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Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith: Process for Rules Change, RJJ Show Recap & MMA Spat

Boxing Fans, The term repeal and replace was a familiar theme during the 2016 USA election campaign and now that he has been elected President, Donald J. Trump and his Republican co-harts are attempting to amend polices adopted by President Barrack Obama, the previous administration. The most obvious targeted example is the ?Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? signed into law on March 23, 2010.

To implement wholesale change isn?t easy as the newly elected American President is finding out. Recently, our column has focused on Arizona Boxing/MMA Executive Director Juan Estrada?s attempt to ?improve? outdated/unnecessary rules contained in Arizona Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts statute, A. R. S. 5-221 et seq. According to our limited research, the last revisions approved (House Bill 226) was signed into law by then Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on September 13, 2013.

In addition, a new ?48 hour? rule amendment request for all medicals, license applications, etc. is currently posted on the official Arizona Boxing/MMA website; however, there isn?t a passed date assigned to the listed amendment. And the site, in the past, hasn?t been a reliable source for information. ABNN has noticed better Website maintenance since Mr. Estrada and Public Information Officer Kristian Fasching ((Arizona Department of Gaming) have joined the commission team. Knowing the system as I do, other people will take the credit for the revisions and modifications to the regulations.

As editor of Arizona Boxing News & Notes, I admit frustration over trying to extract information from previous Commission administrations who failed to respond to phone calls or emails as we scrambled to meet out deadline. It was as if there was a press ban similar to the unconstitutional Muslim travel halt proposed by President Trump that was thankfully neutered through the legal process.

The process for dissent should be more democratic. I was chewed out by a past commission director who thought I asked too many questions. He became so angry during our ?thoughtful? exchange that I thought he was on the brink of suffering a stroke; frightful experience that happened in the hallway outside his office so no one could witness the encounter. I told him his behavior was over the top and left. Demagoguery of the 1st amendment isn?t kosher in America.

My relationship with the Commission has vastly improved since I received that memorable; but, senseless verbal tongue lashing for performing the duties of a professional journalist.

In a welcomed spirit of mutual cooperation, Mr. Fasching recently emailed a flow chart that explains the basic process for improving outdated /unnecessary rules. I thought it would be didactic for our readers and the public in general to become cognizant of the ?flow chart? developed by the staff of the Governor?s Regulatory Review Council. (1) The Agency determines that a rule or rules should be amended or repealed, rather than expired. (2) The Agency works with its Policy Advisor in the Governor?s office to obtain an exception from Executive Order 2016-03. (3)If appropriate, the Agency notifies the stakeholders of its intention to enter into a rule making, and seeks stakeholder input. (4) The Agency drafts the proposed rules, and an Economic, Small Business, and Consumer Impact Statement (EIS). (5) The Agency determines if, under A. R. S. 41-1032(A), there is justification for the rules to have an immediate effective date. (6) The Agency reserves a time and venue for an oral proceeding (to be heard at the end of the 30 day public comment period).

(7) The Agency files a Notice of Door Opening and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with the Secretary of State for publication in the Administrative Register. (8) The Agency fields public comments for at least a 30 day period beginning on the date the Notices are published. (9) At the end of the 30 day public comment period, the Agency holds an oral proceeding and closes the rulemaking record. (10) Based on feedback, the Agency may make technical corrections and non-substantial amendments. (11) Within 120 days of the close of record, the Agency submits the proposed rules and EIS to the Council for approval. (12) During a separate required 30 day public comment period, Council Staff reviews the proposed rules and EIS. (13) The rules and EIS are publicly considered by the Council at an upcoming study session and regular meeting. (14) The Council votes to approve (or return) the rules and EIS. A 2/3 voting majority is required to approve an immediate effective date. (15) If approved by the Council, the Agency files a Notice of Final Rulemaking with the Secretary of State for publication in the Administrative Register.

If signed by the Governor, the decisions will be forwarded to current and former Licensed Promoters and Matchmakers, Licensed Officials and other interested parties. The public is welcome to attend monthly commission meetings and offer comments. The office is located at 1110 West Washington, Phoenix, Arizona. The next scheduled Monthly meeting is set for April 19 at 10 AM.

Knockout Night at the D: Arizona Boxing News & Notes returned to Las Vegas on March 11th at the Downtown Las Vegas to watch the latest ?Knockout Night at the D? show presented by Roy Jones Jr. Promotions. It was a good night for boxing and especially for fans that got to rub elbows with an impressive array of pugilists representing the present and future of boxing. Fans love to take pictures and gather autographs from their ring heroes. The talented group assembled included former world champs Layla McCarter, Shawn Porter, Bones Adam, Jesse Vargas, former heavyweight contender James ?The Quick? Tillis and young contenders Raphael Garcia and Marco Magdaleno. Former world champions Leon Spinks and Badou Jack attended the weigh-in on the previous day.

RRJ ring ing announcer Ralph Velez Jr. introduced the celebrity guests in the audience and when he did, I scrambled from my seat to approach them for a possible question or two; but, excited fans were more agile than yours truly (ancient reporter) and so the result of my slow and feeble attempt was a quick hello to former IBO welterweight champion Shawn Porter (26-2-1) who is scheduled to fight Andre Berto (31-4) on April 22 at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York. I took a picture of a smiling Porter; but, someone bumped me as I snapped the picture and the result looks more like Joey Porter, the former NFL Linebacker-it was distorted.

The boxing menu for the evening listed 6 fights; however, RJJ welterweight prot?g? Flavio Rodriguez (6-0-5 knockouts) sprained an ankle 48 hours before 1st bell reducing the number of bouts to 5. The injury was confirmed by a physician and Team Rodriguez hopes their prize fighter will be ready for the next Knockout Night at the D Show.

Girls know how to fight: 1st bout of the evening pitted Las Vegas Native Marina Ramirez against Canadian Judy Pereira in a 4 round junior flyweight bout that was action packed and possibly the best bout of the evening. Judy was bigger and stronger; but, Marina threw more punches and her dogged determination won over the crowd although both women received a loud chorus of cheers at the end of their bout. I had the contest a draw; however, the judges sided with the hometown fighter (Ramirez) by scores of 38-38 & 39-37 x 2. The MD win elevated Ramirez?s record to 3-1 while the loss evened Pereira?s record to 1-1. I would like to see a rematch.

1st upset of the evening: Hometown Jr lightweight Sal Lopez entered the ring undefeated (4-0) against once beaten Ivan De La Madrid (2-1) from Arizona in a 4 round slugfest. Madrid started off like a man possessed knowing he was playing in Lopez?s background. Lopez (4-1) went down twice and a third potential knockdown was ruled a slip. Lopez fought back but the 2 10-8 rounds made it impossible for Lopez to catch up. I was surprised when it was called a majority decision with scores of 38-38 & 37-32 x 2. My scorecard had Madrid winning by a unanimous decision. It was definitely a bout worth watching and Madrid (3-1) is a much better fighter than when I watched his debut in Phoenix last year. He started training at Pro Edge in Phoenix and now he works put at Busted Knuckle in Glendale.
I talked to Madrid trainer Alan Vier about his fighter and we both agreed that he showed power and confidence in his bout; but, took too many punches and lunged occasionally. Vier is a good trainer and knows the cure for what ails most fighters.

Super Max Wins: He is one of the most popular young fighters in Las Vegas. Dubbed the ?Baby Faced Assassin, 18 year old Max Ornelas had reeled off 7 wins before he faced Mexican veteran Pedro Melo ( (17-13-2- -8 knockouts) and the veteran gave him fits all night during their 6 round bantamweight battle that left both warrior exhausted at the end.

It was Max?s real test as a professional and he needs to work on his defense and not get caught up in a brawl like he did with Melo who baited the young fighter and the trap almost worked. Ornelas improved his record to 8-0-3 knockouts with scores of 60-54 & 59-52 x 2 but no one I talked to thought ?the Baby Faced Assassin? won by that wide of a margin. I had the youngster winning with a very narrow split decision. Melo is a very wily veteran. His record drops to 17-14-2-8 knockouts.

Huge Upset: Super Featherweight Randy Moreno (8-0-7 knockouts) entered the ring a heavy favorite to beat journeyman Thomas Herrera ( 10-16-1-5 knockouts). I was flanked by a young writer who predicted Moreno would make short work of Herrera and leave the ring with a knockout victory in the second round. He was right about the second round; but, it was Herrera who won with a second round stoppage in the second round with a left hook that put down the Nevada Native for the second and final time. Referee Robert Byrd stopped the contest at the 53 second mark of the second stanza. My esteemed colleague who was so sure of a Moreno KO that he would have bet the farm and lost it all if I was a wager. I love cards that contain 1-2 upsets and this card had two on the night.

Main Event: In a 10 round contest, former Jr. Featherweight title contender Rico Ramos (26-5-13 - knockouts) needed a win over fellow Californian Erik Ruiz (16-5-1-5 knockouts) to stay in the hunt for a world title shot. Ramos entered the ring desperately needing a win after 2 consecutive losses.

Ramos started slowly picking his spots while Ruiz was the busier of the two but his punches failed to match the strength of Ramos?s right hand that was able to land frequently. It was more of a tactical battle and Ramos showed better focus and conditioning to win a unanimous decision over a game but lighter punching Erik Ruiz whose boxing record stands at 16-6-1-6 knockouts. Ramos was all smiles in pushing his record to 27-5-13 knockouts. The winner relaxed a bit during the last two rounds and there is always a danger in last minute coasting or showboating. The scores were 98-92-100-98 x 2 for a unanimous win.

News & Notes: Phoenix middleweight Andrew ?The Fighting Pride of Phoenix? will pack his bags and head for Uncasville, Connecticut (Mohegan Sun Casino) to fight for the vacant WBO International Middleweight title against Russian Arif Magomedov (18-1) whom he defeated last year at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The upcoming 4/15 battle will be carried by HBO and his commitment on the east coast means he won?t be fighting on the Iron Boy 38 card scheduled for April 22 at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix as previously hinted.

Phoenix born David Benavidez (17-0-16 knockouts) is fighting Rogelio ?Porky? Medina ((37-7-31 knockouts) in New York on 4/29 at a venue to be determined. The winner will face the victor of the WBO super middleweight championship title bout between #1 ranked Cullum Smith (20-0-17 knockouts) and Anthony Dirrell ((30-1-1-24 knockouts) sometime in June or July. It is very good news for the 20 year old Benavidez ranked #7 in the world.

22 year old Phoenix featherweight Edgar Brito (3-2-1-2 knockouts) absent from ring action for 19 months is scheduled to do battle with US Olympian (Silver Medal) Shakur Stevenson at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on Saturday, April 22.

The 4 rounder is a special feature on an all-star caliber event headlined by a WBO world championship triple header: WBO Featherweight Champion Oscar Valdez (22-0-19 knockouts) vs. #1 ranked Miguel ?Escorpion? (25-1-21 knockouts) ? WBO Super Middleweight Champion Gilberto ?Zurdo? Ramirez (34-0-24 knockouts) vs. Ukrainian Max ?Tiger? Bursak (33-4-1-15 knockouts) ?WBO Junior Featherweight Champion Jessie Magdaleno (24-0-17 knockouts) vs. WBO Latino champion Adeilson ?Dell? Dos Santos ((18-2-14 knockouts) of Brazil.

According to sources, Brito will spar with Ryan Riddell (2-0) in his preparation for Stevenson, signed with Mayweather Promotions. A win will re-ignite Brito?s flagging career while a poor performance may force him to re-think his future. He has lost his last 2 fights and Brito failed to make weight when he was scheduled to fight in Vegas last year. He told me he wants to continue fighting, so it is his decision and Stevenson will help him make it. The show is a PPV presentation, produced and distributed by Top Rank Boxing.

MMA Spat: Arizona Boxing/MMA Commission Executive Juan Estrada is reviewing film footage to determine what disciplinary action, if any, should be taken towards MMA fighter Estevan Payan after allegations were leveled at the fighter that he spit in the face of Kyle Stewart, his opponent at the Iron Boy V event on 3/10 at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. ABNN was out of town; but reliable sources confirmed the spitting incident and the same sources swore that an unidentified woman, supporter or friend of Payan, tossed a water bottle that struck a working inspector on his unsuspecting head. The extent of the impact is unknown.

Here is what we know. Bad blood existed between the two athletes after Payan, allegedly got on face book, and called Stewart?s mother the C word. We don?t print foul language; but, it rhymes with runt, punt and it isn?t hunt. This act of coarse and civil disobedience occurred a day or two before the fight. And it may have been the catalyst for the crude act on 3/10.

The spitting incident happened after Stewart easily defeated Payan who then delivered a spit ball that landed on the face of Stewart. The director (Juan Estrada) says the incident is under review and a decision will be determined soon after another objective look at film footage; a spitball in flight is hard to document by most camera systems. If the evidence supports the charges, we think Payan (a paid professional) should be suspended and fined. That is our call!

More News: Writer Chris Walker has written a story titled ?The Fighter, The Thief, and his Brother? that unveils the writers investigation into the highly charged relationship between 6 Time World Champion Michael Carbajal and his estranged brother Danny Carbajal who is a defendant in current court proceedings pursued by plaintiff Michael Carbajal. To find the sad but true story, go online after 3/25 and read it to understand the riff.....?ABNN was unable to obtain results from the F-1 boxing event held in Buckeye, Arizona on 3/11 and we apologize for not relaying results from the Iron Boy MMA V show on 3/10 at the Celebrity Theatre?.we extend get well wishes to Iron Boy staff members Emily Pandelakis (Publicist) and Mike Sanchez (Matchmaker). Emily was injured in a car accident while working in New Mexico and Mike Sanchez is trying to shake of the dreaded flu bug. We wish both the best?..Amateur boxing referee Jerry Grimes is capable of working at the pro level; but, he was told his pony tail was a problem-can you believe that especially since there is a shortage of quality refs in the valley and most of them will never see 65 again and the same truism can be said about Nevada. ABNN hopes the Arizona Boxing Commission will give Jerry a chance and drop the hair restriction?? Ricky Ricardo Rodriguez (Madison Boxing) plans to present an Olympic style amateur boxing show on Saturday, May 8 at Greenfield Elementary School in Phoenix. 1st bout is 2 PM and call 602-434-7770 for details??..PBC will bring at least 1 show to the Gila River Arena in 2017. And if the Arizona Coyotes leave the valley, as expected, Arena Management will scramble to fill empty dates and that occurrence could open the Arena doors for boxing and MMA events. Iron Boy 38 (boxing) is on the calendar for 4/22 and names mentioned for the card include: Carlos Castro, Francisco C. De Vaca, Paul Romero, Alexis Zazueta, Andre Servin, Luis Espinoza, Ryan Riddell, Daron Williams and Alfredo Escarcega Jr. + 4 unnamed fighters from Journeyman Boxing? Tickets are currently on sale at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. .. ? Until Next Time!

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

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