Stockton Death March Continues
San Jose, California
The Stockton Death
Count continues to rise. Iíve said many times we need more cops, but not the
ones we have. To validate my point, a rookie, recently graduated from the Police
Academy, shot a mentally handicapped woman in her own home, after forcing a
confrontation. Yep, two in the
chest. POP, POP, problems solved.
ďWe are here to serve, but if you have a mentally ill relative, beware;
we shoot first and never ask questions.Ē
The cure is worse than the disease. Itís how things are done here. When
I say Stockton is a Wild West town, unsafe for the timid, Iím not kidding.
The gunfire and
violence continues unabated with residents using their homes not as havens, but
as shelter from random gunfire. The
incompetence of the former police chief, now mayor, remains a mystery.
I cannot imagine what kind of police chief he was, if this is his best
effort to stem crime on our streets.
The Stockton Record, who has a monopoly in Stockton, does not
carry a daily, weekly or monthly account of the number of dead or wounded. This
would not do, as rich land developers are busy building homes in unsafe flood
areas and making millions. It would
not do for prospective homebuyers to have such information. What would happen to property values? Such a body count would keep the Mayor informed of just how
bad things are. When I called the
paper with my inquiry, the gentleman answering the phone became angry.
He assured me that such information was not available. Bear in mind that
for every reported crime, there are as many as ten, which are not reported.
might consider random and ongoing sweeps of crime-ridden neighborhoods.
Another might consider random traffic stops.
Another might have the courage to ask for help from outside agencies.
A mayor with real grit would stop allowing Stockton to be used as a
dumping ground for early-release programs. A man who honestly cared might have the character to admit he
is in over his head, and step down. However,
when has anyone ever heard of a politician admitting his mistakes?
I suspect this is just another step towards Sacramento and
self-promotion. I believe our mayor wants to be governor, or at least a
state senator. Personally, I believe any man who is afraid of installing a
Police Review Committee doesnít give a damn about the people.
You might be interested to know the policeman who shot the mentally
handicapped women is back on the streets. Tragically, the very agency we depend
on has proven the worse solution to the problem.
Itís like shooting yourself in the head to stop a headache.
highlight of the week was the shooting of a twelve-year old bystander caught in
crossfire. Thank God she survived.
I received a death
threat. It seems one of Godís
lost children has taken offense to something I did or said; which, I am not
certain. I take such threats seriously. Iíve made adjustments and have
notified the proper authorities. As Iíve said before, my concern with the
crime in Stockton is personal. I
hope the Mayor, and police chief realize that living under a death threat is
about as pleasant as living with cancer.
Thank God for Boxing is not just a catchy saying--itís real.
Boxing does not solve our problems, but it sure gives us reason to keep
trying. Dan Goosen brought
another event to the HP Pavilion and 4,152 fans showed up to watch Andre Ward
pound out another easy victory. He
did so without much trouble. I have no idea what Derrickís amateur record
might be, but Iíll bet itís no way near as impressive as Wardís.
Dan Goosen must have scouts searching for future victims. Itís about
the money, remember? The average
fan seemed to enjoy watching Ward out-slick his unworthy opponent.
I hope Dan is able to maneuver Wardís career until he matures into a
I watched several
other bouts, none of which seems worth of much comment. Junior Welterweight Carlos Musquez beat Mike Peralta.
Junior Middleweight Antonio Johnson beat up Sean Holley and Junior
Middleweight Karim Mayfield stopped Salvador Lopez. None of the bouts were
interesting. None demonstrated
knowledge of boxing fundamentals, technique, defensive maneuvers, or counter
punching. None showed
punching ability. They were little
more than brawls, designed to entertain the crowd, who was very unhappy with the
referee who stopped all the bouts.
On other boxing
news Osbaldo Sarabia, 29, of Salida, once trained by Joey Garza at the Bad
to the Bonz Gym, was indicted on three drug counts, each could put
him in prison for life. Our boy,
once known as ďThe Beast,Ē was in possession of 50 grams of methamphetamine,
and 5 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute.
They searched his home and found 126
pounds of crystal methamphetamine and more that 6 kilograms of powder
cocaine. The young man, who once
sought to make history, accomplished this because his arrest is one of the
largest ever in the Central Valley. Each count carries a 10-year prison
sentence, in addition to a possible life term.
Osbaldo joins hundreds of young men with more guts than brains.
His willingness to risk it all was the same psychology that led him into
the ring each time. It is a shame such commitment was not directed towards
greater objectives. Without the means for expensive lawyers to manipulate the
justice system, he can look forward to a long prison sentence.
You gotta wonder what would make a young man, with a wife and children,
do such things? I can only
sympathize with his family and friends, as I join them in my concern for his
trunks) pounding an opponent
Not all the news
about our young men is bad, thank God. I
have several photographs of another aspiring young contender. As you can see, he
has spent many hours in the gym in order to develop such a six pack. His
confidence can be easily observed via his posture and demeanor. As a sportswriter, I look forward to covering his forthcoming
career. Justin, shown here at 3
years old, weighing in at 38 pounds with a record of 0-0-0, will no doubt bring
boxing fans years of excitement. His sparring partner, Jared, describes Justin
as having a wicked left hook, and great footwork. Justin can dance circles around anyone his size and packs a
punch. After a hard day at
the gym, Justin enjoys a cup of apple juice and a splash in the pool.
I wish to congratulate his parents for guiding him towards such
worthwhile objectives. Letís hope the gods will smile upon our future
I wanted to give
fans a chance to revisit Old War Dogs of the ringóKenny
Lopez and Tony Dominguez. Both of
these fighters fought on way past their prime. They did so in order to cash in
on the big bucks professional fighters were allegedly making. To my knowledge, neither of them made the big money.
Too bad the number of punches absorbed has nothing to do with the amount
of money you make.
Lopez, once a ďtake no prisonersĒ brawler, and hard puncher from
Stockton. I take pride in saying I
tried to help Kenny. Sadly, he was
trained by his uncle who did not know enough to help Kenny.
He also lacked the depth of character to step aside and admit he could
not help him. Instead, he fed his
ego, and put Kenny on the chopping block. Itís too bad; Kenny had the fury to
have gone much farther than he did. He
was usually overmatched, unprepared, and tried to make up for it by charging
recklessly. Kenny may have lacked skill, but like so many Mexican
American boxers, he had an abundance of suicidal courage. Itís a common problem in the Valley--everyone seems to
belong to a clan, and anyone not of that clan, is suspect. A more logical approach would have been to listen before
judging, but thatís not the way itís done in Gunsmoke. Itís a small
indication of the level of social brutalization that occurs on the means streets
of Stockton. This is why boxing has
survived here. Itís a social statement and a reflection of the degree of abuse
to which people are subjected. Itís
a no-pity, no-mercy environment. Suffering
is seen as normal and people take pleasure in seeing others suffer. Men gossip
like women and backstabbing is considered an art form.
I tried to help Kenny learn technique, but being the tough guy he was, he
wanted to intimidate me with his power. He
only succeeded in alienating me. Who needs be around such foolishness?
Iíve been around fighting men too long not to know when someone is not
interested in improving. Kenny suffered from the same psychology seen in so many
fighters who try to out-bad everyone they meet, and only succeed in isolating
themselves. As a result of my
observations, I stepped back, and let the inevitable happen.
He took beating after beating; at one point, being denied his license.
I was happy to see he regained himself and ended his career on a high
note. Here, Kenny stopped the same
fighter who had previously knocked him out with a well-placed left hook.
Kenny retired with a large fan base and many supporters. Although I have
not seen Kenny for a while, I continue to wish him well. Kenny is one of those
boxers I believe could have gone much farther under more knowledgeable trainers.
The streets of Stockton are piled high with stories like this one.
Kenny Lopez gains revenge for his defeat
Dominguez, the red-haired punching machine from Manteca, is another of the
Old War Dogs I covered during the brawling contests at the Stockton Civic
Auditorium. Local promoters, more
interested in making a buck, seldom matched local boxers with worthwhile
opponents. This continues to be the
practice in Valley Towns and usually leads to over confident, poorly trained,
inexperienced boxers. This leads to predictable results.
It is no wonder local trainers, whom I cannot name, deceive themselves
into believing they actually know what they are doing.
History will verify that itís been a very long time since Stockton
produced a winner. This can only be
laid upon the shoulders of incompetent, ignorant, self serving old timers
whoíd rather see their boxers beaten, then step aside and permit more
knowledgeable coaches to take over. Nonetheless,
Kenny brought local fans excitement and a chance to forget about their mundane
existence. Although he seldom left
his home turf, Tony banged out many victories. He is greatly admired and well
respected by fans.
Much to my
disappointment, neither Tony nor Kenny has been nominated to Stockmanís
Mexican American Hall of Fame, or any other good citizenís awards.
This clearly demonstrates the failure of local community leaders to
recognize the contributions made by athletes to the Mexican American community
and the history of Stockton. Although
I have little hope of our present Mayor, or present Hispanic City Council
members to do so, I hope a new leadersĒ will name both of them to the Mexican American
Hall of Fame, and recognize them for their contributions to Stocktonís
Fans who have
contacted me and requested more information on bullfighting will be happy to
learn I plan to continue covering next season.
As I prepare to
make a trip to Monterey to cover the upcoming event, I do so with a smile.
Boxing fans can look forward to the best of me as I cover boxing in the Central
and Northern California. Boxing
fans in Stockton and Lodi can contact Fitness Systems Gym in Lodi for boxing
training. I have moved my training headquarters to Lodi. Call me at (209)
462-5822 for details on how to get started.
Fans should keep
in mind that during the holidays many people are comparing themselves to others,
and focusing on what they donít hae. Itís
difficult not to come up short when unrealistic goals are set.
During the dark days ahead, when confronted with lifeís realities, it
will be difficult not to do whatís easy, instead of whatís right.
I urge everyone to take the high ground, move aside when pushed, ignore
the inconveniences and live another day. Let madness, anger and violence run
past you. Donít get caught up in
the insanity of hip-hop mentality, where violence and obscene language is
ďThank God for
BoxingĒ has become my signing off signature.
It may not be as good as Michael Bufferís, ďLetís get ready to
rumble!Ē but itís mine. IĎd
like to wish everyone a safe holiday, whether you are in Iraq, or just far away
from home. Stay grounded; donít make decisions based on emotions. Things
always look better in the sunlight. I look forward to seeing everyone next year.