Written by Charles Jay
Sunday, 13 April 2003 18:00
It didn't take long for the people from Art Dore's organization, the "Original Toughman Contest", to swing into action.
On its website, the following form letter was posted, for anyone who wanted to pass it along to one of the Texas legislators who will be voting on this bill:
It has been brought to my attention that there is pending legislation that would prevent elimination tournaments such as The Original Toughman Contest ® from being held in the State of Texas.
I oppose this pending legislation.
As a competitor, I have found the event to be professionally and safely organized with all of the State appointed officials. The Toughman Contest gave me an outlet to test my abilities in a controlled environment, which was overseen by the Texas Department of Licensing & Control.
The Toughman Contest helps competitors to build confidence and self-esteem. It also provides an opportunity to many young men & women an opportunity to develop good sportsmanship and to recognize and reward the value of competition.
I have also been told that The Original Toughman Contest pays substantial fees to the State of Texas to hold these events and that there would be a large loss of revenue to the State of Texas, if The Original Toughman Contest is not allowed to continue. Also, they bring in advertising dollars, rental fees, concession sales that contribute to the economy of Texas."
Dore, the same man who brought you Butterbean, supplies the e-mail addresses of several members of the Texas legislature, asking fighters and would-be fighters, especially those within the Lone Star State, to send this letter directly with their signature.
Thanks for the addresses, Art. For my part, I think I'll send the following along.
The HBO program "Real Sports" is supposed to devote some time to Toughman contests tomorrow night. I have no idea what material is really going to be covered, and I'm not sure how much they paid attention to.
I've heard some people say positive things about Toughman contests through the years. From the consumer standpoint, one promoter, who has engaged in both pro boxing and Toughman, said, "In boxing, you can go to a show and almost all the time, it's blue corner versus red corner, meaning house fighters against opponents. You almost always know who's going to win. With Toughman, at least some matchmaker hasn't pre-determined who the winner is going to be."
I guess there's some sense to that, although I could put together two pitbulls or two fighting cocks and create the same effect. The issue at hand that would be the most critical for boxing commissions, at least those with any sense of responsibility, involves safety conditions, or lack of same, that surrounds these events.
Relative to this, there are basically four kinds of commissions - those who allow Toughman-type competitions, usually referred to as "elimination contests", and have rules in place to closely regulate them; those who allow them, and don't regulate
them so closely; those who don't address them at all, meaning they are not prohibited and certainly not regulated; and those who outlaw them.
Of course, most people who enter Toughman competitions don't get hurt. But with all due respect to those proponents who describe it as "the safest form of boxing", as Toughman founder Art Dore has claimed, the events, as they are structured, actually can
run contrary to that.
The facade of safety is created by the presence of headgear and 16-ounce gloves. But, if we can agree that some essential elements to a proper atmosphere of safety include, at all times: (a) a physical exam that is somewhat more than just cursory; (b) an ambulance, and either EMT's or paramedics on hand at each event; (c) a licensed physician continuously present at ringside; (d) skilled cornermen who know what they're doing; (e) ring officials - namely referees - who also know what they're doing; (f) a process by which competitors of widely disparate weights will not be matched with each other; and MOST FUNDAMENTALLY, (g) two competitors who have had at least some training in how to defend themselves - then we must also agree that if standards even roughly similar to those of a responsible commission were enforced, Toughman contests, or any of their knock-offs (Wildman, Badman, King of the Hill, King of the Ring, etc.) would simply not be allowed.
That's because essentially what they're doing is taking some of the Kentucky-type regulatory practices, at or near their worst, and applying them to boxing. If I thought that was a GOOD thing, I doubt you'd have seen "Operation Cleanup", much less its successor, "Operation Cleanup 2".
Would anyone outside of, say, the states of Kentucky and perhaps Nebraska care to explain to me how this is productive?
I'd be the first one to tell you that Dore probably runs a tighter ship, and a safer ship, than most of his competitors out there. But the overall problem is not particular to his own organization. To me, it's the very NATURE of the activity that is objectionable, and possibly contrary to the public interest.
When you have two people who may or may not be suited to being in a ring, and you haven't taken extra precautions to prevent medical situations from being exacerbated, you're just asking for trouble.
You see, the difference between, say, the Ultimate Fighting Championships and Toughman is that, while there are other events that resemble "ultimate fighting", and are run without much in the way of rules or supervision, the competitors in the most well-organized of the events (the UFC) are world-class athletes and educated martial artists who train specifically for the event. That is not the norm in Toughman.
I'm not as worried about head trauma as I am about cardio-vascular failure, dehydration, intoxication, or any pre-existing condition that, under normal circumstances, would be detected through the various pre-fight tests most fighters in responsible states must undertake - conditions that would absolutely preclude someone from stepping into a boxing ring on a competitive basis.
And the flipside to the aforementioned quote from that promoter is that while there may indeed be an element of mystery as to who is going to win each match at a Toughman, and that might supply some of the event's charm, there is also an inherent danger in having no information - or very limited information - about the background of the participants. At least matchmakers in pro boxing have that at their disposal, and ideally, when they don't abuse it, there is a check and balance system in place between them and the commission which is designed to ensure that a hazardous mismatch doesn't take place.
In Toughman, there is no such mechanism.
There is a wide range for competitors in the two weight classes - "light heavyweights" can be anywhere from 160-184 pounds, while "heavyweights" are from 185 to what they have designated as a limit of 400 pounds. How many boxing
commissions would approve a fight between a 160-pounder and a 180-pounder? I would venture to say that even Jack Kerns, at his most negligent, may not have done so.
And preferential matchmaking for "ticket sellers" or sponsored fighters is not uncommon in Toughman. As such, competitors who may be skilled in terms of throwing punches may be intentionally thrown in with opponents who have literally walked in off the street.
"Ringers" are not unusual in this thing either. There is a Toughman rule that prohibits competitors from outside a 75-mile radius from competing in a Toughman show. Yet, in one of the more highly-publicized deaths Dore's organization has had over the past year, a competitor named Scott Woods had come in from San Antonio to a competition in Mount Pleasant, Mich. If Woods hadn't been fatally injured in the bout, hardly anyone would have noticed that he was entered in the contest in violation of the Toughman rules.
Another thing that worries me is that if a competitor gets knocked out, then gets the bright idea that he wants to compete in another Toughman contest, or worse yet, in a sanctioned pro fight, within a month's time, there's is nothing definitive in place that would tell any jurisdiction that he had suffered that knockout. There are no suspension lists in Toughman. And that can lead to a severe "accident" - and tremendous liability - as a result.
Oh gee, I forgot - these guys sign "waivers of liability". Well, you can take those waivers and stick them straight up your ass, basically. The very fact that Dore would lean on that waiver as a way of defending himself in litigation, as he has in the
past, is enough reason for ANY commission to ban his brand of event.
But you know what? I haven't even told you what my REAL problem with Dore and his organization is.
That's in the next chapter.
Copyright 2003 Total Action Inc.
Written by Rick Folstad
Friday, 11 April 2003 21:00
When you’re still fighting at 135 pounds, you don‘t invite a guy like De La Hoya into the ring with you unless you’re going to present him with a plaque or introduce him to the crowd. When he takes his career seriously, De La Hoya is still one of the best three or four fighters in the world.
Mayweather? He’s just one of the best three or four talkers in boxing. When it comes to braggadocio, you can put him in the same league with Roy Jones Jr. The difference is, Jones always backs up his boasting. Mayweather hasn’t done enough yet to back anything up. Though he’s still undefeated, he hasn’t exactly dominated the lightweight division. His two fights with Jose Luis Castillo were both close, and some of us thought he lost the first fight with Castillo.
Of course, before Mayweather (29-0, 20 KOs) packs on 20 pounds and chops up De La Hoya, he has a prior engagement to take care of. He defends his WBC lightweight title against Victoriano Sosa in Fresno, CA on April 19.
This is a minor interruption in Mayweather’s grand scheme of someday ruling boxing between the lightweight and middleweight divisions, though even Mayweather isn’t pompous enough to think he can do it all at the same time.
After beating Sosa and maybe fighting mandatory challenger Juan Lazcano or former lightweight champ Stevie Johnston, Mayweather says he would like his shot at De La Hoya. And since Bob Arum promotes both fighters, it’s a fight that could actually happen sometime next year.
Arum must be almost giddy.
IBF junior-middleweight champ Winky Wright, meanwhile, has been trying for what seems like years to get a fight with De La Hoya. The only way Wright will ever fight De La Hoya is if he catches him walking out of a bar late some night and spits on his shoes.
Against Sosa, who is the cousin of Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa, Mayweather said he will pretty much do what he pleases against the poor guy.
"I might take him out early or I might play with him," Mayweather was quoted as saying in a Fightnews interview. "I just want to put on an impressive performance."
Yeah, play with him, Floyd. That always impresses people.
Mayweather said he could also trounce welterweight champ Ricardo Mayorga, who recently defeated Vernon Forrest.
"He’s a tough guy and a puncher," Mayweather said. "But there is no way a guy that smokes cigarettes and drinks alcohol is going to beat Floyd Mayweather."
Ah, Floyd likes to speak in the third person. I guess it puts him on a higher level, elevates him to legendary status. Doesn’t Roy Jones do that a lot? I guess when you’re a world champion, calling yourself "me" almost seems anti-climatic.
As for fighting De La Hoya, Mayweather said it’s a fight that boxing needs.
"Can’t no fighter beat me because no fighter can out-think me," Mayweather was quoted as saying. "I’m a throw-back fighter and a businessman. I want De La Hoya. I want to be a mega superstar, and right now, I just feel like a star."
A piece of advice, Floyd. Get used to the feeling. I’m giving odds and betting on Atilla.
Written by Steve Kim
Friday, 11 April 2003 21:00
I had a few minutes and here a few things that came to mind.
* Mike Tyson on the Jimmy Kimmel Show: Now, if you're a regular viewer of this latest foray into the late night talk show genre, you know that Kimmel has a pretty funny show, highlighted by his self-effacing manner and a celebrity guest host that appears one week at a time. In it's short run Kimmel has had luminaries like Don King and Snoop Dogg. Recently, he had on Michael Gerard Tyson.
And for one week Tyson provided us with some of the most compelling, strange, prevocative and bizzare television you could ever ask for. And it was also quite humorous to on many levels. It was another attempt by 'Iron' Mike to re-invent himself in a time when his credibility as a prizefighter is at an all-time low and he needs the public support and backing to make one last lucrative run as a heavyweight.
Tyson oftentimes looked sedated or flat out high. Sometimes he had the innocence and curious nature of an adolescense. At other times he looked completely disinterested and in a vacuum. But he was a good sport as he participated in inhaling from a helium balloon and speaking in a tone where we're pretty sure that only dogs around the country could hear. I mean c'mon, his voice is already high without the helium, isn't it?
There was an interesting segment where Kimmel's crew actually went back to Brooklyn with Tyson that focused on his fascination with pigeons and his care of thousands of them high above an apartment building he purchased with his riches.
Even for the most ardent Tyson hater, it was a revealing look inside his strange life. But then there was his karoake serenading of model Ali Landry, that was funny but also more than a bit uncomfortable.
Throughout the week, Kimmel and his guests interacted fairly well with Tyson but you always got the sense that there was an uneasiness about it. Which is quite understandable, afterall if Tyson was sitting next to you on the couch on national TV, do you want to make an innocent crack about him that gets you killed? He wasn't so much a guest host but a novelty that you had to be weary off. Almost like a caged animal that was let loose that you hoped wouldn't do something everyone would regret.
I couldn't help wonder, are we laughing with Tyson or is everyone laughing AT him? But of course, if it's the latter, we'd do it so that he doesn't hear us.
It's been quite a ride for Tyson, from his ascension as one of the most dominant heavyweights of his era, to his well documented fall to his second and third reincarnations that has seen him do everything from having a stint in the WWF, to putting a tattoo on his face and to having talk of actually having a reality show based on his life.
Yes, Mike Tyson has been reduced to being another version of Anna Nicole Smith. But however it ends, you know it wont end well but there will be a lot of people there gawking at his final downfall.
* The Buddy System: Now, let me preface this by saying that former two-time world champion Buddy McGirt is one of the game's premiere trainers. My question is, is he spreading himself too thin?
The last I checked he has Arturo Gatti, Antonio Tarver, Freddie Cadena, Jameel McCline, Nate Campbell, Chantel Stanciel and a few others that have slipped my mind. The question is, can any trainer, no matter how good they might be, really give world-class fighters the proper time and attention they need if they have more than two or three fighters under their tutelage?
McGirt, recently signed an exclusive deal with Main Events that gives the promotional firm the right to use McGirt exclusively as their trainer and has veto power on him working with rival promoters boxers. Just a few weeks ago, he was restricted from working with Hasim Rahman because he was promoted by Don King. But McGirt worked with 'the Rock' anyway at this Vero Beach gym but didn't work the corner the night he fought David Tua. Yeah, he became Panama Lewis.
I see several problems with any trainer having that many fighters in his stable. First of all, world championship caliber fighters have more at stake than a four-round prelim fighter, so right there, it'll be impossible to devote the same kind of attention to every fighter. Which brings us to the next point, fighters can be like children and ego's are involved. And if a trainer takes time away from one fighter to work with another, there can be conflicts that arise. Then there is the issue of burnout.
Hey, there's no doubt about it, you learn something new everyday and if you're a trainer you need to spend time at the gym. But at what point do you spend too much time there and get burnt out?
Then there is logistical problems that arise when you have more than a few fighters. Fights take place all across the globe and when a fighter travels they usually come in about a week or so at their venue to acclimate themselves to the environment. How effective can a trainer be if he's always on the road and traveling with different fighters? And have you ever been inside a crowded gym overflowing with fighters trying to get their work in for the day or get a few rounds of sparring? Good luck trying to get a heavy-bag or enough room to shadow-box.
Trainers, are in a tough spot. Oftentimes, they are underpaid and used as pawns in conflicts that occur between fighters, managers and promoters. Because of the nature of this sport they are the most dispensible off all the people in the sport. So by all means they themselves must treat this sport as a business and as independent contractors make the most of their assets while they can.
But the question is, at what point do trainers spread themselves too thin?
* De La Hoya-Mosley II to Vegas: As a resident of Los Angeles of course I was dissapointed that Bob Arum decided to put this fight in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand despite getting a better offer from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, where both fighters basically came out off.
Now, it's not a terrible thing that this bout is in Vegas because the atmosphere at a hotel-casino for a truly big fight is unmatched. But it does seem strange that after their first bout was at the STAPLES and there was a hometown flavor to this event that it ends up in 'Sin City'
But this just goes to show you once again that Las Vega and nowhere else comes close to being the capital of the boxing world. Not New York, Atlantic City or anywhere else for that matter really comes close.
* The Executioner's Song: Yes, he might be paranoid, devoid of good judgement, disloyal and just plain old crazy, but Bernard Hopkins can flat out fight, no matter what Larry Merchant and HBO might have you thinking.
No, I'm not basing that on his farce against Morrade Hakkar, but at 38 he is a physical marvel that is still in the prime of a Hall-of-Fame career. You couldn't tell that much by the resistance put up by his opponent but it was clear that Hopkins' legs, reflexes and boxing savvy haven't gone anywhere.
It's going to take one helluva fighter to beat him- and that might not be for awhile.
* Quick Jabs: Five years ago, when Vince Phillips still had some youth and his legs, he knocks out Ricky Hatton. Instead he got suffocated by 'the Hitman' this past weekend....Seriously, I think Juan Manuel Marquez could be the games best featherweight right now. Yes, above guys like Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales....I'm wondering, now that Wladimir Klitschko fell like a Saddam Hussien statue in Baghdad, who is HBO's newest heavyweight hope?....
In looking at how Joe Calzaghe and Hatton have been moved, is there any promoter who's more protectful than Frank Warren?.... Well, maybe Artie Pellulo, who's been protecting Acelino Freitas like the Secret Service shields the president.... I'll say it right now, Mohammed Abdullaev would beat Miguel Cotto....Is it just me or do you think Ricardo Mayorga will beat Vernon Forrest in their July rematch. He's just unorthodox enough, wild enough, crazy enough and gutsy, to neutralize all of Forrest natural advantages....
Antonio Tarver could be the best interview in the sport....I think Gatti-Ward III is a repeat of the second bout... James Toney beats Vasilly Jirov, but it wont be easy....Has John Ruiz come out of hiding yet. He's like the modern way Floyd Patterson...The best verbal battle in boxing is between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Sr.....Speaking of trilogies, if the third bout between Barrera and Morales doesn't happen that will be a shame....Is it time to officially concede that David Tua is what he is?.....
Written by Frank Lotierzo
Thursday, 10 April 2003 18:00
Why? If you're a heavyweight, 6'1" and 220 pounds and you can fight, that's plenty big enough to not only be a major factor, but to become the heavyweight champ. Sonny Liston of the late 50's and 60's is viewed as the fighter who transitioned the era of the big-heavyweights. Liston at 6'1.5" and 218 pounds was the first heavyweight champ over six feet tall and weighing over two hundred pounds since Joe Louis of the 30' & 40's (6'2" 198-207). Since Liston, how many heavyweights bigger then him have achieved greatness? How about four, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, and Lennox Lewis. Since the end of the Holmes era in 1985, other then Lewis, the two best heavyweights are Evander Holyfield, who was a cruiserweight and weighed between 205-210 in his best days as a heavyweight, and Mike Tyson who was 5'10" and was 216-221 in his prime.
I believe the era of the giant heavyweight is totally overblown. Until recently it was perceived that the lighter a heavyweight weighed in, the better shape he was in. Today it's the opposite. Most look at bigger heavier fighters as being stronger and better punchers, this is a myth. Look at some of these big guys today, most of them carry too much weight, which hinders their speed and stamina, and adds nothing to their punching power. Other then Heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis, what other big heavyweight has been even moderately successful sustaining a championship reign ? Not Riddick Bowe, he made two title defenses and lost to Evander Holyfield who only weighed 215. In spite of beating the smaller Holyfield two out a three, it seems that the bigger Bowe had more taken out of him, and was an empty package by the time he fought Golota. Lennox Lewis cemented his legacy beating and old cruiser weight in Holyfield, and a past his prime 5'10" Mike Tyson, not exactly the biggest heavyweights in the world.
Even in todays heavyweight division, 210-225 is plenty big enough if you can fight. Most of the fighters over 235 are just big and cumbersome. Most of the big heavyweights tire easily, you seldom ever see them fight a full round. Their size adds nothing to their punching power, nor does it help them take a big shot on the chin. Just in the last month we've seen two great examples as to why this is true. On March 1st of this year we saw Lt. heavyweight champ Roy Jones weigh in at 199 pounds, and totally dominate WBA heavyweight champ John Ruiz who had a 27 pound weight advantage. Why, because Jones is a great fighter and Ruiz was just a bigger fighter. Off of Jones' victory over Ruiz, some belive he can beat any heavyweight except Lennox Lewis. Using that logic then one has to wonder what a prime Ali or Holmes would've done to the Klitschko's or Lewis. Certainly no one in their right mind could possibly belive that Roy Jones brings nearly the same to the ring at 199, as Ali or Holmes at 220. On March 8th we saw 224 pound Corrie Sanders stop the 6'6" 245 pound WBO champ Wladimir Klitschko in two rounds. Why, because Sanders has fast hands and at 224 can punch plenty hard enough to do damage. The towering Klitschko's size didn't do him any good when he got hit on his chin.
Other than Lennox Lewis, who are the big heavyweights of today that show any promise of greatness ? Jameel McCline is a huge guy with good basics but, he can't punch and has shown that he's nothing special inside. Michael Grant, he's put together physically but, he has a suspect chin and hasn't shown the upside potential that some thought he could have achieved. How about the Klitschko's, Vitali is big and can punch, however he is slow and ponderous, and has already lost to former super-middleweight Chris Byrd. Wladimir has shown good boxing skills and decent speed but, against McCline he was tentative when McCline threw punches back, and after the Sanders defeat his chin has to be considered suspect. Lance Whittaker is a big strong guy who can hit but, he's slow and hasn't shown that he has the boxing skill needed to be a complete fighter. Henry Akinwande is another giant but, he flat-out can't fight at the world class level. I just don't see why some commentators and writers are making such a fuss over the bigger heavyweights of today.
The bottom line is 210-225 pounds is plenty big enough for a heavyweight of today as long as he has some ability to box. Chris Byrd the IBF Champ started as a super-middleweight and usually weighs around 214. He has fast hands and can box and knows exactly what he's doing in the ring. It will take a fighter with more then just size to take his title. Roy Jones campaigned mostly as a middleweight and Lt. heavyweight through out his career, and now he's the WBA heavyweight champ. Just like Byrd, it will take more then size alone to make him an ex-champ. Corrie Sanders was 224, yet he stopped the 245 pound Wladimir Klitschko in two rounds, and Wladimir was projected to be the best of the big heavyweights. Lastly we can't forget Evander Holyfield, who was thought by most to be too small throughout his entire heavyweight career. Yet from 1990 through 1999 he was the best and most consistent heavyweight in the game. It appears Chris Byrd has put the first nail in his career coffin, and most likely Roy Jones will add the final nail to it. How about that, neither the enormous Bowe or Lewis will be remembered for retiring the "Real Deal" but, Byrd and Jones will be the ones to end his dream of becoming a five-time heavyweight champ. Two guys who started their careers at even lower weights then he did.
In the heavyweight division bigger is not better. You can actually be too big in the heavyweight division today, especially if you can't fight. Being able to fight is what makes the difference, and a fighter who weighs in the range of 210-225 is plenty big enough to knockout a fighter who weighs 245-260 who's not as skilled.
Written by Jim Amato
Wednesday, 09 April 2003 18:00
Ken began his career in a promising fashion reeling off an unbeaten streak against mediocre opposition. He was beginning to gain recognition as a top prospect until the roof caved in. A wiry Venezuelan named Jose Luis Garcia bombed Ken out and forced Norton to start all over. It took some time but Ken finally re-established himself with tough victories over men like Jack O'Halloran and Henry Clark. Norton was ranked but no one gave him a chance when he met ex-champion Muhammad Ali in March of 1973. In a fight that will forever be remembered as "The Jaw Breaker", Norton walked off with the upset decision and Ali left to have his jaw wired. Their September 1973 rematch saw a better-conditioned Ali win a very close verdict.
In splitting two bouts with Ali. Ken got his first shot at the world crown against George Foreman. Foreman had destroyed Ken's friend Joe Frazier in two rounds to capture the title. George duplicated the feat halting Kenny in round two of a mismatch. Again Norton would rebuild his career and after Ali stripped Foreman of his cloak of invincibility in Zaire, Ken became the logical contender. They met in their rubber match for Ali's title in September of 1976 at Yankee Stadium. Ali retained his title with an unpopular decision. Personally, I felt Kenny deserved the verdict.
When Norton destroyed previously unbeaten Duane Bobick in one round in 1977, he put himself in line for a fourth meeting with Ali. Then boxing politics intervened. Ali lost his title in a major upset to Leon Spinks. The W.B.C. ordered Spinks to defend his title against Norton. Instead Spinks opted for a more lucrative rematch with Ali. Norton then met clever Jimmy Young. The winner to be proclaimed "champion" by the W.B.C. Norton won a dull decision over Young and he was bestowed the W.B.C. crown. So never having won the title in the ring, Kenny lost it in his first defense to Larry Holmes in a terrific battle. Everyone was looking forward to a rematch but Kenny got himself knocked out in one round by Earnie Shavers.
Ken would again try to re-establish himself but his age had finally caught up to him. A life and death struggle to secure a draw with journeyman Scott LeDoux pretty much spelled the end. He did re-surface briefly to edge Tex Cobb, but that only led to disaster as a red hot Gerry Cooney put a final exclamation point on Ken's career with a brutal one round knockout. Ken did beat some notables during his distinguished career. Contenders like Henry Clark, Jerry Quarry, Boone Kirkman, and Garcia in a rematch, Jimmy Young, Cobb, and Larry Middleton adorn his record.
In reality, Ken lived off his reputation earned in his trio of bouts with Ali. For some reason Ken always proved troublesome to Muhammad. Ken's best bout may have been his losing venture against Holmes in an all time classic. Ken's chin was suspect ever since the first Garcia bout. Anytime he faced a big, big puncher he was usually sent home early. Reference to his bouts with Foreman, Shavers, and Cooney. Quarry and Henry Clark were on the downside of their careers when Ken beat them. Kirkman was overrated. Young and Middleton were fast and smart but light hitters. Cobb was game and tough but slow. Kenny was well ahead of LeDoux before his legs gave out and Scott gamely battled back to almost halt Ken. Why did Ken never meet Ron Lyle?
Ken Norton was a very good heavyweight, make no mistake about it. He was not a GREAT heavyweight. Only the greats should be honored as a member of The International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Written by Charles Jay
Monday, 07 April 2003 18:00
Nonetheless, Morris decided to turn Mediodia's repeated references to the USA Boxing rule book against him.
He brought up Section 101.7 of the rules:
"Q - So in 2001, there were no restrictions on your ability to administer medications or to prescribe medications?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - Number two, under this same section 107.1, says: EMT's or paramedics and ambulance are required to be available at the competition site for all sessions of USA boxing championship events, group member national championship events, group member national championship events, international competitions, and any other major events the corporation designates. Are you familiar with that, sir?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - Did you consider that requirement of the USA Boxing rules would apply to the event involving Greg Page and Dale Crowe?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - And as I take it, you now know that there were no EMT's or paramedics or ambulance at the competition site; correct, sir?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - And I take it that - well, let me ask you: Did you take any steps to determine whether an ambulance was available before the fights began on March 9, 2001?
A - I spoke to someone about medical facilities, but actually, it was mainly a question as to how far are the emergency services over here from downtown Erlanger, and they said, not too far. It's only a few minutes. That's all I - the extent of my conversation.
Q - And who did you speak to about that?
A - It was a lady, I believe, who was with her husband, and I assumed she was from Erlanger.
Q - Was she a spectator?
A - Yes, sir."
To this day, Mediodia does not know where EMT (Emergency Medical technician) service was located in relation to Peel's Palace, and acknowledged that he never endeavored - beyond this inquiry with a SPECTATOR - to find out.
According to Mediodia's testimony, he had never met Jack Kerns, the chairman of the Kentucky Athletic Commission, before that evening. In fact, in his previous interrogatories, he referred to him as "Richard Kearns". Mediodia says he sat
down next to Kerns at ringside for the fight and never left his side.
"Q - Did you ever leave the ringside?
A - Not at anytime."
Of course, the occasion came as the show drew to a close. This is Mediodia's recollection, under oath, with regard to how the fight ended for Page (please read this very carefully):
"Q - And tell me what you recall in terms of when he went down. What occurred after he - well, what occurred when he went down? Did you see him go down?
A - First of all, he didn't go down right away. He hung on the ropes. He was suspended on the ropes for quite a few minutes. And erroneously the newspaper said that he was knocked down. He was never knocked down. He was hanging on the ropes. And in fact, I was thinking this guy is so proud that he wouldn't go down. He was already counted out. He was knocked against the ropes and the fight was already over, but he still hang up there, and he was so proud, so - and nobody seemed to know what was going on.
I examined him as soon as he was laid down on the mat, and that was a routine examination. I usually examine the boxers after a fight and - but when he was down on the mat, of course, that's when I came over on my own volition to see him - to check him out."
When Morris heard this curious testimony, he decided to probe further:
"Q - All right. Well, you've told me several things, and I want to stop and go through those kind of one point at a time. All right, sir? You said that he wasn't knocked down, that he went up against the ropes.
A - He was never knocked down on the mat. He was knocked or pushed back against the ropes, and hang there for about - quite a few minutes.
Q - You say he hung on the ropes. Was he standing up hanging on the ropes?
A - He was standing up. He was standing up.
Q - For quite a few minutes?
A - Right.
Q - Like two, three, four, five?
A - Two, three, four, five, right.
Q - Well, is it close to two minutes to close to five minutes?
A - Close to five.
Q - That he was standing up hanging onto the ropes?
A - Right."
Not that it would enlighten Dr. Mediodia any, but Page was indeed in a position with his neck hanging onto the ropes. In the state of Kentucky (201 KAR 27:013),
contestant shall be considered 'down' when: (1) any part of his body, other than his feet, is on the ring floor, or (2) he is hanging helplessly over the ropes and in the judgment of the referee, he is unable to stand, or (3) He is rising from the 'down' position."
Mediodia claims he went up to the ring immediately when Page was laid down on the ring mat, which, by his own testimony, was several minutes after what was, in point of fact, the knockout - "I did the heart and lungs on him, which were good. His breathing was unhurried, and there was no irregularity of the heart. His lungs were filled up on both sides. There was no problem at all with his breathing and his heart rate."
Incredibly, after that exam, which was cursory at best, Mediodia left the ring and SAT DOWN:
"Q - And that is the only examination you performed of him after the fight?
A - I went back - I went back - when I went back the second time he didn't rise. I went back and examined him again.
Q - All right. Well, let's talk about what happened in between. So after this first examination, which you've told us lasted six or seven minutes, then you left his side?
A - I sat down.
Q - You went back over and sat down in the seat where you had sat during the fight?
A - Right.
Q - Was Jack Kerns still there?
A - Yes.
Q - Were there any other commissioners that were still there?
A - I believe everyone was still seated.
Q - And did you have a conversation with anyone?
A - No. No.
Q - No one said, how's Greg, or what did you think, or anything like that?
A - No, not at that time.
Q - So how long did you stay seated before you examined Greg the second time?
A - I would say another three or four minutes until I found out that he didn't rise. I was expecting him to get up and be held up by his promoters.
Q - All right. So you sat down for three to four minutes, and Greg was still on the mat, correct?
A - Yes, and still breathing normally and -
Q - Well, no. You're still sitting down now. You can't tell that from sitting down, can you, or can you?
A - No.
Q - Could you tell from sitting down whether he was breathing normally or not?
A - I just assumed that he would still be breathing normally.
Q - So after three to four minutes, then what did you do?
A - I went back because I got concerned.
Q - Did anyone come over to you and ask you to come back?
A - Not at anytime.
Q - So no one ever came to you and said, 'Dr. Mediodia, we would like you to take a look
A - I was doing this all by myself. Nobody was prompting me.
Q - No one had to come to you to ask you to assist Greg at any time after the fight?
A - Not at all."
(This is contrary to the accounts of witness Jonathan Bryant, a Louisville policeman and friend of Page's, who says he had to go and find Mediodia to bring him to the ring in order to assist Page, and found the doctor on his way out the door. The details of this incident can be found in the first 'Operation Cleanup' book)
Mediodia says that Page had "deteriorated" upon his second examination, to the point where he described page's condition as "stuporous", meaning that "he could no longer react. He was either sleeping on conscious or semiconscious, but no longer reacting."
Mediodia testified that "I tested his consciousness."
"Q - And how did you do that?
A - I broke an ammonia capsule. It's a - ammonia is an - you put it in front of the boxer's nose, and he - he shied away a little from it. Because that's supposed to be a level of consciousness. It's not a cure for anything, you know. So I put that against his nose, and he moved his head slightly to the side. And then I actually gave it to Ms. Love (Patricia Love, Page's fiance and now his wife), because I thought she probably would like to do something, because she was not doing anything. She said, you want me to just put this around his nose? And there was - I think it was one of the trainers said, Doc, give him another one. I said, there's no harm in giving him another one. I broke another one and changed the one that she had, and I gave it to her. But I was satisfied with that reaction that he gave. But as I said, the ammonia capsule is not something to get him back into consciousness. It's just a test of the level of consciousness.
Q - Is an ammonia capsule accepted by any medical standard in 2001?
A - I don't know. It used to be, but I'm not sure whether it was ever banned."
To the best of Mediodia's recollection, "maybe a little less than an hour, but close to it" had elapsed from the time Page was knocked out to the time an ambulance was called. Amazingly, Mediodia, by his own words, had left the ring AGAIN as he waited for the ambulance to arrive.
"Q - And did you stay with Jack Kerns during that time?
A - Yes. I was with him all that time.
Q - And what did you and Jack Kerns do during that time?
A - Well, we were still watching the proceedings inside the ring.
Q - But you were outside the ring?
A - There was no reason for us to move away from that area.
Q - But you were outside the ring over where you had been sitting with Jack Kerns?
A - Right. yes. Just a few feet away.
Q - All right. And during that ten minutes, did you do anything to assist Greg Page in any
A - No. There was no necessity for treatment or any procedure to be done. His ABC's, as I said, were just perfect.
Q - Well, were you present when the ambulance arrived?
A - I was in the ring when the ambulance arrived, yes.
Q - Did you do anything to assist the ambulance personnel, the EMT's or ambulance personnel?
A - No. The only assistance I did was to recommend him to be taken to St. Luke's.
Q - Did you give the ambulance personnel any information about Greg Page's condition?
A - No. I just assumed they knew what went on and that all his relatives and his trainers would give all the information succeeding that. They probably saw the blow. They probably saw the blow that felled Greg, because they were closer over there in that area."
And so here was Mediodia, oblivious as to whether there was any resuscitation equipment in the building, not knowing whether he was dealing with an ambulance driver or a paramedic or an EMT, having administered nothing more than ammonia capsules in aid of the stricken fighter, failing to offer any information about Page's condition that might have been helpful, probably not even knowing what Page's condition really WAS. And having left the ring on two different occasions while, as it turned out, Greg Page was fighting for his life.
After all this, Mediodia affirmed, under oath, that he has been engaged as a ringside physician in the state of Kentucky on "five or six occasions" since the Greg Page fight.
Think this stuff is pretty frightening?
We're just getting started.
Copyright 2003 Total Action Inc.
Written by Steve Kim
Friday, 04 April 2003 21:00
Hakkar, who is French, was in full retreat the whole night. I guess it's a French thing, in keeping with that countries history of staying out of conflicts. HBO, which bought and televised the mismatch to it's viewing audience was noticably blushing at the farce they had purchased.
HBO's exec's made it a point to blame the WBC for putting Hakkar in it's mandatory position. Therefore, giving Hopkins no choice but to fight the fleeing Frenchman. But what did they expect? HBO can pass the blame all the want, but at the end of the day, nobody twisted their arms to purchase this massacre.
Yes, Don King did make Hopkins-Hakkar as part of a package deal with the heavyweight rematch featuring David Tua and Hasim Rahman but did they really need Tua-Rahman II that badly? It wasn't like they were buying the second go around of Ali-Frazier. And the fact of the matter is that there really is no rival to HBO in terms of what it can pay in license fee's to promoters. In essence, many times, HBO is bidding against themselves. King, really had nowhere else to turn if he wanted to stage Tua-Rahman for numbers that were suitable to everyone involved. HBO, got fleeced and they out-bid themselves, once again.
But back to Hakkar and his status as the WBC's latest mis-mandatory. All anyone had to do is to do a quick review of his record to know that his record is more inflated than the Goodyear blimp.
31 out of his 32 professional bouts coming in had taken place in France. Now, all politics aside, nothing against France, but it ain't exactly Philadelphia. And before his scheduled execution against Hopkins this past weekend, he had never faced what could be considered a good American journeyman, much less a contender. Names like Alain Iboko, Muralem Poyraz, Marcelo Lamadrid, Andras Galfi, Lajos Patko and Ricardo Simarra dot his resume. Now, I have to admit, I've never actually seen any of these guys box but I'm assuming there not as good as Carlos Monzon and Marvin Hagler. Just a hunch. Oh, but I can't forget on Phillipe Cazeaux, who faced Hakkar five times( losing four and knocking Hakkar out in the third meeting). I don't think that rivalry will go down in boxing annals alongside the likes of Zale-Graziano or Bowe-Holyfield.
The only real recognizable name on his record is one Mamadou Thiam, who he stopped in six rounds to his credit. You remember Thiam, right? He, himself was a mis-mandatory to Felix Trinidad back in 2000 and was summarily knocked out. France, the breeding ground for fine wines, cheeses, retreats and overmatched mandatory challengers.
Remember the infamous Patrick Charpentier? Who was blown away by Oscar De La Hoya in 1998? Well, Hakkar and Charpentier have more than a few things in common, other than the fact that they were undeserving title challengers. First, they were both promoted and managed by the Acaries brothers. Secondly, they built their records up in France against the usual suspects. And lastly, they were propped up by the WBC, who is notorious for feeding their more notable titlists one easy mandatory after another. Don't believe me? Look at the treatment given to guys like Roy Jones, Julio Cesar Chavez and De La Hoya throughout the years by Jose Sulaiman's crew of bandits.
This was the same ol' sad song we've heard before. The fighters may have changed but the other suspects had not. You could see this mis-mandatory happening a mile away. Everyone did it seems, except for HBO, who keeps putting the onus on the WBC. I'm wondering what they expected? They had been there and done that. It looks to me that they got hustled, hoodwinked and bamboozled by King and now they want to play the blame game.
Sorry, but HBO should have done their homework but beyond that they should have stuck to their own network edict that says that they do not recognize the 'alphabet soup' that has in many ways poisoned the game. Time after time, they have allowed these undeserving challengers on their airwaves and played the role of victim.
And many times they are unwilling participants in this because they have inked fighters, most notably like Jones, to multi-fight agreements, who have continously taken on these mis-mandatories one after another. For fighters like Jones, it's great business. HBO money for easy fights. That's a no brainer, but as a programmer you've got to be embarrased. But they could always say,' Well, we had no choice but to televise Roy Jones against Ricky Frazier, it's in the contract' But here's the kicker, Hopkins, has no such deal and will most likely never get one.
But beyond that, when you televise fights that do involve the sanctioning bodies and their top challengers( whether they are deserving or not) you are recognizing their existence as an entity. After all, a guy like Hakkar was put in there by the WBC correct? If HBO was serious about eradicating this problem, they should have made it clear that a fighter of his caliber simply wouldn't be accepted on their network under any circumstances, no matter what the WBC mandated.
To take a WBC or any other mandatory knowingly and then to blame them for a bad fight is hypocripsy at it's worst.
Written by Charles Jay
Thursday, 03 April 2003 18:00
At some point during Dr. Manuel Mediodia's deposition, Doug Morris, an attorney for Greg Page, was addressing his suspension from the practice of medicine:
"Q - And you did not work in the medical field at all from 1992 and 1996?
A - Nothing except - I know you're going to get into this. I did some - I was - I worked as a ringside physician. In fact, I was doing that already since about 1990 or 1989, and I had been doing it all along, so I - and I got my license for that from an office in - I think in Springfield, Ohio at the time, and I had been doing nothing except that. To me, that was a kind of relaxation for me helping out at the boxing gyms. People who asked me - I never applied for any of this. They asked me to do a - to be the ringside physician in those places."
Mediodia never saw the need to inform anyone that while he was attending to fighters, he was in a position where he no longer could practice medicine, and in fact, was considered a non-physician during that time.
Mediodia got his start as a ringside physician, in his words, "around 1989 or 1990" in and around Cincinnati.
Mostly, it was to work on amateur cards, put on by small gyms in the area - finding available physicians to work these shows is a constant problem.
At this time, supposedly, Mediodia received a card from USA Boxing, the governing body for amateur boxing in the United States, which authorized him to be a ringside physician.
Mediodia confirmed that during his period of suspension, he was able to be licensed as a ringside physician in the state of Ohio:
"Q - Did you - were you able to get such a license while you were suspended from practice from 1992 to 1996?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - Did the state of Ohio licensing - excuse me - did the boxing commission that issued this license know that you were suspended from practice?
A - No, I don't think so."
He also confirmed that he had no licensing whatsoever in the state of Kentucky:
"Q - Do you hold a Kentucky medical license?
A - No, sir.
Q - Do you hold any kind of license from the Kentucky Athletic Commission?
A - No, sir.
Q - Have you, at anytime, ever held a Kentucky medical license?
A - No, sir.
Q - have you, at anytime, held any license from the Kentucky Boxing Association to serve as a - or the Kentucky Athletic Commission to serve as a ringside physician?
A - No, sir."
It is his belief, apparently to this day, that the USA Boxing rule book, which he received at some point after getting his USA Boxing card, was the guidebook that pertained to his duties as a ringside physician, even on professional cards in Ohio and Kentucky, along with a couple of other rather interesting sources:
"Q - Other than obtaining and reading the USA Boxing rule book, have you read any other materials that you believe would be related to your performance as a ringside physician?
A - I read about as much as the ordinary person. I read Sports Illustrated. I read the encyclopedia. Encyclopedia is where I get most of my information. When I first learn how to watch football, I read the encyclopedia. The same thing as boxing."
Mediodia says that Terry O'Brien, whom he described as a "good friend of mine", contacted him originally about being the ringside physician for a show he was putting on, which featured Greg Page in the main event against local favorite Dale Crowe. He was to be paid $200, which was double the fee Mediodia usually received.
It is important to point out that Mediodia doesn't seem to be able to make the distinction between that which governs a pro fight and what governs amateur boxing in these states; however, regarding the show O'Brien was plugging him into, "When I heard the word Greg Page, I was excited, because I know him as one of the heavyweights from Louisville."
He didn't have any problem at all - and in fact has never had a problem - with the fact that he was crossing the line into a state where he may not have been authorized. "The USA Boxing certificate apparently has jurisdiction even in Kentucky for those fights."
Mediodia testified that someone named Gloria Morgan, an official at a recreation center in the Cincinnati area, told him so.
He also says he never discussed the subject of licensing with O'Brien, who was to be the promoter for the Page-Crowe card.
His testimony is that he never bothered to find out on his own whether there were any licensing requirements in the state of Kentucky for ringside physicians at professional boxing shows. He did not know anything about it, and in fact, did not realize that he needed a license to practice medicine in the state in which he would be performing these duties, as outlined both in Kentucky state law and the federal Professional Boxer Safety Act.
Of course, Mediodia didn't have the presence of mind to realize that in performing unauthorized medical services in a state in which he was not licensed, he was also violating the terms of his probation in Ohio, which was still very much in effect at the time of the Page-Crowe fight.
Ironically, when asked, he couldn't even produce a current certificate from USA Boxing - the certificate he was leaning on so heavily for his "authorization".
According to his testimony, Mediodia says he did not perform a physical examination of Greg Page until 9:15 PM - interesting in that this was while the fight card was taking place, and Mediodia, the only ringside physician in attendance at the show that evening, was supposed to be "continuously present at ringside", as per the section governing "Safety Standards" in the Professional Boxer Safety Act. The exam, in his words, involved "medical history, blood pressure, heart and lung examination, pupillary reflexes."
"Q - How about any history of injuries prior to the fight?
A - I knew all about his injuries and history.
Q - How did you know about that?
A - Reading up on them, and Terry O'Brien practically told me about his medical history for the last two fights.
Q - All right. And what did Terry O'Brien tell you about Greg Page's medical history?
A - Well, his -
Q - - before his last two fights?
A - His exact words were, Doc, you know this guy just takes too many punches. That was important, and that was in my mind."
Later in the deposition, Morris expanded upon his line of questioning:
"Q - So you suspected, even before seeing Greg, that he might have some pre-existing brain injury from previous fights?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - Did you do anything to obtain results of any CAT scans or other tests of the head or brain prior to approving him for this fight?
A - I didn't even try, because I was on my way over to the Peel (Peel's Palace, the site of the event) when I learned that he was going to be in it.
Q - When had you been contacted by Terry O'Brien to serve -
A - The day before the fight."
In the end, Mediodia okayed Page to fight, after marking everything down as "normal". He said he saw nothing that gave rise to any concern over Page's previous ring injuries.
The fact is, at least according to Mediodia, he performed a lot of pre-fight physicals in a short period of time. he says he arrived at 8 PM, and examined fifteen boxers.
He seemed to be in a hurry - too much of a hurry, apparently, to check on some very essential things at the site:
"Q - Are you familiar with the rules of the Kentucky Athletic Commission requiring certain equipment to be available at the fight?
A - No.
Q - Have you ever reviewed the rules of the Kentucky Athletic Commission regarding what equipment is to be present at the fight?
A - No, sir.
Q - Have you ever reviewed the rules set forth in the federal legislation regarding the equipment and safety equipment that's to be available for a fight?
A - No, sir."
As it turns out, however, Mediodia was in no hurry to get into the ring when Greg Page was lying there, within an inch of his life. You'll read some of those astonishing revelations in the next chapter.
Copyright 2003 Total Action Inc.
Written by Charles Jay
Thursday, 03 April 2003 18:00
The rather remarkable dialogue you're about to read took place between Doug Morris, an attorney for Greg Page, and Dr. Manuel Mediodia, and was taken verbatim from Mediodia's October 25, 2002 deposition. It is unedited, and more or less speaks for itself:
"Q - All right. We've talked before about the conversation that you had about Greg Page and taking blows to the head and so forth. It's fair to say that you can anticipate that an individual participating in a boxing match is going to receive blows to the head; correct sir?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - And one of the objectives in the boxing match is to try to knock out your opponent; correct, sir?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - Is it fair to say that you can anticipate before a boxing match - that you, as a physician, can anticipate a high probability of head injury to the participants?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - And is it fair to say that in order to be prepared to deal with such injuries, it's necessary to have resuscitation equipment available at ringside?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - And is it fair to say that in order to be prepared to deal with such injuries it would be necessary to have available for immediate access ambulance services or other transportation services to take a participant to the hospital?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - And is it fair to say that you know that if someone sustains a serious head injury, that they should be transferred to a major trauma center that can handle head injuries?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - Now, did you do anything on the night of March the 9th, 2001 to assure yourself that oxygen was available at ringside?
A - No.
Q - Was there any oxygen available at ringside?
A - I don't know.
Q - As of today's date, as we sit here today, do you know whether there was any oxygen
available at ringside?
A - There was no oxygen available.
Q - When did you learn that?
A - Before I went into the ring, I was - I talked to one of the go-fers at Peel's Palace. I said, I think we'll need some oxygen up here. He didn't even answer me. He kept walking around, so I said there was something wrong here. So I went up there, and there was no oxygen, but I thought he (Page) was going to be all right. He looked - he was breathing normally. His ABC's were good. There was no need of giving him anything at all.
Q - His ABC's meaning?
A - Meaning airway - his mouth was clear - his breathing was unhurried, and his circulation was good - blood pressure, pulse, heart rate was good.
Q - Now, let's go back to where we started with this question. I asked you when you first learned that no oxygen was available, and I think you told me that it was after Greg Page was knocked down in the tenth round of his bout, when you got ready to go into the ring, that you said a go-fer at Peel's Palace, I think we're going to need some oxygen; is that correct?
A - That's right.
Q - And in fact, you didn't even look. At that point in time you talked to a person who was a go-fer; is that correct?
A - Right.
Q - Do you know the name of that go-fer?
A - I don't know, but I think he had a pigtail on the back of his head. He's a dark-haired young man.
Q - Do you know what his official title was?
A - I don't know. To me, he was just one of the waiters or guys serving beer and taking money from the customers, I believe. I'm not sure about that either, but I got to see him earlier and I nodded to him, and I thought he recognized me as the doctor. I had my stethoscope around my neck.
Q - What made you think that this waiter or go-fer or whatever he was would know anything about oxygen and -
A - I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure.
Q - Did you check with anyone else at Peel's Palace that night, other than that go-fer, to find out if oxygen was available?
A - No, sir.
Q - Did you look anywhere in Peel's Palace to see if oxygen was available?
A - No, sir.
Q - What did you do on the night of March 9th to make sure that an ambulance service was immediately available in the event of a head injury?
A - Nothing."
That's absolutely correct - NOTHING.
There was a lot of that going around that night.
Copyright 2003 Total Action Inc.
Written by Charles Jay
Wednesday, 02 April 2003 18:00
How Mediodia was entrusted with the responsibility of caring for participants involved in a professional boxing match is a curiosity in and of itself, considering his background and credentials. And to examine this entire scenario with any breadth at all, it is necessary to take a very close and careful look at that background.
Mediodia, a native of Manila, attended medical school at the University of St. Tomas, graduating in 1952. He interned in pathology, and worked in the rural health service in the Philippines until 1957, when he emigrated to the United States as part of a medical graduate exchange program. He did some residency in general surgery, but did not complete it. He attained certification by both the Michigan and Ohio medical boards, though there was no certification from any specialty boards. After moving from Michigan to the state of Ohio in 1963, he did considerable work as an emergency room physician, then opened a general practice in 1970, in the Cincinnati area.
In 1976, Mediodia began to experience problems with the authorities. He was prescribing a lot of diet pills in those days, most specifically Statobex - an appetite suppressant used in the short-term treatment of obesity.
Patients taking Statobex are warned to check with their doctor or pharmacist if they have any of the following conditions:
* Sugar Diabetes
* Heart or blood vessel disease
* High blood pressure
* Severe mental illness
The law in Ohio specified that dispensing of this drug could not occur until a patient had been examined by a physician. The problem was, Mediodia was prescribing it without conducting a physical. He must have been doing it extensively, because the Drug Enforcement Administration got wind of it, and set up what might be commonly characterized as a "sting" on his operation. One day a DEA plant, who Mediodia assumed was a patient of the physician in the office next to his, came in and asked for Statobex. Mediodia issued him the prescription drug, without an examination, and to boot, it was contained in a bottle that failed to identify it. The result of that transaction was that Mediodia was cited for "alleged excessive and otherwise improper prescribing of controlled substances".
He received a one-month suspension from practice, along with a subsequent six-month probation period, which was imposed in 1977.
Things got a lot worse for Mediodia in 1991. He sustained another suspension - this one more serious - through a series of bizarre incidents that still have not been fully explained.
"I didn't realize that the medical board required all of this documentation of controlled substances to be written down and sent to them," the doctor recounted in his October 25, 2002 deposition. "Even if they were expired, they had to be sent to
Mediodia has thousands and thousands of samples of drugs such as Vicodin, Darvocet, and Tylenol-3 (with codeine), still in blister packets. He asserts that some of them were more than ten years old, and that his objective was to dispose of them. So he threw some of them in dumpsters behind his office. However, they were in a place where any addict could have easily happened upon the samples, and no doubt many did. Whether that was the intention or not is pure speculation.
A neighbor in the office building called in a complaint to police, and Mediodia was warned not to dispose of his drugs in that manner.
However, Mediodia didn't stop. And when he was caught the second time, a Cincinnati police officer came into the office and placed him under arrest.
Mediodia, in allegedly resisting this arrest, then proceeded to physically assault the police officer - a woman who was two months' pregnant. Her claim, in the report, was that Mediodia kicked her and kneed her to the groin. Mediodia denies he did it intentionally, and contends that the officer was verbally abusive toward him.
Ultimately the assault charge was not prosecuted, but Mediodia was once again cited by the Ohio Medical Board, this time for "improper disposal of controlled substances", and in July 1992, signed a consent agreement that provided for an indefinite suspension from practice, slated for a minimum of 60 days, which would be followed by a mandatory five-year probation upon his reinstatement, something that could only be earned after passing a competency exam - the SPEX (Special Purpose Examination).
Mediodia didn't practice medicine from July 1992 until June 12, 1996. The reason? He tried and failed EIGHT times to pass the SPEX exam before finally passing.
Once he was reinstated, Mediodia found himself facing another five years' probation in Ohio - a period of time that encompassed the date of the Greg Page-Dale Crowe fight. For this entire period, Mediodia had no admitting privileges at any hospital and did not qualify successfully for malpractice insurance.
During the four years of his suspension from the medical profession, Mediodia says he did not practice medicine at all, with one exception.................
......................You'll read about that in the next chapter.
Copyright 2003 Total Action Inc.