The 29th Round
Last week Teddy Atlas did a good job of reading our January 21 story (21st Round – IFYOU'RE THINKING “CLEANUP”, REMEMBER ALAMO) to his audience on ESPN2.
Today I'm absolutely delighted to be able to provide Mr. Atlas with more material for his editorial commentary, if he cares to use it:
I feel it's appropriate – indeed mandatory – to comment on a few passages in that story, written by Tony Batt, a reporter in the Washington Bureau of Stephens Media, which supplies the Review-Journal with reports from the nation's capital.
Listen closely, because I'm about to teach you something here. And let me apologize, in case it looks like I'm repeating some things that were written already.
Here's one of those passages:
“Guinn spokesman Greg Bortolin praised Alamo Jr.'s performance as acommissioner and said Mandalay Bay could not receive extra privileges based on therelationship between the Alamos because the commission does not determine where fightstake place.”
What's a concern here is that (a) either Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn doesn't fullycomprehend what it is that his own state athletic commission – the commission he has fullauthority over – really does, or (b) he has consciously chosen to ignore that a potentialproblem even exists, because it involves a company (Mandalay Bay) which once handed him$300,000 in campaign contributions IN ONE DAY by funneling it through 15 subsidiarycompanies, back when it was known as Circus Circus Enterprises.
What the governor doesn't seem to understand, and I can only go by what his hand-picked”spokesman” said, is that insofar as the sport of boxing in the state of Nevadais concerned, the Mandalay Bay is much more than just a SITE at which fights takes place -it is, in fact, a PROMOTER.
How do I know this?
It's not necessarily because of MY basic philosophy
It's because the Nevada State Athletic Commission, comprised of people who were APPOINTEDBY THE GOVERNOR, tells me so, by virtue of the fact that they have compelled the casinosto take out promoter's licenses.
As such, when it comes to how we are going to reference the Mandalay Bay within thecontext of boxing and the commission, it must be perceived as a PROMOTER. And if theirPROMOTIONAL PARTNERS are the Bob Arums and Don Kings, for example, they are IN BUSINESSwith people who, by their words and deeds, and whether anyone likes it or not, have a veryreal interest in certain fighters winning certain fights.
Once again, BY DEFINITION as far as the state of Nevada is concerned, if you're apromoter, and are working with another promoter – hosting a promotion, putting your name on it, having the ring announcer mention your name prominently, and vested with theauthority to deny press credentials, or the accommodations for certain press personnel (asthey've done to ESPN this weekend, based on Atlas' report last Friday), you are theCO-PROMOTER.
And if you're the CO-PROMOTER, how could your SON possibly have the power to influence whothe JUDGES and REFEREE are going to be for your partner's championship fight, in whichthat PROMOTIONAL PARTNER has an interest where millions of dollars of future income couldbe at stake?
Who in their right mind would believe that the CO-PROMOTER wouldn't wish anything butsuccess for its PROMOTIONAL PARTNER, with whom it is in a business relationship, and doeverything it could to ensure that success?
If it's something not open to other promoters, that IS the extra privilege, Mr. Governor.
I'm sure Tony Alamo Jr. is a bright young man. He is a graduate of medical school, and I'msure he was a very good student.
So I find it implausible that he would not have understood or appreciated that he was presenting the appearance of a conflict of interest, or that legitimate questions mightone day be asked about the nature of his participation in the activities of thecommission.
Or are we talking about a case of pure arrogance here, where someone's sense of entitlement has gotten completely out of control?
And by the way, just in case anyone was wondering, the Nevada Administrative Code givesthe commission the full power to appoint all the inspectors, the judges and referees forALL championship fights, and to allow or disallow any fight card submitted to it by apromoter (yes, including casinos), based on an application that must include the SITEwhere the fights are going to be held. In other words, while the commission doesn'tnecessarily dictate where a fight card can take place, it can most assuredly dictate whereone CAN'T take place, which can be just as useful to someone whose motives are somewhatless than genuine.
Here's something else from the story that simply knocked me over:
“Alamo Jr. said he recuses himself when necessary and that he does notcollaborate with his father.”
Let me ask a couple of questions that may or may not have been asked, depending on how thestory was eventually edited by the Review-Journal.
You recuse yourself, Mr. Alamo Jr.? WHEN?
I have asked a number of people – those who do not like Alamo, and those who support him.On no occasion have I been furnished with any recollection of a recusal on ANY matter that has ever come before the commission for a vote or discussion. And I would dare ANYBODY,including Luther Mack, who appointed Alamo Jr. to the post of Vice-Chairman of the commission, to document any instance where this has happened.
Or, let me put it another way – when have you ever considered it NECESSARY, Mr. Alamo Jr.,to recuse yourself from a commission vote?
The answer to that, apparently, is NEVER.
And here's a gem from Alamo Jr., referring to his relationship with his father, the promoter, and taken directly from the story:
“We are completely independent,” he (Alamo Jr.) said. “We don'ttalk about boxing. He happens to work in the hotel industry, and I'm a physician. If people are excluded from voluntary public service because they are related to someone inthe hotel industry, that's not good for Nevada or any other state.”
I'll leave your reaction to the absurdity of that statement completely up to you.
Copyright 2003 Total Action Inc.