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Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don Smith: Boxing Fans Irate! & Jose Benavidez Homecoming

Boxing Fans, Floyd Mayweather remains undefeated after easily defeating his longtime rival, Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, May 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Hotel. Now, fights fans will debate whether the much ballyhooed bout was the ?Fight of the Century? as captioned in several national publications. I talked to fans from both sides of the fan base and I heard no one describe the match as anything more than just another fight and most fans came away disappointed and some of the displeased asked for a refund and the judicial system may listen to their argument.

On my scorecard, I ranked the fight, sixth best televised sports event broadcasted on May 2 behind the winning photo finish win of Kentucky Derby winner American Pharaoh, Clippers dramatic win over the Spurs, NFL Draft: rounds 4-7,Rory Mcllroy?s brilliant performance in Match Cup Play and the always dramatic NHL Playoffs. If I wasn?t such an ardent boxing fan, I would drop the boxing contest to 8th behind College Men?s Rugby and Women?s Softball, also televised on that auspicious day.

Hours before the first bell, one fan told me was going to purchase a ?garbage disposal? with the $100.00 requested for the PPV event, but he changed his mind and ordered the fight, a decision he now woefully regrets in hindsight. Check out lawsuit pending segment in lower portion of column.

Round one went to Mayweather because he landed a few jabs while Pacquiao was basically a spectator. Pac Man came alive in the second round, but didn?t do enough to make his fans confident. I watched the event with a predominant Filipino crowd and the majority held their faces in their hands, disbelieving they were watching a Manny Pacquiao who continued to throw wild punches and look out of sync. Pacquiao need a 10-8 round in the 10th and he needed to win the last two stanzas to avert losing by a unanimous decision. It didn?t happen and now his boxing future is uncertain. Mayweather has one more fight on his contract and then it?s adios to boxing, according to him.

Mayweather?s handpicked referee (Kenny Bayless) didn?t help the smaller Pacquiao by allowing the undefeated Champ to abide by a different set of ring rules. I counted at least three low blows, several wrestling type holds and other boxing infractions that were obvious to anyone who didn?t require the aid of a Seeing Eye dog; yet the poor officiating continued throughout the 12 round bout.

It just wasn?t Manny Pacquiao night. The referee could have been Skip Bayless (writer) or Andy Bayless (Restaurant owner), it didn?t matter, Manny Pacquiao was a beaten man when he entered the ring and looked as if he were a lost sailor on a rudderless ship ready to dead end. After the final stanza, I saw it 8 rounds for Mayweather and four for Pacquiao. Give Mayweather his due, but considering the price of admission, fans didn?t get much from either hyped warrior in a fight that mocked the sport and fell way short of being the best televised sporting event of the day?.refund, please!

After and before the event was immortalized, a multitude of complaints were lodged by viewers who deemed the 12 twelve rounder was less satisfying than a quarter pounder from McDonalds. And some last minute would be viewers decided to forgo the telecast after encountering reception problems.

More troubling is reports that two working female journalists (Rachel Nichols and Michelle Beadle) weren?t allowed credentials to cover the fight from inside the venue because they had previously asked questions that focused on Floyd Mayweather?s history of domestic violence which led to his incarceration in 2012-2013. A denial was issued by the Mayweather Camp, but the offended reporters weren?t satisfied with the statement and Beadle actually left town. Both women are established journalists and it is unknown whether or not the reported act of censorship will trigger a backlash from the journalistic community.

Boxing News: Valentino?s, 43 rd. Avenue & Indian School Road in Phoenix, was penciled as the venue for the next Bout Maker Boxing Promotions event, scheduled for August 29, but Valentino?s (Jessica) confirmed the 23,000 square foot sized facility won?t be hosting boxing on that night; that honor may be bestowed upon one of the La Princesa facilities in Phoenix. According to BMMP, the Dunlap Avenue located La Princesa is out of the running. Valentino?s did host wrestling once upon a time and is available for suitors, parking is free. Interested parties can call Jessica at 602-535-5482 for booking opportunities?..Please include Tom & Joe Garcia in your prayers as they mourn the death of their mother on Monday May 4, six days before Mother?s Day. Tom and Joe are two of the best liked guys aligned to Arizona Boxing; our deepest condolences??.Alexis Santiago signed a provisional contract to fight WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz on the Mayweather/Pacquiao undercard if designated opponent Jose Cayetano, from Mexico, had visa or weight problems. Cayetano was able to make the gig, so Santiago got paid and was able to watch the fight. No official word on when and where Santiago will fight next??The proposed filming of The Celebrity Making of a Champion is being delayed until later in May instead of the highly publicized May 12 date at Knockout Gym and Karla?s Bar and Restaurant in Phoenix; organizers plan to notify media when final date is determined.

Pending Lawsuit: Plaintiffs, Staphane Vanel and Kami Rahbara, have filed a lawsuit on behalf of fight fans seeking monetary damages against Manny Pacquiao for performing poorly against Floyd Weather as a result of hiding an undisclosed injury that occurred before their May 2 fight. Nevada law requires that a fighter must disclose any injury prior to a bout. Mayweather has agreed to give Pacquiao a rematch after the alleged injury (right shoulder) has healed. Pacquiao claims he reinjured the shoulder in the fourth round. The Filipino fighter admits concealing the injury from Nevada authorities which could earn him a suspension and possible ban. It might be a sad ending to a long and illustrious career.

Title Bout & Birthday Celebration: Channel 12 Television (NBC Affiliate in Phoenix) stopped by Central Gym, on Friday May 1, to interview Jose Benavidez Jr. (22-0) who is defending his WBA interim world super lightweight title against Jorge Paez Jr., 38-5-2, (son of legendary Jorge Paez Sr.) on May 15 at US Airways. The Airways show will include a young under card cast comprised of: NABF youth title belt holder David Benavidez(8-0) Light Heavyweight contender Trevor McCumby, undefeated local favorites Victor (15-0) , Carlos Castro (8-0) fast rising Abel Ramos (11-0-2) and Francisco C De Vaca (10-0). The co-main features super lightweights Emmanuel Taylor (18-3) vs. hard hitting Antonio Orozco (21-0). True Television will carry the fight and after the fight, the champion hopes to celebrate birthday # 23 which falls on the day of the fight. If his friends decide early, Jose can blow out the candles as a cardio exercise, but his handlers will surely smack him if his lips touch the cake: Event Tickets is now on sale through Ticket Master and at the US Airways Box-office beginning at $20.00. A word to the wise, purchase admission ducats at the US Airways box-office and save a little money. For more information, call the box-office at 602-379-7824; tickets are moving quickly.

More Chatter: Alfonso Olivera, Neutral Corner Boxing) is 3-1 in his pro career. At one time, he considered trying to make the 2016 Olympic team, but family and money considerations led him to turn professional?.18 year old Christopher Gonzales ( fighting out of Tucson) won the open 152 lbs. weight class at the Cinco de Mayo Festival J.O. Championships in Phoenix?.
Joey ?The Boxer? Ruelas is undergoing dental problems (wisdom teeth extractions) and may not fight until June. Joey did receive good news recently when his probation was lifted; now he can travel which is a big boost for the Arizona middleweight who now fights at 160 and moves much better in the ring than he did at 170 plus?..Victor Castro (15-0) is scheduled for a MRI test on his shoulder and a problematic result will probably bump him from the May 15 US Airways Card?.Arizona Boxing prospect Luis Olivares (Busted Knuckle Boxing) has a bout scheduled in Connecticut on May 15?..MMA USA Expo 15 hopes to invite former IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter who was managed by John Lennon, minority partner of the Arizona Rattlers, at least he was a few years back. Porter has spent time in Phoenix and trained at Busted Knuckle Boxing Gym. ?Battle at Broadway, Friday and Saturday, May 15-16 in Mesa, Arizona. Call Mario Ruiz 480-239-9088 for full details.

Arizona State J.O. Champs advance to Ogden Utah May 21-22, 2015
The following male and female boxers were victorious at the recently concluded Cinco De Mayo Boxing Festival and will advance to the Regionals in Utah on May 21-22. Special thanks to Jake Magallanez, USA Boxing Arizona President for forwarding me the names of the state?s conquering heroes. I was unable to attend the event, but did manage to secure 70 % of the winners names by using Morris Code and making late night calls. The boxing community is very slow in helping an aging writer with a deadline. To those who didn?t return my calls, thank you; I guess. Mr. Magallanez was interviewed at the tournament by NBC Affiliate Channel 12 in Phoenix and did a credible job according to fans that called me and witnessed his camera action and performance as director of the event.

Anthony Clark (San Luis PAL)-101 WT., Fernando Meza (Strong Enough)-106 WT., Armando Chavez (Guadalupe)- 114 WT., James Browning (Guadalupe) 119 WT., Carlos Velazquez (Knockout)- 125 WT., Jose Cordero (San Luis Pal)-132 WT., Daniel Ruelas (Rodriguez)-145 WT., Ruben Gonzales (South Mountain)-152 WT., Hayleigh Solano (Solano?s)-106 WT., Alicia Martinez (Knockout) -114 WT., James Bahe (Chinle)-80 WT., Dorian Kahn (Knockout) ? 85 WT., Edwin Mendez (Broadway) -90 WT., Micky Scala (Broadway)-95 WT., Jesus Ramos (Ramos) ? 101 WT., Erick Bermudez (Unattached)-106 WT., Xavier Gordin (Unattached)-110 WT., Tyler Carlos(Fuentes) 60 WT., Alex Gonzales (Broadway) -65 WT., Jacob Girardot (Top Level)-70 WT., Xavier Gloria (Guerrero) -75 WT., Maximus Castro (Knockout) -85 WT., David Reyes (Broadway) -90 WT. Mariah Martinez (Knockout) -60 WT., Maria Bahe (Chinle Bahe) -65 WT.,Reina Ruiz (Broadway)-60 WT., Rosa Linda Harvey (Chinle Bahe) -65 WT., Diana Avalos (Broadway)-95 WT., Dvina Avalos-(Broadway )-101 WT. To all the kids who participated, thank you!

More Boxing News: Former Boxing Gym owner Damien Stone is still making trips to the Maricopa County Superior Court to decide his fate in his case involving soliciting a female police officer din 2014; his next court appearance is scheduled for June 2. 2015 at 8:30 AM?..Desert Fisticuffs 1V is scheduled for May 30 at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Tucson Arizona, 4550 S. Palo Verde Road. It is an amateur Boxing Fundraising Event featuring Edward Medina of the Tucson Wolfpack Boxing Team, host for the Fundraiser. Head Coach Ray Mitchell is also planning a pro/am boxing show at the Clarion on June 26. Mitchell told me the weigh-In is scheduled for 9-11 AM on the day of the event and 1st bout begins at 2 PM sharp. Coach Mitchell can be reached at 520-406-7561 and the pro/am show will feature 7 pro and 3 amateur bouts; boxing is apparently alive and well in Pima County.MMA USA EXPO 15: I met USA EXPO 15 Associate Director Mark Green at last month?s Arizona State Boxing/MMA Commission and the physically fit director told me his organization was going to thrill Phoenix to a new level with its? June 13-14 Show at the Downtown Phoenix Convention Center and he referred to the show as MMA USA EXPO 15! He went on to explain that the two day show would present amateur & professional Boxing, MMA and wrestling under one roof. The Expo also features a multitude of exciting ?Non-Combatant? attractions such as custom motorcycles, exotic automobiles, tattoo artists, video gaming, physique and bikini competitions, educational seminars, a kid?s fun zone and a sports marketplace that will house hundreds of exciting exhibitors! Also on display, some of the ?coolest and sophisticated? military, law enforcement, and firefighting equipment on our planet. For more information go to: Admission price for the all-day event is a very reasonable $35.00 for each day. Kids 12 and under are admitted free and Mr. Green assured me the Expo would honor military veterans from all branches of the service with tickets and monetary assistance; very commendable. Tickets are now on sale through Ticket Force, Phoenix Convention Center and online. To Rank Boxing and Iron Boy Promotions are co-promoters of the boxing events; remember, June 13-14 is just around the corner?? Until Next Time

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Don Smith.

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