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Thread: Former Las Vegas Boxing Promoter Found Guilty of Tax Fraud

  1. #1
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    Former Las Vegas Boxing Promoter Found Guilty of Tax Fraud

    On Tuesday, May 27, after a six-week trial, former Las Vegas boxing promoter Alan Rodrigues was found guilty of promoting a tax fraud scheme that ran from 2001 to 2004. Federal prosecutors accused him of selling a product through his telemarketing firm that schooled people in how to claim tax credits they were not entitled to. Rodrigues remains free pending his Sept. 3 sentencing.

    For a brief period in the mid-1990s, Rodrigues owned a shabby casino in North Las Vegas, the Silver Nugget. The operable word here is "north." Take a drive down North Las Vegas Boulevard and you could be in any decaying city in the Rust Belt.

    Soon after acquiring the property, Rodrigues converted a little-used convention area into a boxing pavilion. This was his baby. An amateur boxer as a teenager in his native New Jersey, he was passionate about the sport.

    The Silver Nugget promised competitive fights at affordable prices and the early shows delivered the goods. In the main go of the lid-lifter, on Dec. 1, 1993, former U.S. Olympian Kelcie Banks survived a wooly 10th round to win an unpopular decision in a rousing good skirmish with Ray Collins. On the second show, five of the six bouts went to the scorecards and none of the decisions were unanimous.

    The Silver Nugget had 20 shows in 1994, making it one of the busiest fight clubs in the country. Roger Mayweather, William Joppy, Michael Nunn, Simon Brown, Wayne McCullough, and Christy Martin were among the notables that fought there. On fight nights the place was a blast, the ambiance enhanced by a sprinkling of well-known people in the crowd.

    Joe Jackson, the father of Michael Jackson, was a regular. He liked it when the ring announcer acknowledged him as "the patriarch of America's most distinguished musical family." One night the great writer Budd Schulberg turned up. He was in town to cover a bigger event going off the next night.

    One particular match that stands out in this reporter's memory was a contest between John Ruiz and Boris Powell on a Silver Nugget show co-promoted by Cedric Kushner. It shaped up as an easy test for Powell, an undefeated (23-0) southpaw from St. Louis, but Ruiz flustered him with his crude, mauling style and copped the decision in a humdrum fight. Six years later I saw a carbon when Ruiz upended Evander Holyfield in their second meeting.

    There were only eight Silver Nugget shows in 1995, but Rodrigues spread his wings, co-promoting shows with Miami's Luis De Cubas at more elaborate venues and staging the first-ever boxing shows in the Nevada/Utah border town of Mesquite. It wasn't obvious at the time, but Silver Nugget boxing was on its last legs. Rodrigues couldn't keep up with the payments and the property reverted to its former owner.

    Those that would reform boxing have no idea how tough it is to run a series of shows without TV money. Licensing fees and payments to regulators -- referees, judges, inspectors, timekeepers, medics and others -- sap the budget. But when attendance fell off, Rodrigues had only himself to blame. The promise of competitive fights was subordinated to the importance of "building" fighters with whom he had a managerial tie.

    A gym in Los Mochis, Mexico, provided many of the opponents. This didn't make for a good neighbor. The area around the Silver Nugget had a burgeoning Hispanic population.

    Shame on me for not gleaning this sooner as I had Al Rodrigues's ear. I was his fight publicist and ring announcer. In our dealings he was always honorable. I wish him well.

  2. #2
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    Re: Former Las Vegas Boxing Promoter Found Guilty of Tax Fraud

    Nice piece! Wow! I'm not surprised about Rodrigues. Everybody and dey momma knew that he was a crook with more wishing money than working money. You know that in anything, you will have to put in the money work and not wait around and hope that the big-gun wigs are coming your way with arses getting on dey hoola hoola and giving you dat BIG, BIG MOOLA.

    Let me digress. Kelcie Banks's skills as a boxer was already shot in 1993. And even way before he was shot, a 12-year-old, 85-pound me kayoed him in a few sparring sessions. A light wind could blow da sucka down.

    Dude should not have even been on the 1988 O-games U.S. Olympic Team. Politics got him there. And in the late 1980s, Chicago -- the city that resided in at that time -- had some heavy hitters with government politics. Those Windy political-game mobsters had ____ ____ and ____ _____.

    Banks eventually got de-licensed from boxing. The Cali comission would not give a new license and the Nevada comission told him to go hell. He moved to San Diego during the late 1990s-early 2000s, became homeless and walk the streets mumbling, stumbling and tumbling. Sadly PDness got caught up with him.

    I don't know where he is nowadays. But I heard from some of his homeless road dawgs that some of his relatives came to Diego a few years ago and took him to a place where he was born in Mississippi.

    Again, nice copy. Holla!

  3. #3
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    Re: Former Las Vegas Boxing Promoter Found Guilty of Tax Fraud

    I had long wondered what happened to Alan Rodrigues. Now I know. I also had heard some sad stories about Kelcie Banks over the years. Yours, Radam, was yet another one.

    Very sad.

    -Randy G.

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    Re: Former Las Vegas Boxing Promoter Found Guilty of Tax Fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by Radam G View Post
    Nice piece! Wow!
    Nice piece doesn't even get close to accurate on what a tremendous job the great Arne K delivers.

    I used to attend those bouts at the Nugget. That seems like many lifetimes ago. As for Kelcie, last time I saw him was about five years ago in Las Vegas which was where he was living at the time. And yes, those hundreds upon hundreds of amateur fights coupled with countless sparring sessions and of course his pro career have brought him to the point where he was telling a mutual friend of ours how he constantly suffered from severe headaches and head pain.

    And Radam, there are no exercises for the head, it wasn't a sucker punch that hit Ortiz and yes, referees need to count. THEN, they can pull the plug.

    Look for me as I'll be appearing in threads all week. Holla!

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