Fall Out Tuesday: Vargas, Bradley and L.A. Sports Arena

Days following the welterweight title showdown between Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley and Jessie “Vegas” Vargas, the aftermath has yet to settle in the summer heat.

If anything, it’s heated up.

Harsh words were exchanged between the two desert factions following the early stoppage that led to an explosion of fallout from fans, critics and team members. Words have led to Team Vargas expressing intent to file an official protest to the California State Athletic Commission because the referee stopped the fight seven seconds too early last Saturday at the StubHub Center.

As of Tuesday, no official protest had been seen by Executive Director Andy Foster.

Before the storm of protest, both Bradley and Vargas had produced an interesting battle. The Palm Springs fighter seemed ahead on the scorecards but he was uncomfortable with his own effort and opted to go full throttle.

Bradley got caught during an exchange and walked into an overhand right by Vargas who put his full body behind it. It was astonishing that Bradley stayed on his feet. Vargas moved in a little too slowly and though he was able to unload a small barrage he was stopped by Russell, who thought he heard the final bell.

Honest mistake, but what might have happened if Vargas were allowed to unload one final barrage?

That’s the question.

A Team Vargas member said they do intend to file a protest.

Overbooking sites

According to a story by noted boxing journalist Ivan Goldman for BoxingInsider.com, the CSAC blocked efforts by Al Haymon’s constituents to allegedly put a lock on large boxing venues like Staples Center and the Inglewood Forum so that rival promoters could not use them for events. After a length of time Haymon’s constituents would release the reservation. But by then, it was too late for the other promoters to put on their events.

Last month Golden Boy Promotions filed a $300 million lawsuit against Haymon for illegal and anti-competitive business practices along with violating the Muhammad Ali act. It was filed with the Federal Court in Los Angeles on May 6, 2015.

During preparations for the mega fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, it’s alleged that Haymon convinced fighters to not provide sparring for the Filipino boxer. Mayweather, who is advised by Haymon and is his biggest money-maker.

On May 2, at the MGM Garden Arena, Haymon allegedly attempted to shrink the space reserved for the media and use that area to sell seats for up to $50,000. Many of the regular boxing beat writers were shut out from reporting on the fight ringside. Instead, photographers, writers and videographers were forced to watch the fight on television from inside a tent outside of the arena. A large number of journalists who were admitted into the arena did not receive word until Saturday May 2, 2015, the day of the fight.

L.A. Sports Arena closing event

The historic sports venue is closing its doors after more than 55 years of serving the Los Angeles area for fans to view boxing, basketball, track and field, soccer, football and various mixed martial arts.

Golden Boy Promotions will stage the last event ever held on July 11 at the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena located 3939 S. Figueroa Street on Exposition Park near USC. Top contender Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera will fight Hank Lundy in the main event.

It’s only fitting that the last event be a boxing card. The very first sporting event ever held at the L.A. Sports Arena was a world championship boxing match between Mexico’s Jose Becerra and France’s Alphonse Halimi on July 8, 1959, four days after the doors were officially opened.

“There was still scaffolding around the arena it wasn’t completely finished,” said Bill Caplan, publicist for Golden Boy who attended that fight 56 years ago. Later, boxers such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Bobby Chacon, and Danny “Little Red” Lopez would fight there too.

In 1984 the Olympic Boxing events were held in the Sports Arena that included Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Henry Tillman, Mark Breland, and Paul Gonzalez, who won “boxer of the tournament” and a gold medal.

Next door, most of the track and field events for the 1984 Olympic Games were held in the Memorial Coliseum.

The Los Angeles Lakers played there for many years before moving to Inglewood and then Staples Center. The Los Angeles Clippers played there for years until moving to Staples Center in 2000. Also, UCLA and USC both played their home games there too before having their own arenas built.

Many celebrity basketball games were held there. I remember seeing Bird Averitt play against L.A. street legend Raymond Lewis. The former Verbum Dei High star would later lead the nation in scoring while playing at Cal State L.A. During the celebrity game at the Sports Arena I saw Lewis dunk over Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Lewis was an incredible baller with moves, shooting touch and leaping ability that made him into the stuff of legend.

It was also a popular venue for concerts of all types. Rock concerts, Mexican and Latin music stars also were also seen at the Sports Arena. It was the last stopping point for Selena who was killed on March 31, 1995, days before her concert at the Sports Arena. Thousands gathered with lit candles to honor her on the day of her scheduled concert.

The Sports Arena will be destroyed and made into a soccer arena.

Golden Boy Promotions plans to have a fiesta for its going away party with food booths, music and a party atmosphere. Make sure to attend and say goodbye to the marvelous house of sports. Tickets start at a reasonable $10 not including tax and service fees. That’s not a mistake. The most expensive seat is in the $100 range.

For tickets go to Ticketmaster.com.

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COMMENTS

-brownsugar :

Good for Vargas, 7 seconds is enough time to score a touch down from 50 yards out in foot ball. ...and enough to score at least 2 field goals in basketball. Either call it a no-decision or do a mandatory rematch. Vargas has earned that much at least. Chavez only needed 2 seconds to stop Taylor.


-Radam G :

Vargas ain't gonna get jack. He LOST! This type of mistake with the round happens all the time. Rounds have been up to a minute short, or over a minute long. Holla!


-brownsugar :

Mistakes of the past don't justify the errors of today. Just because its the way its always been done is no reason to stay stuck in rut.... Justice for Vargas! Justice for Vargas! Justice for Vargas!


-Radam G :

Pugs don't have a right to exactly three minutes for a round. Just a privilege to perform at the referee's discretion of time. Referees often stop the action and interfere without stopping the clock. And the ref never give more time after he has goofed up. Holla!


-Radam G :

Mistakes of the past don't justify the errors of today. Just because its the way its always been done is no reason to stay stuck in rut.... Justice for Vargas! Justice for Vargas! Justice for Vargas!
JFYI, The mistake of Vargas-Bradley is now in the past. So by your own logic: "the past don't justify the errors of today...." Let's move on. Vargas-Bradley is a mistake "of the past." Though so recent. Change the rules. Not the past. The right ruling was made in the Vargas-Bradley Scrap. Holla!


-brownsugar :

JFYI, The mistake of Vargas-Bradley is now in the past. So by your own logic: "the past don't justify the errors of today...." Let's move on. Vargas-Bradley is a mistake "of the past." Though so recent. Change the rules. Not the past. The right ruling was made in the Vargas-Bradley Scrap. Holla!
You move on.... The ref made an error, and it marred the results of the fight. Refs don't get to change the time limit of a round, and never have.... period. A round is 3 minutes, not 2 minutes 53 seconds. Vargas! Vargas! Vargas! I'm hoping for a no-decision after the appeal, no more gift decisions.


-Radam G :

You move on.... The ref made an error, and it marred the results of the fight. Refs don't get to change the time limit of a round, and never have.... period. A round is 3 minutes, not 2 minutes 53 seconds. Vargas! Vargas! Vargas! I'm hoping for a no-decision after the appeal, no more gift decisions.
Wow! What did Referee Jersey Joe Walcott do in Ali-Liston II? What did referee Tony Perez do in Ali-Frazier II? Referees get to mess with the time limit all the time. C'mon, TSS scribes! Let's have a piece or two on classic short and long rounds. BTW! B-Sug! The round was three minutes. The ref just broke up the clinch at 2:53. And like a too-dumb bytch, Vargas ran and jumped on the ropes. Dude was play acting and bulljive staging. He knew that the ref was breaking a clinch. And he -- Vargas -- heard the final bell seven seconds later when he was fronting a victory. C'mon, man! Don't you know a con when you see one? The Vargas-Bradley Affair is over. Bradley is now going to Dubai to kick Sadam Ali's arse. Holla!


-Domenic :

Jersey Joe Walcott, a great, legendary fighter, not so much as a referee. Didn't Golovkin - Geale have a 4 minute first round?? Another SNAFU was Foreman - Lyle. The 2nd round was only 2 minutes due to timekeeper error. George was pummeling him at this point too, and quite possibly would've stopped him (round 3 was a slugfest where George hit the canvas, so it could've cost him the fight). I could swear there was another one in a heavyweight title fight too. It was Dokes or Greg Page or Weaver, one of those early 80's guys. One of them KO'd the other at nearly the 4 minute mark in one of the latter rounds.


-brownsugar :

A no-contest is only fair, despite the numerous irregularities of the sport. Which could fill an encyclopedia volume several times over.


-stormcentre :

Yes interesting debate. Personally I don't think (15 or so seconds of action from) Vargas (during the whole fight) deserves a rematch and that he could have - in the first fight - possibly won. Especially considering that there was the "fighter can not be saved by the bell" ruling in place for the fight. But then, there have been times when controversial circumstances in boxing do create uncertainties that bring enough doubt and question to warrant a rematch. I guess if Vargas really thinks this is what he wants he can have it again. After all, even though it seemed to be an honest mistake on the referee's part, it was still a mistake, and I guess with it potentially a chance denied; for Jessie. Bradley should just go out there now - for any rematch - and now that he knows the resistance Vargas can put up - and just really keep the pace and pressure up to really show it; stop Vargas. :) :) :)