The misguided prizefighter – Jesus Aguinaga and Johnny Frazier

Jesus Aguinaga, Johnny Frazier

The arm may have gone up but they didn’t win. Both Jesus Aguinaga (l) and Johnny Frazier (r) were forced to chalk up a loss, July 25, 2013 at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego. Hopefully, they have learned from their experience.

At the conclusion of his match, Thursday evening, July 25, 2013, against a showboating, in-house boxer, Jesus Aguinaga heard the boo birds hollering in unison. They were all siding with him. “HORRIBLE DECISION!!! ONE OF THE WORST DECISIONS EVER!!!! AT THE VERY WORST IT WAS A DRAW!!”

How many young boxers have been subjected to that lament? Bottom line, Aguinaga has a nasty loss on his record. In a frank discussion of this fight, someone should explain to Aguinaga the real harm that was done to his budding career.

“Listen son, you’re a professional boxer and you’re on someone else’s home turf, why in the world would you leave the decision up to the whims of three judges with local ties? You felt certain you had taken Round one because you landed four more blows? In Round two, you took your foot off the throttle but you still felt like you landed a few more of the solid shots – actually deep down you knew the round was too close to call. Big mistake!

“In Round three, your best round of the fight, you landed three flurries of punches and you had the crowd cheering for you. At this point you became delusional. You must have thought the crowd was scoring the fight. Why? Because you’re opponent, Leon Spinks III was taking rounds off and you were foolhardy enough to believe you had already won the fight. Did you think he was cowering down to you? When did that happen? Then you began to taunt Spinks. What was that all about? Did you think that nonsense would affect the judging?”

“In the final round, you showboated some more with these ridiculous motions of a bolo punch, the hands out wide, you even dropped your hands down at your side. From that point, everything you threw was off target. But still you heard the crowd support…and this would surely sway the blind judges. Well, it didn’t. While the crowd was cheering you on, the judges likely became even more discerning and the crowd’s favoritism made them prejudicial against you. What on earth could be more important than the support of the crowd? I’ll tell you – the support of the judges.”

“Your quickie, four rounder ended and neither of you had a scratch on your face or were limp of foot. You felt the win was a foregone conclusion. That you had defeated the hot shot, because the crowd was on your side. Then you woke up from your fairytale as the ring announcer broke the news.”

Here’s what the 18 year-old upstart from Phoenix heard: “Judge Pat Russell scores the bout 39-37…for Spinks. Judge Tony Crebs scores the bout 38-38 a draw. And don’t you know someone’s “O’s got to go, judge Alejandro Rochin has it 39-37 for (the guy who threw the least amount of punches) Leon Spinks III.”

The boxing scribes poled figured at the very worst the youngster deserved a draw – at the very worst – after all that’s what you get when you outshine your opponent. But to lose?? This was a travesty.

Guess what? Aguinaga has now joined the club. Nothing is completely fair when you’re dealing with human nature – when at least one judge is going to have an obstructed view of the proceedings and especially when you’re a member of the visiting team. If Aguinaga wanted the victory bad enough why did he let up when he had a chance to remove all doubt? Veterans will tell you, you can never take a round off in a four rounder.

The reasoning one judge gave, “Spinks’ hand speed is incredible and you don’t always see every punch. (Apparently he can.) I thought he delivered more punishment.”

On Thursday night, that was a hard sell for the countless boxing fans who went on and on booing the decision. With Spinks’ inactivity, there was no way the judges could give him the win. Sitting alongside Spinks’ cornermen, I had to listen to their haranguing, the lecturing of their fighter, “This is a four rounder and you’ve already given him the first round. You better do something, especially after all that sh.. you were talking. Throw a punch! You’re giving the fight away!”

Had Spinks’ grandfather not been present and so very gracious with his many adoring fans, this one may have gotten ugly. As it was, “The Third Generation” heard several negative comments later from fans who told him face to face, “You don’t think you won? You got to be kidding.”

Leon Spinks III, Jesus Aguinaga

Let’s just say Leon Spinks III was very economical with the number of punches thrown. For the majority of the fight it was Jesus Aguinaga (blue trunks) being the busier boxer and in due course landing more punches. All photos: Jim Wyatt

Leon Spinks III

(top) At the conclusion of the bout, there was tension in the air – none of the usual congratulatory remarks. It was as if he Spinks had lost and Aguinaga had won.

The other foolish boxer was Johnny “the Razor” Frazier (2-17-4, 2 KOs) from Las Vegas, NV who faced Aaron “Galvan” Garcia (12-3-2, 3 KOs). As far as boxers go, Frazier has the tools. He came to fight and he was in excellent condition. 

Frazier’s strategy in the ring is what leads you to wonder why this durable, counter puncher is in the sport. Despite having above average hand speed, he gets hit by three to four punches before responding.

His opponent, Garcia, took every round by hitting Frazier with some of the hardest shots you’ll ever see. The head-snapping uppercuts did the majority of the damage. Only once, the start of the fourth round, did “The Razor” have Garcia backing up. Being durable himself, Garcia turned the tied and finished the round strong.

Now here comes the rub. As ring announcer, Benny Ricardo read off the scores, all three judges scored the bout 40-36 which meant they had Garcia winning every round. That’s certainly understandable. At that point I distinctly heard Frazier say, “I thought I won.” Something’s wrong when you can’t keep track of how you perform or fail to perform.

Aaron Garcia, Johnny Frazier

(top left) the formidable Aaron Garcia enters the ring to face Johnny Frazier. (bottom three panels) Johnny Frazier looks as if he is in a fog after going four disorienting rounds with Garcia. (below) Garcia celebrates victory with the lovely ring card girls and supporting staff.

Bt 3 c Aaaron with the ladiesThe much anticipated San Diego debut of Prince “Tiger” Smalls, came off without a hitch. Keeping track of the number of times Christian “Kamakaze” Cartier’s mouthpiece went flying became unavoidable. Twice the same mouthpiece landed within inches of this man’s beverage cup which he eventually started covering with his hand.

Regarding that flying mouthpiece, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention this one stoppage by referee Pat Russell for the lost mouthpiece. It resembled one of those timeouts you see in the National Basketball League. Russell grabbed Cartier by the arm, took him and the mouthpiece across the ring to his corner where he then got to rest plus get a drink of water. Say what? Smalls, his opponent, has to stand in a neutral corner awaiting the return of his now refreshed opponent.

Frequently, Smalls had Cartier on the ropes and for some reason he couldn’t put him away – not this time, not the next time and not the final time. “If he can’t finish off Cartier, it makes you wonder if he’ll ever be able to score a knockout,” stated one boxing scribe.

Christian Cartier, Prince Tiger Smalls

(top) Tiger Smalls leads the way for his son as the two make their ring entrance. (top right) Prince Tiger Smalls acknowledges the many friends who came to support him. (bottom left) Referee Pat Russell makes the first of three stoppages for Smalls’ opponent, Christian Cartier. In the panel (bottom right) we see referee Pat Russell raising Prince Tiger Smalls’ arm to acknowledge his victory. All photos: Jim Wyatt

Bt 2 b going through the motions

Prince Tiger SmallsIn the opener, flyweight Christian Torres (3-1) of Tijuana by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico was like a sharpshooter and his opponent, Jesus Sandoval (0-3) was his down line target range. The fearless Sandoval walked right into punches on his way to losing every round and his third straight bout.

Ever since his debut in Tijuana, Christian Torres, seen here slipping and ducking under   Jesus Sandoval's punches, has gotten better and better.

Ever since his debut in Tijuana, Christian Torres, seen here slipping and ducking under Jesus Sandoval’s punches, has gotten better and better. Photos: Jim Wyatt

Jesus Sandoval, Christian Torres

Christian Torres of Tijuana by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico celebrates his victory over Jesus Sandoval of San Bernardino, CA with this trophy case photo with three, young beauties.

The evening’s main attraction, super lightweight Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (10-0-1, 8 KOs) of Chula Vista, CA by way of Dallas, Texas put a whooping on Mario Hermosillo (12-11-3, 2 KOs) of Tijuana, B. C., Mexico. Hooker provided more action in just one round, than Aguinaga and Spinks did in four.

It appears the power punching Mr. Hooker is the real deal. He came out of the shoots firing. His hard shots to the head and midsection proved too much for Hermosillo who went to his knees twice in the first round. After the second knockdown, a shot to the liver, you could see Hermosillo grimacing in pain. There was no way for him to continue.

The end came at 2:20 of the first round of their scheduled six rounder. On this night, everyone got to go home early.

Maurice "Mighty Mo" Hooker, Mario Hermosillo

Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker didn’t waste any time in his destruction of Mario Hermosillo who went down twice in the first round. (panel below) Referee Pat Russell kneels to begin his final 10 count to Hermosillo. All photos: Jim Wyatt

Maurice "Mighty Mo" Hooker.

After his exciting victory, everyone gathered around Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker.

Maurice Hooker

Leon Spinks

Here are the two most remembered photos of Leon Spinks plus the famous Leroy Neiman painting of Ali-Spinks.

Thursday’s honored guest, Leon Spinks, an American Legend

Leading up to the 1976 Olympics Leon Spinks was serving on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Corps’ secret weapon had an amateur record of 178 wins with only 7 losses.

Together with his younger brother Michael and three fellows by the name of Sugar Ray LeonardLeo Randolph and Howard Davis Jr., Team USA won five boxing gold medals. Had it not been the year that 14 year old Nadia Coamneci of Romania burst on the scene and scored her seven perfect 10’s on her way to winning three Gold Medals in Gymnastics, the boxers’ fete would not have had to take a back seat to no one.

Then, on February 15, 1978, in only his eighth professional fight, and with just 31 rounds as a pro boxer, Spinks won the Undisputed World Heavyweight title with a surprising 15 round split decision victory over Muhammad Ali. Did I say surprising? That’s putting it mildly. The boxing world was literally shocked.

Besides being the brother of the former Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champ, Michael, Leon’s also the father of the late Leon Calvin and former Welterweight and Junior Middleweight Champ Cory Spinks, plus grandfather of young Leon Spinks III.

The parade of people who lined up to have their photo taken with the former World Heavyweight Champion seemed endless. The line also included many local celebrities. Here are some of those photos which are available just by sending us your email address.

Bobby D Leon Spinks and Benny Ricardo Brandon Adams with dr trainers and Leon Chris Martin with Brandon Adams Jose Cobian y Leon Spinks Leon Spinks 1-9 Leon Spinks 6 b Leon Spinks 6 Leon Spinks 7 leon Spinks 10- 17 Leon Spinks 18 - 24 Leon with brunette Leon with photographer Photos 3 Pics 8 Two young boxers with their dad

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