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California State Athletic Commission Shake Ups

BY David A. Avila ON April 22, 2009
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The current assistant Executive Officer of the California State Athletic Commission resigned from his position and a Chief Athletic Inspector was officially relieved of his post, said a spokesman for the Department Consumer Affairs on Thursday.

Bill Douglas, who assumed a temporary position guiding CSAC earlier this year, resigned as the assistant Executive Officer that oversees boxing and mixed martial arts earlier this week.

“He resigned and is making a lateral move to the Legislative Policy Review Department,” said Russ Heimerich a spokesman for Consumer Affairs that oversees CSAC. “He was not fired.”

Heimerich said that Dean Lohuis, the Chief Athletic Inspector for boxing and MMA, “was terminated effective April 21.”

No information was released on the reasons why Lohuis was removed. Attempts to reach Lohuis were unsuccessful.

Douglas currently oversees CSAC and will remain there until May 18. Currently, the Commission is looking for someone to fill the position of Executive Officer that was vacated by Armando Garcia on Dec. 31, 2008 for unspecified reasons.

The Commission was supposed to announce a new Executive Officer last week but did not. According to several sources, at least three people are being considered for the post including Pat Russell, a California referee and judge, Ron Stevens, a former chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, and Ron Arnold, a businessman and former attorney living in Palm Springs.

Douglas was allegedly one of the candidates but that has not been confirmed.

“We’re not privy to that information,” said Heimerich. “Only the Commission knows. We could not tell you if we did know.”

California puts on more boxing and MMA shows than any other state in the nation and has a number of events coming up.

News of the changes has caused a stir among those involved in boxing.

“I’m shocked,” said Top Rank’s Bob Arum when told of Lohuis’s dismissal. “He’s a real boxing guy.”

Yesterday, rumors that Douglas had fired Lohuis and that Douglas was subsequently fired himself were inaccurate.

“Bill Douglas did not fire Dean Lohuis,” said Heimerich. “Only the CSAC can fire Lohuis.”

The new appointment to Executive Officer for CSAC could come before May 18.

Other news

California State Athletic Commission reinstated USA Amateur Boxing in the state temporarily. CSAC stated that allegations of gambling, alcoholic consumption and other improprieties are still under investigation. “CSAC lifted its suspension of USA Boxing’s ability to hold amateur events in California conditioned on USA Boxing’s complete cooperation with its inspectors, who will monitor every USA Boxing event in the next two months.”

Riverside’s Saul Rodriguez won the U.S. Junior Olympics district championship in the featherweight division. Rodriguez, who just turned 16 on Saturday, attends Riverside Poly High School. He’ll be going to the regional championships in two weeks.

Two Southern California standouts,  Shawn Estrada (4-0, 4 KOs) and Javier Molina (1-0), headline a boxing card at Tachi Palace in Lemoore, California on Thursday April 23. The boxing card is sponsored by Goossen-Tutor Promotions.

Former junior featherweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon (35-2, 31 KOs) returns to the ring on Saturday against Nicaragua’s rugged Marlon Aguilar (21-6-1, 16 KOs) in Cozumel, Mexico on Saturday. The non-title fight will be aired on HBO-plus. Ponce De Leon lost his title to Juan Manuel Lopez. Aguilar was edged by Oxnard’s David Rodela in Mexicali last January in a junior lightweight match.

In Houston, Texas on Friday April 24, heavyweights Eugene Hill (16-0, 14 KOs) of Dickinson, Texas and Ohio’s Zack Page (16-23-2) meet at the Rio Events Center. Also on the Antonio Leonard Production card will be undefeated Cornelius White (8-0, 7 KOs) facing Shannon Miller (24-42-8) in a middleweight bout. For tickets and information (713) 907-0258.

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