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


Best of the Year Awards

Everyone can give thanks for another year of life in Gunsmoke.   Stockton was awarded the dumbest place in California, due to the fact that very few people read.  Is it any wonder so such violence and, political corruption takes place?  Education equals political participation, lack of it, equals apathy and crime.  Thank God, anyone who wants can still leave this awful place.  It feels like a combat zone, only I’m not allowed to carry a gun.  Anyone thinking about moving here should buy the paper for a week, I’m sure they’d change their minds. I wish the realtor who sold me this place had told about the near by park’s reputation after dark, as a gay hang out.  I hope the realtor who lied via omission remembers that what goes around, comes around.  The best thing about Stockton is that it has two free ways, and one can get the hell out of here in a hurry.  I have awarded Stockton as the worse venue over all.

This year, I will include another area to the awards. I will list the best of, The Worst for Professional Courtesy.  The awards are in the areas of Best Venue, Best Ring Girls, Best Card, Best Professional Corporation and Best Surrounding Area.  On the dark side, are Worst Venue, Worst Ring Girls, Worst Card, and Worst Professional Courtesy?

First Place all around.  Jerry Hoffman’s Riot in Downtown Monterrey takes it hands down.  Jerry has demonstrated via actions that it is possible to present an excellent show, without so many of the negative aspect of boxing.   His shows have consistently brought the best of area boxers to local fans. He has offered local boxers a chance to advance their careers.  I can not fault him for locating less than lethal opponents for local boxers, remember, the objective is to help improve their records in order to help sale tickets. Every promoter across the country does this, its part of boxing, and good business.  As long as area boxer continue to train and are ready, Jerry will continue to give them work, even if its only twice a year.

Best Ring Girls, once again Jerry Hoffman, takes it. I don’t know where he finds those young ladies, but as far as eye-candy, Jerry seems to have the best around.

Best Venue, once again Jerry Hoffman takes it without a doubt, Monterrey is a beautiful place without boxing.  Anyone who has not heard the sounds of the foghorns, sea lions and ocean, can not say they’ve visited California.  Not only is the city itself a beautiful setting, the surrounding areas are equally as attractive.  Jerry’s last show was done with a touch of elegance and fineness.  The Portal Plaza Hotel is an excellent venue, and I had a great time there. I salute Mr. Hoffman and wish continued success.

Jerry Hoffman also takes what I consider a very important award.  The Best Professional Courtesy Award. As a life long fan of the sport, I consider this an essential aspect of boxing because it is very hard to find.  Sitting ringside is essential for a sportswriter. It gives me an opportunity to experience the fight first hand and up close.  There are no other words to express my heart-felt gratitude for the opportunity to do so.  I salute Mr. Hoffman and thank him profoundly for giving me the chance to cover his fights from ringside. I suggest Jerry have a reception table at the next after fight party, where boxers and fans can been, exchange pleasantries and sign autographs. I’ll happily volunteer to help organize it for him.

Second Place Over All, is the new boy on the block. Promoter James Feller.  James has stage several boxing events at the Pepper Tree Hotel in Modesto. Although Modesto is not know as a fight town, James has single handily managed to revive boxing and given local boxers a chance to demonstrate their ability. Thanks to him area boxer have a place to rumble and seek their dreams

Professional Courtesy, Second Place, once James Feller gets the nod.  He had always behaved in an above average manner. He has given me the opportunity to seat ringside and there are no better sits. James is on his way to establishing himself as The Promoter in the Central Valley. I salute him and wish him continued success.

Second Place, Best Ring Girls, Once again James Feller seems to have found the best eye candy in the Valley.  James might have the Candy Man touch when it comes to ring decorations, because all of his shows seemed to have an abundance of female dressing. 

Second Place Best Venue, James Feller gets the nod. His venue at the Pepper Tree Hotel in Modesto was a great place. It’s right of highway 99, and close to home.  He had plenty of security and there were not unpleasant incidents to report. 

Over All, Third Place Arco Area, As usually the big guys are too busy to take care of little details. Arco Area, with all its resources failed to bring its best game. The venue is not all that good.  It could use a little help.  They earned second to the last place in professional courtesy and last place in Ring Girls. Its only promoter seems to believe they own boxing, or least part of it. The female part of the team is rude, and behaved in a below standard manner for such an elderly woman. I asked for a pair of free passes for two amateur national team members, she blew up in a most undignified manner.  I was more surprised seemed to forget that other people witnessed her outburst.  I wouldn’t respond, and let her vent her venom upon me.  It was most distasteful, and why I say, age is no sign of wisdom. I am not one to turn the other cheek, or forget an insult. Mario Puzzo, author of the Godfather said it best. Never refuse a favor, especially when asked by a serious man. Clint said it best in the Unforgiven, “ No one forgets nothing.”

Last place, Over All. The Pavilion, in San Jose. I say it, because I travel a great distance and get the least when I get there.  I was pushed aside, and treated with disrespect and discourtesy. I have been repeatedly disappointed with the Pavilion.  I have done what I consider above and beyond for them, and yet I continue to receive no consideration. I am forced to sit in terrible seating.  Its impossible to speak to the fighters or even gets a decent picture. I feel justified in giving the Pavilion last place in every category.  Terrible seats zero professional courtesy, terrible fight cards, and unattractive ring girls.  San Jose is crowded and has that feeling of being a dangerous, foreign place. As a venue, it sucks.  Boxing fans are given the least and charged the most. About the only redeeming quality I can say, is there they bothered to offer boxing at all.  For all its resources, you’d think it could afford the best eye candy in the world, but it failed to gain even the least prestigious award.  As a dedicated sports writer who drives over a hundred miles to get there, I resent having to seat anywhere other than ringside. I reserve the title of the worst venue for Stockton.

The Last and Most Worst place goes to James Grunsy of Stockton.  The guy I once considered the up and comer comes in last in every single category.  He was less than honest with the fans, which has no category outside of appropriate vocabulary. He failed to offer me a press credential to cover his cage fights, and he failed to explain behavior I still have not explained. I find such a performance below standard, even below those found in the valley, which seems to have the lowest behavior standards I’ve ever endured.

On much different level, I love boxing, and I generally respect the fighters who participant on an honorable level. I do not want to spend time or effort on the dark side of boxing; it would serve no purpose and only bring more dishonors to the game. Those who love boxing, such as I, will continue to do so.  I want to congratulate Slvesyester Stallion on his latest movie. Although it was only a fairy tale, I enjoyed it.  Thank you Rocky, sorry time caught you, as it will catch us all.   

In the last category and which I consider the heart of boxing is The Amateur Award. I want to give Joey and Richard, first place for their once a month sparring sessions at the Bad to Bonz Gym in Modesto. Joey and Richard suffered a harsh blow this year with the behavior of their former boxer. The Beast was arrested with over 126 pounds of drugs.  His behavior brought shame and discredit to those who knew him. It breaks my heart, but things are what they are.  My hat goes off to Joey and Richard for offering the best of boxing, something the President of the Central Valley boxing association never had the heart, grit, or imagination to offer, a once month amateur event worthy of any formal event.

In The Worst of the Worse Category, The Central Valley Amateur Association has become the example of how not to run an organization. Inter conflict, back stabbing, gossip to the point of discredit, and failure to operate even by the lowest standards. The officers who knowingly supported black listing me have no excuse, and no motive, outside of self-perpetuation. I have never said anything that was untrue or misquoted.   I can not imagine a lower type of human being, or anyone, conducting them in such a manner.  I have no words to continue. I know God works in mysterious ways, let’s hope he has use for these old guys, because they serve no purpose here.  Those who are forced to endure their conduct, do so without recourse. There is no honor in such behavior. No words exist to describe such ongoing, below standard conduct. It could only happen in an all-volunteer organization.  The USA Boxing headquarters is swamped with complaints about these boys and is unable to intervene.  It is the most shameful part of boxing I can name.

 As the year’s ends, I salute everyone who helped me along the way.   I wish those who didn’t, nothing. To the President of the Central Valley Association and those who black listed me by refusing to share information, and participated in hateful behavior towards me, I quote Clint Eastwood in the Unforgiving;     ” Nobody forgets nothing”.

Add another black eye to stockton‘s long history of almost heroes much to my dismay, but not surprise, Rodney Jones, a local boxer who had a once in a life time opportunity to fight for a world title, blew it.  He failed to leave this place of broken dreams, and seek assistance in Los Angeles.  Without proper coaching, and demanding sparring partners he suffered a humiliating defeat during his attempt. He failed to recreate himself, and gave away the greatest dream of his life, a world title.  I am unable to explain why he would not spend a few dollars to go to LA and train at one of the gyms that offer professional sparring.  I have still been unable to identify why Valley boys can’t or won’t leave the valley.  Recently another local boy committed suicide while stationed in Iraq.  Come on man, what the hell.  You’re already in a combat zone, why would you kill yourself?  It’s been said people who grow up along the coast are adventures, those who grow up in the mountains are robust, those who grow up in the deserts are resources, and those who grow up in the valleys are pampered.  On top of the inbreeding, lack of motivation, lack of ambition, and zero imagination, this is too much.  This is another reason to leave Stockton.

I invited those who wish to join the ranks of boxers, in competition or just for sport to join me at Fitness Systems Gym at 502 North Cherokee Lane in Lodi.  I offer boxing lessons, starting with a six week no contact boxing boot camp for anyone who just wants the exercise.  The owner is making a special offer of membership for anyone who wishes to join.

I apologize for my absence, a death in the family, and the loss of several of my army buddies in Iraq and Afghanistan took the wind out of my sails.  Such a loss leaves one feeling stunned.  Anyone who has had to stand, and fight when someone is trying to kill you can attest, it’s not an easy thing to do. Trying to aim your weapon while the enemy is raining death upon you is not an easy thing.  To loose someone who has volunteered to face such dangerous, for the love of country, or poverty, and desire of a better life makes it doubly difficult.  I salute my fallen comrades and offer condolences to their families. 

I remain steadfast in my desire to bring the best of local boxing to area fans. I thank the universe and all the powers that be; Once Again, I say Thank God for Boxing,

I mean it from the bottom of my heart. 

Always in Your Corner,

Jorge A. Martinez