Notes and Nuggets
Boxrec.com is boxing’s indispensable website and the most heavily-trafficked boxing website in the world. Its main competition (such as it is) comes from Fight Fax, which is the only record-keeper whose reports are officially accepted by members of the Association of Boxing Commissions in the United States. Boxrec is free to users. Fight Fax is a pay-for-use service.
Every state athletic commission in America is required by law to send bout results, suspensions, and federal ID numbers to Fight Fax (as are ABC associate members in Canada). Boxrec tries to get this information. Some commissions provide it to the site as a matter of course. Some send it upon request. A few commissions refuse to send the information to Boxrec even when asked.
ABC president Tim Lueckenhoff says, “All our member commissions have been asked to submit results to both Boxrec and Fight Fax. I believe it is even contained in the minutes of the ABC meeting from South Carolina several years ago. However, some commission refuse to send those results [to Boxrec]. There are just a handful that I am aware of. I think all commissions use Boxrec as a reference, but not as the official record keeper. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the sport for all commissions to send their results to both. It is just a few key strokes to get that done, as we all know.””
New Jersey, by virtue of its hosting fights in Atlantic City, is the most visible of the states that refuse to send bout results and suspensions to Boxrec. Neither Aaron Davis (director of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board) nor Deputy Attorney General Nick Lembo (counsel for the NJSACB) returned telephone calls asking about the reasons for their refusal.
Perhaps that’s because there’s no good explanation.
* * *
The Nevada State Athletic Commission embarrassed itself on February 28, 2013, when it fined Julio Cesar Chavez Jr $900,000 and suspended him for nine months because he tested positive for marijuana use after his September 15, 2012, fight against Sergio Martinez.
Chavez, of course, started the idiocy when he smoked grass and, after testing positive, proclaimed, “I have never smoked marijuana. For years, I have had insomnia, so I went to the doctor and he prescribed some drops for me that contained cannabis. I stopped taking them before the fight with Martinez, and I didn't think I was going to test positive.”
Then the grandstanding WBC got into the act, announcing on October 3, 2012, that it had fined Chavez $20,000 and ordered him to enter a drug rehabilitation center.
Chavez responded, “I do not condone what the World Boxing Council said, about their desire to send me to rehab. That's for drug addicts, and I'm not. The Council has not even seen me. How can they say that?"
Perhaps some of the people who pull the strings at the WBC could enter an eating disorder clinic.
But back to Nevada.
Last week, Chavez belatedly and penitently explained his marijuana use to the Nevada State Athletic Commission as follows: "I was told it would help my stress. I was tense for the fight and someone mentioned it to me and that's why I did it eight or nine days before the fight. I couldn't tell you the exact reason why I did it. I just can tell you I was under a lot of stress and had family problems, a lot of things going on in my life. It was the biggest mistake and I'll never do it again."
Chavez also told the commission that he hadn’t smoked marijuana before any other fight, but declined to say whether he’d smoked marijuana at any time in his life other than “eight or nine days” before the Martinez fight.
Nine hundred thousand dollars? For smoking marijuana?
Let’s get real! What do you think would happen if all NSAC commissioners and commission employees were subjected to random testing for recreational drug use?
As for the WBC; maybe Jose Sulaiman and his executive committee will ask the Nevada commission for three percent of the $900,000 fine as a sanctioning fee.
* * *
With the baseball season fast approaching, it seems appropriate to reference what Top Rank’s extraordinary director of public relations Lee Samuels describes as his greatest moment in sports outside of boxing.
“I played second base for the Kurland’s Drug Store team in the Pennsville [New Jersey] Little League,” Samuels recalls. “We wore white jerseys with blue trim. Across the front, it said “Kurland’s.” I was very proud to wear that jersey. I couldn’t hit or field well, but I loved being on the team.”
“My father was a rough guy,” Lee continues. “He wasn’t a people person. He’d been in the Army for seven years and fought in World War II. When I was growing up, he watched wrestling on television every Friday night and loved it. We played catch occasionally, but that was about all. We never went to a ballgame together or anything like that. And he’d never come to any of my games.”
“This time, I rode my bike to the game. And there he was, standing on the first baseline. In my first at bat, I hit the hardest ball I’d ever hit. It bounced over the fence in left field for a ground-rule double. That was it as far as moments of glory are concerned. To be honest, I don’t think I ever hit a home run. A few years later, I got to high school and saw my first curve ball. I just stood there and said to myself, ‘Oh, my God. This isn’t going to work.’ That’s when I stopped playing baseball and started writing.”
* * *
Do you remember when Manny Pacquiao was criticized in some circles because he supposedly was avoiding “slick African-American fighters” as opponents?
Floyd Mayweather has fought one African-American opponent (an aging Shane Mosley) since April 2006. And Adrien Broner, who’s being touted as Mayweather’s heir apparent, has faced only one African American (John Redish) in his last fourteen fights. In fact, as best I can tell, “The Problem” has fought only five African Americans (Henry White Jr, Eric Ricker, Terrance Jett, and Allante Davis being the others) in his entire 26-bout pro career. As of this writing, those five Broner opponents have a composite ring record of 21 wins in 69 fights.
* * *
THINGS YOU’LL NEVER READ ON A BOXING WEBSITE
Our regular baby-sitter isn’t available, so we’ve asked Roger Mayweather to take care of the kids tonight.
Thomas Hauser can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His most recent book (And the New: An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing) was published by the University of Arkansas Press.