Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith: Last Round Promotions Shortchanges 14 fighters
By Don Smith
17 Apr 2018
Editor’s Note: This column is a special edition and we thank Arizona boxing trainer Harvey Prezant for bringing a headline worthy story to our attention and the world boxing community. In addition, ABNN would like thank the multiple sources who contributed to our investigation; especially Harvey, Chandler Arizona boxer Misael “Chico” Chacon (war veteran) and his manager/ trainer Randy Robles. All three men are heroes, in our opinion, and we salute their courage in stepping forward and asking us to investigate their recent boxing experience in California. It has always been our policy to investigate wrong doing regardless of the originating zip code. This is a story about wrong doing in triplicate.
Boxing Fans, WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1) will defend his title in a rematch versus challenger Abner Mares (31-2-1) at the Staple Center in Los Angeles, California on June 9. The bout will be televised on Showtime for a hefty paycheck; no resentment! Boxing is a rough sport.
Before the elite champion and “pound 4 pound” contender defends his title on June 9, Leo and his assistant Maggie Perez will have to explain charges that his promotional boxing company (Last Round Promotions) issued “INSF” marked checks to 14 fighters and one to matchmaker Eddie Rodriquez on April 6. Rodriquez (the q is correct) confirmed the allegation and told ABNN, he would never work with Last Round Promotions again. It is gratifying to learn there are matchmakers with a conscience.
The bounced checks have created an immediate hardship for all of the victims; none of whom have a rich uncle to call. The 27 year old Chacon is married and the father of six children; one is under 3 years old.
As a result of the “bad” check, Chico has taken on a second job with his employer; the Arizona Republic. In addition to his regular work in the press room, he now gets up before sunrise every day and delivers Arizona Republic newspapers 7 days a week.
Fight fans may not be familiar with Misael whose boxing resumes touts an under achieving record of 2-16-1 but the 27 year old native Floridian is entertaining to watch in the ring and since working with Prezant & Robles, has shown improvement.
Chico’s fight on the April 6 Last Round Promotion card was presented at the California Education & Performing Arts Center in Ontario, California. The show showcased one 6 round bout and six 4 round fights. Chacon won his bout by scoring a 4th round knockout in in the final stanza (4th round) over Alvin Clark. The capacity of the venue was estimated at 2,000, and Mr. Robles thinks the attendance may have reached 1,500. Ticket prices couldn’t be verified; nor could we obtain a list of the show sponsors or a copy of the bout sheet.
According to Randy there were problems from the beginning. When Team Chacon arrived in Ontario, California, he (Randy) asked for the team’s travel expense money and Ms. Perez gave them $100.00 less than was agreed upon. That was the first surprise; there would be more.
The second surprise came when Ms. Maggie Perez told Randy that Chacon would be fighting a substitute fighter, Alvin Clark of Los Angeles. And the Last Round representative went on to add, the contract would be changes to read for less money. Startled, Robles took a big gulp before agreeing to the change only to be approached later with a third contract that was for even less money. He reluctantly signed the third and final contract.
On Saturday Morning (April 7) after their bitter/sweet victory, Team Chacon motored 6 ½ hours back to Chandler Arizona with check in hand. Chico took his check to Navy Federal in Chandler and was told the account (Last Round Promotions) held insufficient funds to cash. The check was re-sent five days later with the same result.
Matchmaker Eddie Rodriquez tells ABNN that everyone holding INSF marked checks from the show will be paid on April 19. He didn’t say if he and the fighters would receive a little extra stipend for their troubles; that remains to be seen and if LRP does make the checks good; that doesn’t mean they should be forgiven and granted a free pass to Heaven!
We must tell our readers that Leo Santa Cruz didn’t attend the show and we have no official way of knowing whether or not he knew of Ms. Perez’s handling of the matter and consequences suffered by the fighters and Mr. Rodriquez. We don’t have direct contact info for the champ; so we left a message with one of his employees at his eatery and drink establishment: Last Round Bar & Grill where some of the fighter ate during their stay.
According to Mr. Robles, Leo’s father manages the bar & grill.
At this time, we have no way of knowing if the matter is resolved; therefore we decided to continue following the bounced checks and hope our story will pressure Last Round Promotions into doing the right thing. ABNN will do a follow-up in our next edition. In addition to usual distribution, ABNN sent this column to California authorities so they can independently investigate our findings. Boxing is a rugged sport and to wait 2-3paychecks is absurd.
Brief Jabs, Due to the urgency of our main story; we are forced to release a briefer column than usual. However we do want to apologize to Arizona’s # 1 female boxer, Victoria Gaytan (Mendoza Boxing) for spelling her name wrong in our last column. The Metro Tech High School student, in Phoenix, also holds down the #2 slot in the most recent USA Boxing rankings.
Victoria will be fighting at the Saturday April 21 Salvation Army Smoker, on Broadway Road in Phoenix if she can get a match. As good as Victoria is; opponents are hard to come by; the first bout commences at 2 pm. and for more details, call 602-425-5000 or 602-315-7518.
Victoria and former world champion Louie Espinoza attended a Meet Greet event for boxing champions Jose Benavidez Jr. and David Benavidez at Amigos Meats in Phoenix on April 14. Arizona Olympic boxing hopeful Fernando Martinez showed up with had to leave quickly because his girlfriend was scheduled to have an ultrasound test to determine the sex and health of their unborn child: it’s a girl. I didn’t get the expectant arrival date.
Gym manager Tom Garcia and boxer Adrian “Sharkey” Servin and proud papa Mike stayed throughout the event. Adrian is fighting Luis Espinoza at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on April 28; not the retired legend, silly! 6 time world champion Michael Carbajal was unable to attend as was several special invited guests who were tied to prior commitments. In reality, everyone is special. .... Gene Lewis tournament director Joshua Benjamin arrived late at the party but he was taking care of boxing and family business so no apology needed. The Gene Lewis Tourney is scheduled for 11/09-10-11; dial Mr. Benjamin at 480-834-1216 for more details.
ABNN will have complete coverage of the “Meet & Greet” in our next column. It was a great event and a special salute to the amicable boxing champions and congenial tour guide Amigos Meats General Manager Jesus Amador who not only hosted the event admirably but played his accordion before an appreciative audience.
I would mention the band’s name but they were three hours late. And then they had to gall to stop playing after performing a short set. During their break they feed their face and took several Amigos and Benavidez Tees home with them. Now you know why the band’s name isn’t mentioned even though they are talented. I did give them credit in our past column before they exercised their decision to be tardy and not apologize for their late arrival....
More Stuff: IBF officials Wes Melton and Chris Flores, Arizona residents, are heading to the exciting city of Milan, Italy toward the end of May and will stay for a week to attend a IBF conference. Chris is married; so we don’t have to worry about him getting into trouble....the Arizona boxing/MMA commission is still hunting to find Executive Director Juan Estrada’s replacement. He wasn’t able to attend the Benavidez Tribute due to the UFC event in Glendale, Arizona...The next Arizona Boxing/MMA meeting is scheduled for Wednesday May 25.
Special Mention: We received an email dated 4/16 requesting permission to notify all boxers that the Mayweather boxing team is looking for fighters to fill their May 11th card at Sam’s Town Events Center on May 11 in Las Vegas. Here is a complete list of scheduled fighters who are looking for opponents: Kevin Newman 6 rounds/164+1, Lance Bellows 10 rounds/ 169+1, Angelo Leo 8 rounds/ 124-126 + 1, Maurice Lee 6 6 rounds/147 + 1, Ava Knight 6 DB /112 max, Andres Cortes 6 rounds/ 132 + 1, Roland Romero 6 rounds / 135 + 1. All the fighters are listed on BoxRec and if interested send inquiry to:email@example.com. Please don’t take on more than you can handle....Arizona fighters interested in fighting in Mexico can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The address belongs to Fight Hard Promotions and their next shows are scheduled for April 21 in Janos Chihuahua, Mexico and May 26th in Agua Prieta Sonora. Make sure you know the details.... Until Next Time!
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