Tijuana Boxing scene: current discord has no predictable outcome

Here we have the group of hard-working promoters who over the last three years have hosted Pro Boxing shows in Tijuana. They are now stepping out on a limb to ensure the boxers who fought on their fight cards receive the proper credit for their victories.

At 3 p.m. on Friday, November 10, 2017, nine Tijuana Boxing Promoters met with the Tijuana Boxing Commission to discuss the Commission’s failure to deal with their on-going grievances and as a group, they stated their plan to curtail all future operations in Tijuana after their final show on December 6, 2017. Without these Promoters, the revenue derived from the sport quickly dries up. That fighter, who was once confronted with the choice of being in a gang or being a professional athlete, might just revert back to the former way of life. Boxing has a wonderful reputation for helping troubled youth get off the streets. Without the possibility of competing in Tijuana, many of these local youths will give up the sport which in turn hurts the many local gyms and fitness centers. A fighter with grand ambitions can easily be sidetracked.

“United we stand, divided we fall,” so says the Boxing Promoters of Tijuana.

At this time, you can almost imagine the TV scriptwriters feverishly jotting down notes of what they are hearing. They see this catastrophe as an ideal topic of an upcoming novella to be pitched to all the Spanish networks. “Sir, with so many people involved, gyms, boxers, and promoters that host more Professional Boxing shows per year than any other city on the planet, this is a topic of grave concern and at this time there is no idea how this problem will be solved. For a great many, the Sport of Boxing puts food on the table. Since the sport is not governed by an all-powerful central authority, in essence, you have a tangled web that includes greedy sanctioning bodies, promoters, managers, TV networks and commissions which at times have conflicting priorities. Oh, and lest we forget you have the lowly athlete, a boxer who is willing to train in the early morning and in the night so that his family gets fed. As our novella progresses, the various antagonists will articulate one thing as their priority, but it is often far from the truth. The bottom line, Boxing and it’s constant struggles has always been a breeding ground for great books and movies. This current clash between the haves and have-nots shows how far each group is willing to go.”

For the first part of a successful novella, the viewer has questions that need answers and ultimately tensions that need to be resolved. The beginning catalyst of this melodrama was the firing of the Head of the Tijuana Boxing Commission Juan Carlos Pelayo by the new politicos. Some are saying good riddance, while others want him back.

Here is some of the venom spoken by Senor Pelayo’s detractors: “With the tunic of “Redeemer”, Pelayo appeared six years ago and promised to be the savior that would clean up the problems at the Tijuana Boxing Commission. At that point, his detractors will tell you, “With his usual rhetoric of servility to the World Boxing Council and the Fecombox, Pelayo went beyond his usual cynicism and said he came with the clear intention of “saving” Boxing in Tijuana. In fact, he did more to damage Boxing than all of his predecessors combined. 

“After all that puff we now find Boxing in Tijuana in crisis. With great hypocrisy, he claimed it was because of the uneven fights and other malicious deceptions that BoxRec was no longer keeping track of the results of shows in Tijuana. It is pathetic to take note of such a cold-blooded act to pretend to be the “Messiah”; in order to pave the way for the black intentions of Mauricio Sulaiman and to contaminate amateur boxing with his poisonous invasion of their green belts. 

“For over a month, Box Rec has not recorded the results of the matches held in Tijuana. However, relaxing that policy change, the result of the Luis “Panterita” Nery bout on Saturday, November 4, 2017, at the local baseball stadium, was promptly uploaded to their statistics page the very same day. Pelayo assumed that BoxRec’s “catastrophic measure” of not recording any Tijuana matches should only cover Tyrians and Trojans, but had no right to include Fernando Beltrán of Zanfir Promotions. He does not belong to any of these groups and certainly does not want to risk a demand from “King Midas” (Mauricio Sulaiman).” 

The current Tijuana Boxing Commission, whose job it is to referee, judge, look after the safety of fighters, make sure everyone follows the rules, declare the victorious and then report the winners to both Fight Fax and Box Rec appears to be doing their job.

The boxers’ Manager or Management team is there to promote the boxer’s career which in the beginning requires finding them fights they can win and slowly but surely develop the boxer’s talent, is constantly looking for better sparring and the best coaching so their boxer can eventually hit the big time. Since the whole process can take years and years of hard work, that management team is entitled to their percentage of money paid to the boxer.

The World Boxing Council, led by their president Mauricio Sulaimon, would like you to believe they are this sanctimonious group that rules over all of the Fighting Sports and is constantly looking out for the well being of all athletes (which includes remembering to wish them a Happy Birthday) are his top priorities. Through this leader comes all these gracious comments every time there is a world disaster, a souvenir belt that needs to be presented to a respected Diety, not to mention the exhausting hours of meeting after meetings to rank the athletes and police them for any violation of taking a banned substance. 

Next, you have Box Rec, a website that was established in 2005. It is owned and managed by Marina and John Sheppard. It is dedicated to holding updated records of all professional boxers, both male and female. On any given day this well-run, attractive, easy to use website, has 50,000 plus people visiting the website to check the records of boxers from all over the planet. In 2005, BoxRec applied to become recognized as the official record keeper for the Association of Boxing Commissions. As a result, the ABC held interviews with both Fight Fax and BoxRec at their 2005 convention. Each applicant made a submission and presentation to a panel which included state commissioners and attorneys. The panel then voted unanimously to award Fight Fax the position. The ABC later revealed they had undertaken tests to measure the accuracy of the records of the websites and the Fight Fax records were shown to be 100% accurate while BoxRec’s records were found to be substantially lower. Since that time, Box Rec has done wondrous things to improve their website and was later recognized by the ABC as a great second source.

The Boxing Promoters of Tijuana are in business to put on entertaining shows that make money. They need to have the results of their shows, which are all sanctioned by the Tijuana Boxing Commission, posted on both Fight Fax and Box Rec. Up until this time, Fight Fax has been tracking all fights but Box Rec has recently become selective. There is talk this abrupt change of heart occurred after Box Rec had a closed-door meeting with Mauricio Sulaimon at the last WBC Convention. At that meeting, they discussed not only the firing of Juan Carlos Pelayo but other strategies that would assist the WBC in their worldwide power grab.

Pure conjecture: As a consequence of this meeting, the recording of the fights held in Tijuana became hit or miss. Case in point: on November 4, 2017, a show featuring a fight card of five matches had Luis Nery battling Arthur Villanueva and Sandra Robles fighting Linda Contreras. Record keeper Box Rec reported on just two of the fights and failed to record the results of the other three matches. Plus, when you look up Linda Contreras’ records of previous fights, they registered a TKO win over “unknown” on July 1, 2017. If they were conscientious record keepers, wouldn’t they have checked other sources or gotten in touch with Fight Fax to learn who Contreras defeated? Detractors claim they registered the Nery bout because he is under contract with Fernando Beltran of Promociones Zanfer of Tijuana who has close ties with – you guessed it – Mauricio Sulaimon. 

Unlike Box Rec, which all but ignored the November 4, 2017, show held at the Gas Mart Stadium in Tijuana which had an announced attendance of 15,000 plus, their competition Fight Fax, owned and managed by Anibal Miramontes had all the facts.

(photo, top, left) Luis Nery celebrates his KO victory over Arthur Villanueva. (top, right) In an eight round war of unbeaten lightweights, southpaw Elvis ‘Rockanrolero’ Torres (18-0-2, 11 KOs) (left) of Tijuana defeated 24-year-old Adrian ‘Chinito’ Young (23-3-2) from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico by a unanimous decision with 78-74 showing on all three scorecards. (bottom left) It was 22-year-old Light Flyweight Carlos Licona (9-0, 2 KOs) from Westminster, Calif. taking on Juan Carlos “Polvorito” Diego (8-0, 4 KOs) of Tijuana and finally (bottom right)  Jose ‘Chon’ Zepeda (left) stopped Abner Lopez to win a TKO victory at the 1:43 mark of the sixth round.

The Sandra Robles vs Linda Contreras bout was another nonstop slugfest in which Robles won by decision. We should ask Sandra Robles, currently ranked #5 in the world, how important it is to have her victories recorded.

The Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports is our shining example of how these more or less benevolent organizations should be performing. With their five regional directors representing 49 Boxing Commissions in the United States, their involvement requires even more paperwork, more record keeping, and more rules to ensure the Commissions do their jobs correctly. On a regular basis instructions from this organization might include a) doing your job so you are not sued, b) discussion of fouls, clothing, and hair, c) judging criteria, e) the current problem of dehydration, f) how rules are different in different countries, g) drug testing by VADA, the Voluntary Anti Doping Association, h) proper boxing gloves, i) how fights from the World Series of Boxing (AIBA) are not to be counted on the Pro Boxer’s record, and j) matchmaking parameters.

Since this current problem in Boxing has only just begun, the SportofBoxing.com website will do its best to continue to monitor the developments and hopefully, the matter will be resolved for the benefit of all concerned.

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