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.
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.