than good terms. That was December 2003. I did not hear from him again. He also left owning me money.

Last week, September 27th 2005, he shows up, states he is training his younger brother Rosairo, and wanted to know if Iíd let one of my boxers spar with his brother. He also tells me he knew Rail Talamantes was going to violate our contract and fight in Oregon, without my knowledge. However, he felt no need to inform me about this event and had even considered accompanying him. He had not unable to do so, because the secondís license, which I had loaned him the money for, had expired. Rual trained with me for over six years. I had to advance him the money for the license. I had to intervene between him and his wife. I spent hours counseling and trying to help him get it together. I even picked him up and drove him to Sacramento for his license and blood work. When I questioned Russell about this he blatantly told me, it had not been his role to address Rualís misbehavior. He did say, he wanted his brother to spar with the best-trained boxers in the area, which is why he came to me. He stated the boyís from the PAL team were not any good, nor were the boxers from Pacific Karate School. I must have a soft spot for losers. I agreed to let his brother spar with one of my boxers. Russell showed up smelling of booze, no gear, no water bottle, and not even a towel. I had to loan him equipment and give him water. My boxer did as I expected and punished his brother, until I told him to stop. It should have been a clear indication that he did not know what he was doing and that he had no business coaching. However, Russell was happy with the results. As I said, I am not from the Valley and I donít understand these people. I donít understand betrayal, disloyalty, or blatant disregard for someone who has gone out of their way to be helpful. I donít understand someone who believes his own bullshit. Because if he believes he knows how to coach boxing, then he is lying to himself. I am disappointed with Rual, but not surprised. Heís always been a street dawg, without boundaries, loyalties or restraints. I am more troubled neither Rual nor Russell have no inner barometer that indicates right form wrong. With such lack of boundaries, I foresee a dark future for both of them. These guys are the last ďstreetĒ guys Iíll ever accept into my program. Street thugs lack the mettle to make it in this very tough game, and not worth the trouble it takes to try and teach them how to be good people. Iíve file a formal a grievance with the boxing commission, but it wonít do any good, you canít change people. Like Iíve said many times, boxing has many dark secrets.

The event in Stockton was, and Iím sorry to say terrible. The level of professional boxing has dropped one hundred percent. The last good fight I saw here was David Martinez. It was simply awful. Iíve not seen so much brawling since hosting the Tough Man Show here several years ago. I have no idea who is training these alleged boxers, but they should have their heads examined. From the first to the last, the fights were little more than brawling matches, reflecting nothing of the sweet science and very little of anything else. You would not be surprised the fans loved it. The average Stockton Boxing fan has no idea what constitutes good boxing. They wanna see blood, broken noses and teeth. They like nothing better than to watch someone be hauled off by the ambulance. Its disturbing, however as The Godfather said. ≥its the business weíve chosenĒ.

The first bout was with Everado Lopez, whoíd fought like a crazy man against Nick Brooks on the last card. Thank God, promoter James Grunsky had the smarts to find each of them a different opponent. I think they might have killed each other this time. Unfortunately, Everado looked worse, if that was possible than last time. They say that a good opponent will make a bad boxer look better. Well, the opposite is also true; a bad boxer will make a worse one look awful. Lopez, who has as much courage as anyone could ask, has no idea how to box? His foot position is ridiculous, his hand position is terrible. He has no defensive techniques and he punches like heís trying to chop down a tree. He stomps around the ring like heís working in the fields and takes punishment like a piŮata. Iíve seen piŮatas take less beatings than this poor guy does. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, he has a Mexican Chin and a heart as big as Texas. His opponent was actually worse, if that is possible. Emanuel Marreor of Las Vegas took a pounding and went back to sin city a bit more repented, as he paid for all his transgressions.

The next bout matched Nick Brooks of Stockton and Jose Grace of Oakland. It was another horrible event. Neither of these guys has any idea what it means to box. Or at least neither of them displayed any knowledge in my eyes. Itís too bad because Nick has the tools to be great. Heís got heart, and strength, but he has no idea how to use them. Nick reminded me of Opey Taylor on Mayberry. He was completely lost, and confused. It would have been funny, if it hadnít been so tragic. He is being trained miserably. His trainers must be teaching him how to park cars or something, because they are not teaching boxing. If he were my boxer, Iíd be ashamed of such a miserable performance. He lacks everything. The poor guy has no footwork, no defensive technique, no counter punching, no head movement, no nothing. He needs helps desperately. I foresee terrible beatings and a very short career. I would urge him to fire his trainers immediately. If I were him, Iíd get on the next bus out of town if I had too. I have no idea what qualifications they think they have, but they must be suffering form a brain tumors or something. His opponent was twice as horrible as he, and he still lost. Jose Grace was a clown who thought he was performing in a circus, cause he sure didnít do much boxing, yet he brawled his way to a victory. I have no idea where James found this guy, but he must be paying him in peanuts. I have to say, the quality of boxing is difficult to predict, unless youíve seen them. So its not Jamesís fault. Nick Brooks brought back memories of Fat City, the movie about bad boxers, bad coaching and Stockton as a place filled with losers. It was horrible. Stockton has been called Mud Ville. Tomato Can Factory would not be far from the mark, at least as far as these boxers are concerned. Iíve not seen such terrible display since I watched tough man boxing on TV. Unless Nick gets some real training, he should take up bus driving or managing a Jack in the Box. So far he sucks as a fighter. Its too bad he seems like a good kid. Iíd come to watch the local boys get into the mix. Iíd hoped all of them had gotten a little smarter and some real training. It was not to be. Andreas Zapata, the prison guard looked worse than last time. I have no idea who his trainers are, but they must be smoking crack, because he looked horrible. His opponent James Holmes had no hand technique, no footwork, and no idea what the hell he was doing. It seemed like he was trying to imitate Roy Jones or Prince Hamed. Both have faded away due to their own brand of arrogance. He did have fast hands, and great balance. Zapata had no idea what to do with him. He seemed puzzled, lost, and stunned by the crazy man, who bounced around in a random manner without purpose. Itís too bad these guys canít see. Because they are gonna go no where. They might end up like Tony Dominguez, a hometown hero, and not much anywhere else. I guess its good enough for some people. Fight fans here donít care how bad they are, they just want an excuse to raise hell, get drunk, act out in public, and watch someone take a beating. As long as guys like Zapata and Brooks keep boxing, fight fans in Stockton will pay to watch them. Without better training, theyíll join the thousands of other tomato cans that exist in boxing. I wish there was a standard, or a state test requiring trainers to have some basic knowledge of the sport. There seems to be an over abundance of fools and idiots out there calling themselves trainers. Its too bad, Stockton is getting a reputation for producing tomato cans and not much more. As far as I can tell, the only thing we can claim is to be able to take a beating.

The Stockton Record continues to disrespect boxing. It offers very little coverage, no photos and puts in no effort what so ever. Iím very disappointed with their coverage. Youíd think in a town with so little to brag about would get the only paper to take more interest in boxing events. Iím sure itís about money. Iíll bet the Record doesnít cover boxing, because most fight fans donít take the paper.

It was a very disappointing event. The card girls have gotten better looking but the boxing has gone down hill. Unless something happens we may become known as the Tomato Can Factory, instead of just famous for gangs, shootings floods and corrupt politicians.

I usually end my coverage with ďThank God for BoxingĒ, letís hope heís listening and heíll send enlightenment to the knuckleheads calling themselves coaches.

See You Ringside,
Mr. Jorge A. Martinez
Editor; Jorgeís Corner, The Voice of Boxing in Central and Northern California
Email: dancingskyhorse@earthlink.net  

HP Pavilion
San Jose, CA
Sept. 16, 2005

Once again like a religious crusader on a holy pilgrimage, I ventured over mountains and valleys, making the two hundred mile round trip to San Jose for another Fight Night At The Tank. Ron Rios and Mario Garcia accompanied me on my journey. We pooled our resources in order to manage the outrages gas prices. It seems the War in Iraq has not improved the price of gas and the egg on Bushís face has changed to mud, thanks to Katrina. His credibility as a leader is zero. So is the fool he picked to lead FEMA.

There is little which can compare to the festive atmosphere and excitement before a fight. Iíve had more than my share of excitement. Iíve been a part of many adventures. Iíve crossed oceans, climbed mountains in Pakistan, swam rivers in Germany, marched across the Iranian desert and helped invade Iraq. Few events outside of a combat zone can compare to the excitement of boxing. I thank God, I am a part of it.

I was looking forward to watching The Salinas Wonder Boy, Jose Celaya redeem himself after taking a terrible beating at Spider Webbís hands. Iíd sat ringside and witnessed an unknown fighter punished Jose mercilessly. It was painful to watch. I knew Joseís chances at stardom were being thrashed. Everything Iíve said for years slapped me in the face. I hated being right. Iíve been saying heís had too many easy wins. Heís been overly protected in order to build his record by fighting tomato cans. Now it come back to haunt him. Every item on my long list of ďneeds to Improve ≥, was highlighted and drastically confirmed. He suffered an humiliating defeat. Making a long story short, Jose had had too many easy wins, over unworthy opponents, which taught him nothing, except over confidence. He never learned to pivot and shift his weight into his punches. His fast hands have no power behind them. The money seemed more important than learning the necessary skills. Iíve seen this happen many times, there are many examples.

Take Jose Perez Jr., ďThe Punisher", for example. Jose is managed and trained by his father. Sadly, a proven formula for disaster. Many of you will scoff at my observations, yet experience proves me correct. Yes, its true a father will protect his son. The problem is fathers are too often unable to be objective about their childrenís capabilities. They donít merely see a boxer, they see their son. As detached as a father / trainer might be, heíll never be detached enough to point out his own shortcomings. In most cases he wonít see them because his son is a reflection of himself. A parentís pride is a dangerous thing. Ego always gets in the way of sound judgment. How many people do you know that can step back, and point out their own defects? Imagine having to tell your son, who trusted you, you screwed up. Worse, that youíve given him an over inflated, misconception of him. Imagine having to explain to your son, you over estimated your own abilities, and need help, but are too proud, or stupid to ask for it. That you are risking his life, in order to achieve goals, you were unable to reach on your own. Perhaps the worse scenario played out by many father/ trainers, is that most simply donít know enough to act in that role. Few people seem to know what good boxing is. Now add the normal conflicts that take place within a father-son relationship. You have a proven formula for disaster.

Few fathers are able to be objective about their sons, fewer can recognize their own shortcomings, and fewer still have the strength of character to know when to step back, and let a better qualified trainer step in. End result, Jose Perez, ďThe PunisherĒ, got knocked out by an unknown fighter from Mexico. Hector Manuel Leyve, a nobody, who was beaten a month latter by another unknown. What terrible events must have preceded Joseís devastating knock out? The referee who described the fight said it plainly, ďit was uglyĒ. Who is responsible? What kind of excuses will we hear? Was it the boxer, or the trainer? Iíd say it was daddy dearest, who led his son into a fight with a boxer from a third world country, where it is almost impossible to verify records. The same daddy thatís allowed Jose to use sloppy defensive techniques and failed to make corrections.

The lesson for Jose Perez and Jose Celaya is clear, too many easy fights in order to build a winning record are not only dangerous. Itís an unwise use of resources. Doing so is one of boxingís dark secrets, yet itís done all the time. With a little effort you can arrange to fight unworthy opponents, but eventually you will meet real warriors. Boxers who have worked hard, are hungry, and are angry at their own lack of accomplishments. Boxers like Vicente Escobedo, who returned form the Olympics in shame and defeat. The experience lit a fire within him. He returned enraged for having failed. In his journey to make amends, he trains like a man possessed and, fights like he is avenging a terrible sin. He not only defeats his opponents, he destroys them. I love that kid, heís gonna be a champion someday, Iíd bet.

Letís hope Joseís loss will spark a fire within him. Lets hope he will release his demons, feed his anger, and vent that rage upon his opponents. Lets hope his father/ trainer will take a step back and accept the fact he is not as good as he believed. A trainer must be objective, detached, and above all pragmatic. Iíve not personally known of any father-son boxing teams to work. Eventually the son will rebel against his fatherís control, just like heís suppose to happen. It would be healthier to set him free, rather than risk aliening him. An Eagle builds his nest high on a mountain peak in order to help his children learn how to fly. Its dangerous, but a necessary evil. The height will give them a better chance at success. When he feels they are ready, he encourages them to leap into space, spread their wings and fly. He stands back as they succeed and soar into the heavens, or watches as they silently fall to their deaths. There is little else he can do, its part of being a parent.

Iíve not met Jose Perez Jr., or his father. Iíve watched them. I think he turned pro too soon. Jose needs to mature. I think his father has taught him all he knows and should let someone else take over. Jose should be allowed to sow some wild oats, and raise a little hell. He has plenty of time. He is young enough to make a few mistakes, recover, and still become a champion. He will stumble and have to get back up on his own. It is the only way to discover what heís made of. An over protective father will stifle his sonís growth. Every man must be allowed to make his own choices. A father should be an advisor, not CEO, or commander in chief. Nothing is more harmful for a young man, than to be raised as a lion, then not allow him to make his way amongst the beasts. What goes on outside the ring is just as important. The card that sells the tickets is not the one you get to see. This was no exception. I have no complaints. A bad day of boxing is still better than the best day a work. The first bout matched a young lion out of Modesto. No matter what else can be said about guys form the valley, they are tough as nails. Osvaldo Sarabio was no exception. He lacked polish. It seemed he had little amateur experience. His method of attack was simply to walk straight at his opponent, ignore anything coming at him, and swing as if chopping down a tree. This may have been nerves or just over zealousness. This method of attack works with inexperienced brawlers. It will just get him hurt with more experienced boxers. He attacked his opponent Noe Inzunza, mercilessly. Noe made a half feeble attempt to fight back, but was unable to mount much of a fight. Osvaldo Sarabio is trained by Joey Garza and Tony Availa, both are friends of mine. Iím cautious if I write about boxers when I know their coaches. Very few are able to take my observations in the light in which I offer them. I am a firm believer in correct fundamentals. Few coaches know what those are. I focus on details and subtleties of the sport. The difference between a champion and an brawler is what goes on in his head, and a great jab. Iíd suggest more time in the gym learning fundamentals. Iíd suggest better defensive movements and counter punching techniques. Iíd advise Joey to tap into his connections and get help. I would error on the side of caution when taking calls from promoters. The role of coach / trainer is complex and requires detachment. Too many coaches are trying to relive their glory days via their boxers. Others talk nonsense and say stupid things. Iíve met old timers whoíve claimed ďto have forgotten more about boxing, than most people will ever knowĒ If someone could explain how this is something to brag about, Iíd like to know.

The next bout featured Joe Bradley 3-7, 1 K0, whose had a rough time of it. I gotta give Joe credit for trying. Iíve known Joe since his first bout in Stockton when he out pointed Raul Talamantes, a street dog, wanna be hero, who thought he was tough enough to step into the ring. I remember several days before the fight, Rual showed up at my home to review the contracts, carrying a gun in his waist ban. Heíd been in and out of jail since Iíd known him. I should have cut him loose on the spot. I hoped heíd change. He hasnít, no matter how much I tried to help Raul, he never reflected any of what I gave him. His reaction to kindness was as indifferent as his reaction to reason. He was like an bottomless caravan, no matter how much you put into it, it was never enough. His trips in out of jail continue to this day, while Joe has managed to maintain a professional career. Joe squared off with Chandray Johnson; Joeís addiction to weight lifting has been his biggest obstacle. Heís too short for his weight. Johnson must have been a foot and a half taller. With a lot help Johnson might actually be an average fighter someday, but on this night he looked awful. If Joe had learned fundamentals he might have been able to chop his taller opponent down. Johnson looked weak, and awkward yet, Joe lacked the skills to take him out. I gotta question Joeís commitment. His timing, and conditioning are also in doubt. The booing crowd grew louder as the fight got duller. My love of the game was the only thing that kept me focused. It was an awful display. An insult to the sweet science. There is no way this could be called boxing. I would suggest Joe find another trainer immediately, or quit. His surrender to mediocrity thus far has been heartbreaking. Heís got to make a decision to step up and learn the art of boxing, or resign himself to being a tomato can. I still remember him the first time we met; his eyes were full of fire. I hope he can rekindle that flame. Johnson got the decision.

I was very disappointed to discover Martha Salazarís bout had been canceled. I had seen the last fight she had with Marsha Valley. I was honestly surprised Marsha would consider fighting her again. As I wrote in my last article, Martha does not look like a fighter, but when the bell rings, she is transformed into an impressive punching machine.

I would have loved to seen Valley and Salazar mix it up again. Too bad. Iíd not seen Ricardo Cortes fight for a very long time. I wondered if heíd quit, or gotten married, which is often just as bad. I was happy to seen his name on the announcement. I got a laugh out of the change in his ring name. He went from ≥the White GuyĒ, to ≥El GuerreroĒ, the Warrior. It was about time, his handlers renamed him. Thank God, he also got a new trainer. Ricardo has made tremendous improvements since the first time I saw him. Heís always had a great chin and conditioning. What he lacked in fundamentals he made up for in fury. His brand of aggression is usually only found in pit bulls. Iíve always admired his straightforward approach. Heís not interested in endearing himself to the audience. Or in providing entertainment for the crowd. Heís only goal is to beat the stuffing's out of anyone who stands before him. His performance was the best fight of the night and made the two hundred mile trip worthwhile. Itís hard to complain about because as Iíve said, heís made a lot of improvement. I guess Iím a dreamer. I can imagine him as a properly trained, going out there and dismantling his opposition as proficiently as a young Julio Caesar Chavez once did. I hope he gets the professional training he still needs. His no nonsense attack proved effective as he beat his more experienced opponent Rene Arostegui without much effort. It only took Ricardo three rounds to the job.

The main event was a disappointment. Iíd come to watch Jose Celaya, The Salinas Wonder Boy, avenge his last defeat. Iíd sat ringside and watched him take a beating. Iíd seen him out of gas, out of tricks, and unable to stop Spider Webbís attack. Webb, who had absolutely no boxing skills, attacked straight in and took every shot Jose could give. Spider ignored Joseís weak counter punches and simply beat him down. Iíd been six inches from Jose when he landed on the canvas right before my eyes. I expected to see an enraged, boxer on a mission to restart his path towards greatness, but it was not so. The main event was reduced form ten to eight rounds. It was little more than a sparring match. Jose played it safe and might as well have been wearing a business suit, he was so cautious. He fought just enough to win a decision and little more. He never took any risks and never attempted to finish his opponent. It was little more than a glorified sparring match, not worth the two hundred mile round trip.

What can I say? I wanted to see Jose win, but not by compromising so much. Iíve been asking him to keep his hands up, learn defensive techniques and put his weight into this punches, but he isn't listening. The beating Webb gave him has not been enough to convince him he needs better trainers. His problems with making weight speak volumes about his life style and says little about his self-discipline. The business of boxing is about money, but it did not start there. At one time he wanted to be the best boxer possible. I think it was a worthwhile objective, one still possible to obtain, if he is willing to put in the work. Nothing comes easy, and everyone is afraid of something. The problem is, being afraid will not change reality, or make the wolves stopping clawing at the door.

Winter will soon be upon us, the changing season is a time of endings and new beginnings. Lets hope our boys in Iraq and Afghanistan will be removed form harmís way. I ask you to join me in sending up a prayer for their well-being. In the mean time, I gotta say Thank God for Boxing!

Always in Your Corner,

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

 

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