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


HP Pavilion

Librado Andrade vs. Leonard Townsend
San Jose, California

November 6, 2003

The last show of the season for Golden Boy Promotions might have been better if the matchmakers and promoters would have done a little research on the fighters. Even though I love this game, it is often difficult to justify or rationalize my time, travel and hard work. It seems that for the most part, people in boxing are rude, short tempered and always in a bad mood. The sport has everyone suspicious of each other. Talk about cut-throat. There are more knives sticking in peopleıs backs than in the kitchen. It is hard to know who to trust. It is a terrible mess. The referees are mad at the commissioners, who are overwhelmed with the degree of discontentment and number of complaints. Promoters are looking to pay little and make as much as possible. Boxers are trying to survive, make a buck and move up; but you canıt even trust them to be in shape, lose the weight and be ready. Even happy-face Oscar De La Hoya seems to have lost his famous smile. It is supposed to be fun. Instead, we find strife and turmoil. I believe it is time for a major house cleaning. The trouble is, no one knows where to start. We have gotten ourselves into a terrible mess. I suggest everyone pick up their pen and write the California Boxing Commission and demand a major overhaul, starting with the quality of individuals hired to work there. So many of the representatives seem to be lost, confused and unmotivated. Rumor has it most of them barely graduated high school. I have had commissioners get angry with me over the phone and hang up. Talk about unprofessional. It is also time to remove those who do favors for friends. And commissioners who are afraid to step up to promoters and say, "No."  It is time we established new guidelines and replaced those who got us into this mess. Somehow, weıve got to get a handle on so much greed. Man, I've never seen so much double-crossing, backstabbing and mudslinging in all my life. It is no wonder boxing has such an awful reputation. It reminds me of the street people Iıve met in Las Vegas. Man, it makes you want to take a bath.

Take the situation at Fat Cats in Modesto on November 4, 2003, for those of you who donıt know. There is a tough man show the first Tuesday of every month. You wonıt see technique, or any real boxing, but it is lots of fun, if you like watching two out-of-shape guys pound each other. If you are interested, you must meet the state requirements. Other than that, all you have to do is call in advance and show up. I was there last month with a fighter. I wanted to work the corner. I spoke to the commission representative about it. He agreed I could as I am licensed to do so. When Mr. Greedy speaks up. Mr. Greedy, is not his real name, of course, but he is one of the old guys who has been around so long the poor guy thinks he owns boxing in Stockton. "I say no," he says. "If everyone starts bringing their own corner man we'll be out of a fu#&king job."  I was stunned when the commissioner who had already said I could work the corner, reversed his position and said I could not. The rule book clearly says I can. I was stunned, angry and insulted. My question is: Why would a commissioner allow himself to be influenced by Mr. Greedy. So what if he loses his job? What does that have to do with the rules of boxing? I know they have known each other for a hundred years or more, but so what? The rules are in the book. Mr. Greedy has no authority to change the rules. I have two witnesses who will testify to this event. I wrote the commissioner, but it seems if you want any results you have to make the monthly trip to Los Angeles and attend the commission meeting. Robert Lynch, the head guy in Sacramento, has never responded to any of my complaints. For all I know, he threw them in the trash. I have sent in at least a dozen. I find it amusing that in the age of progress, we are still allowing cronyism to corrupt a sport many are trying to save. How can this be? I plan to write the new Governor and suggest we initiate an investigation. For those who care to join in my letter-writing campaign, write: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Office of the Governor, Sacramento, CA 95814. I would not hold my breath in the meantime. The Mr. Greedys that got boxing into this mess are hanging on like ticks--sucking the life out of boxing by breaking the rules. Boxing may be one of the only places where new faces are not welcome and every stranger is seen as an enemy. It is a tough game, but as the Godfather said, "This is the life weıve chosen."  This same Mr. Greedy once told me, "Get the fu#&k out of my gym," like the PAL gym in Stockton is his. Nice guy, this Mr. Greedy. This is the guy who is supposed to be helping to mold young boxers into adults. Man, it is no wonder we find ourselves in the shape we are in. Who said, Old age equals wisdom? Some of these Mr. Greedys believe they deserve respect and have some kind of authority. Talk about delusional. Poor bastards.

The first bout matched James Cook, making his professional debut, squaring off against a guy with seven fights. You gotta wonder about Cookıs coach. Taking such a fight seems a bit reckless. However, luck was on his side as Sandoval proved anything but formidable. James Cook looked like a wild buffalo throwing his head around as if trying to gore Sandoval who has made no improvements. I have to wonder what keeps this guy coming back after one win and six losses. No, I will not call Cook ³The Professor,² as he likes to call himself. That would imply he is educated in the game, which he is not. Sandoval came out looking confident but that ended quickly. Whoever his coach is, he is doing a terrible job. This poor guy has no fundamentals, and if he improves, it will be from the school of hard knocks; not because of anything his trainer has done. I cannot imagine how Cook made it in kickboxing, as he led with his head, had no footwork, lacked a defense and just looked awful. After four rounds of miserable street brawling, terrible technique, and awful conditioning, Sandoval was robbed by the judges who saw the bout for ³Wild Buffalo² James Cook. Thank God, Marty Sammons was up there to provide a little professionalism.

The second bout was one of the best fight that night. It was short, but it was so pretty. Golden Boy made a special effort to showcase Gary Owens. I gotta admit, he beat his last opponent. It is also true it was a mismatch. I feared Gary Owens had been fed some more chopped-up meat and another easy victory. I will bet I was not as surprised as Owens, who like Cook came over from kickboxing. This guy was promoted as "a world-renowned kickboxer and a former IKF, US International Rules Champion."  Unfortunately, Israel Ornelas, who was making his debut was not impressed. He did not know he was supposed to be afraid. I gotta give it to this gutsy kid from San Diego. He demonstrated tremendous finesse, lots of heart and powerful punches. Ornelas came out in a right-foot lead, while Owens came out confidently, pressuring from the bell. Ornelas quickly demonstrated good lateral movement, good hand speed and lots of experience. Israel landed a left cross that knocked Owens onto the ropes. Ornelas demonstrated magnificent composure and beat Gary Owens like a red-headed stepchild with solid, straight rights and lefts. It looks like Golden Boy Promotions laid an egg, and fed a hungry, unknown fighter an overconfident and under-prepared, former kickboxer for dinner. I have told people it is difficult to make a switch from one fight game to another. Gary Owens better take a step back, change trainers and get better sparring before he returns. I know Gary has a thin skin, but I bet my words hurt a lot less. The problem is instinct. Once someone is programmed to respond in a certain manner, it is very difficult to replace it with another response. It takes a very long time to unlearn something. Ask any soldier who has seen combat.

The next bout matched unbeaten super featherweight prospect Arturo Quintero with 7-0-0, 4 KOs. He squared off with Oscar Villa, who came out wearing a Halloween mask of a black cat. Normally, I like cats. He had sparkly, sequins trim on his red trunks and bounced around like some kind of reject from a costume party. It is a good thing he took a long time showing off to the crowdıs applause, because once the bell rung, he took a pounding that made him wish he had nine lives. Villaıs lack of boxing skills were as amazing, as was his lack of heart. The poor guy must have used up what little courage he had to wear the ridiculous mask in front of the audience. I believe he quit--laid down like a gutless dog. Let us hope Golden Boy saw it too, and spares us a repeat performance.

Have you ever had someone you care about do something awful? Then you feel sorta sad and embarrassed for them? That is how I feel watching how badly Kelsey Jeffries has deteriorated. I remember when she had a jab. When she had fundamentals. It seems like a long time ago. Kelsey, who goes by Road Warrior, ought to go by "Bar Room Brawler." I have no idea what is going on in her life, but her boxing has suffered. I also have to wonder where Golden Boy is finding her opponents. Where in the world did they come up with Kelli Cofer? This poor kid has about half as much experience as Kelsey. How can you stage a world title event if this is the best opponent you can find? Pulleeze. I am disappointed in the lack of improvements Kelsey has made. I have always liked her. I thought she was a good kid who deserved the best. But now she is acting like a thug dressed up in red, white and blue. I am wondering, "What happened?" Did no one ever teach her about sportsmanship and respect for your adversary?

Kelli wore black trunks with gold trim and stepped towards Kelsey as the bell rang. Kelsey came out aggressively, with murder in her eyes. Right away, Kelsey dropped her hands. Cofer held them high. Kelsey attacked with right hands, got tied up and immediately started punching behind the head. I have seen boxers do that, but usually only in retaliation. Not Kelsey. She is the one with the down-and-dirty moves. I gave her the first round. The illegal tactics began immediately in the second round. She continued to pursue Cofer, who moved away. Kelsey refused to let her escape; nailed her with a powerful right hand, then began to slug it out on the inside. Cofer fired a right, left that missed; then ran away, while Kelsey came after her, smelling blood and finished the round with a powerful overhand Hammer-from-God punch that rocked Cofer to her socks. In the third round, she came out like a mad-dog and charged out of her corner throwing ghost jabs, trying to get on the inside. Kelsey, not afraid to get rough, pressured Cofer and hit her on the top of the head with a Hammer-of-God overhand right. She threw fat-cat punches, got tied up and head butted Cofer as the bell sounded. Cofer complained as Kelsey smiled and walked away. The crowd roared their approval of Kelseyıs matador style, slowly walking away, as if daring her to charge. I know this is completely illegal, but a part of me likes her. I guess it is the bad-girl thing she has going on.  ³Bar-Room Brawler² Kelsey Jeffries is a perfect example of how bad a good girl can be. The fifth round saw Jeffries throwing fat-cat punches, winging them as if throwing a basketball, completely incorrect, and demonstrating no technique. Thank God, she got away with it. They tied each other up, and she hit Cofer on the break; in utter violation of the rules. Cofer drove Kelsey back several times with solid left crosses, red faced--angry, with murder in her eyes--she refused to back up. I gave this round to Cofer. Round Seven: Cofer comes in with ghost jabs while Kelsey threw fat-cats, winging elbow punches, and switched up in the middle of a combination.  Clearly frustrated, mad and getting madder, Kelsey abandoned caution and charged in with a Hammer-of-God, over-hand right. Once inside, she threw smelly cheese upper cuts, and fat-cats. Cofer nailed Kelsey with a perfect left cross as the round ended. The bell sounded. Cofer crashed into Kelsey in the middle of the ring, swinging away like lumberjacks, trying to chop each other down. Cofer shoved Kelsey against the ropes and threw an amateurish, smelly-cheese upper cut, then finished with a three-punch combination to Kelseyıs head. Untamed, and undaunted, Kelsey charged Cofer and got caught with a right upper cut and left cross as the bell sounded. Cofer demonstrated caution while Kelsey--now completely enraged, not caring how many shots she took--charged in a kamikaze-style bombing mission. Kelsey hurt Cofer in the eighth round that proved Kelsey, the Bar-Room Brawler can, and will, trade if necessary. I believed Kelsey could have knocked Cofer out, if she had followed basic boxing fundamentals, which she failed to do miserably. Kelsey got wilder, crazier, throwing fat-cats and smelly-cheese bombs, switching up as she attacked, dropping her guard and charging in like some kind of pain-loving kamikaze warrior, willing to die in order to inflict damage. The fight grew rougher as Kelsey disregarded rules, sportsmanship and rough-housed like a street fighter--pushing, shoving, grabbing, punching behind the head, and hitting on the break. The last round proved to be a real monster ball. Both fighters charged in like mad bulls, trying desperately to take the other out. They tied each other up and rabbit punched until the referee broke them up. Hitting on the break and attacking like a mad dog, Kelsey charged with a fury not often seen; throwing bombs, fat-cat wild punches, missing, and throwing them again. Somehow, Cofer found the strength to fight back, even though Kelsey hit her from every angle, with every punch and broke every rule. Like I said before, I felt a little embarrassed for Kelsey. I gotta wonder what is going on in her life that would make her brawl, surrender her fundamentals and behave like a thug. She won the bout. The 3,500 fans half drunk, out for a good time, raised the roof with their applause. Poor foolish children, they thought it was a good fight.

For those of you who donıt know, "Fat-cat punches" are blows thrown from the elbow, without use of the shoulders or feet, and no power. "Smelly-cheese punches" are any poorly-executed punches, thrown while off balance and without proper use of fundamentals. Hammer-of-God punches are overhand rights that land on top of an opponent's head; you know, like a hammer, falling from the heavens. You may not know these terms now, but you will.

The Main Event proved to be comical, tragic and disappointing. I gotta ask, "Where is Golden Boy finding these guys? Who are they, and why should we care?"  This fight stunk so bad, it must still smell bad after all this time. Leonard Townsend ( 37-16-1, with 20 KOs) ought to be barred from fighting in California. He stunk so bad its gotta smell bad all the way back to Ohio. I have seen Librado Andrade (16-0 with 12 KOıs) before, but I could not remember where. The guy looked like Julio Caesar Chavez, which was not good for Townsend. Right away, it looked like bad news. Townsend was winging his punches and dropping them on the way back. Andrade pressured but did not attack. Townsend moved away, while Andrade stayed outside and threw ghost jabs. Nothing happened. Then, bang! Andrade nailed Townsend with a right hand to the head and dropped him like a cowboy who has been shot. Slowly, and very uncertainly, Townsend got up. Scared, cautious and praying for a miracle. Then ka-pow!, like a deadly cobra, Andrade attacked and bang!  Townsend goes down again. Merciful God stepped in and the bell sounded. Townsend looked terrified, like a rabbit staring at a wolf. Townsend came in with the bell and Andrade banged Townsend on the head once more; and down he goes again. He is up after an eight count. Andrade comes in again, banging away like a goose hunter on opening day. Townsend, who is scared to death, takes a solid shot and drops again. Townsend, clearly only here for a pay check, did not want to take a beating. He runs away, until Andrade drops him for the fifth time to the canvas. An eight count and he is up and somehow makes it to the bell. He refuses to come out for the third round. I expected better for Oscarıs last show.

I packed up all my gear and drove back to Gunsmoke, which now has 37 murders, an unresolved jailhouse death and two Manteca Cops who made an illegal arrest, handcuffed the suspect, threw him on the bed, then placed a gun to his head and said, "We could kill you now," as they were being videotaped. Yet, the Grand Jury would not indict them. Another cop who filed false reports probably will not be indicted either. Keep in mind that all this took place at the very same time four Marines in Iraq were arrested for kicking and punching several handcuffed prisoners. It seems that American soldiers are held to a higher standard than Manteca cops, who acted more like terrorists than anyone would like to admit. The real scary thing is that their chief co-signed this behavior. Both of the cops have been investigated by Internal Affairs before and will keep breaking the law, in the name of the law, until someone important gets killed. Let us hope it is not you or me. I stay out of Manteca as much as possible. I cannot say I feel safer knowing those two urban terrorists are out there patrolling the streets. I suspect that, unless the Federal government gets involved, it looks like the cowboy cops in the Central Valley will always be as bad as the crooks. Why do you think I call Stockton, "Gunsmoke?"

See you Ringside,

Jorge A. Martinez