By Zach Arnold | October 26, 2013
As I sat and watched a syrupy, softball preview on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area for this Monday’s Fox Sports 1 Golden Boy show in Redwood City, California, I couldn’t help but think back to Steve Kim’s article a couple of days ago on the death of boxer Franky Leal. He was let down by everyone who could have stopped the man from being his own worst enemy. The regulators failed him.
Steve’s article inspired me to write about the current slate of ongoing horribly violent mismatches being rubber stamped by the California State Athletic Commission throughout the whole state. Promoter-friendly and all. As I’ve stated in previous articles, boxing promoters in California know that the situation is basically the wild west right now because the MMA people are in charge.
The feedback to my article on the violent mismatches, both online & offline, has been instructive. I’ve gotten various tips on where else I should be looking and what the public should know. One of those tips involves the upcoming Fox Sports 1 Golden Boy show in Redwood City, California this Monday night. Golden Boy’s name is on the show as the promoter but their regular conduit in Northern California is Paco Presents/Don Chargin w/ Jorge Marron. It was a Paco/Chargin show four months ago that boxer Mike Alexander was sucker punched by Ricardo Pinell after the bell and knocked out cold. Pinell was not disqualified and fought two more times after the fight. Alexander was not medically suspended after being stretchered out of the building and proceeded to fight two more times after the June bout. In both fights, Alexander lost by KO/TKO and the athletic commission didn’t medically suspend him after his latest loss.
It is with this backdrop that we focus on the main event of the Golden Boy FS1 event — Manuel Avila, a 12-0 fighter who was originally scheduled to face 34-year old journeyman fighter Jose Silveira. It was going to be a mild test for Avila, who has some but not a lot of power. The fight likely would have gone to a decision. Silveira had to drop out of the fight and has now been replaced by older journeyman Jose Angel Cota from Mexicali. He’s 8-9-1. He’s not close to Avila in skill and he’s not even close to Silveira in terms of respectability. The Sacramento front office rubber stamped the replacement booking. They shouldn’t have done so.
On the Comcast segment Friday night, writer Ryan Maquinana glowingly talked about Manuel Avila being promoted by
Richard Schaefer Oscar De La Hoya and managed by Cameron Dunkin as a top prospect in the Golden Boy ecosystem.
Examining the record
The mild excuse for justifying the fight booking, as pointed out in this article titled Manuel “Tino” Avila ahead of the game as headliner, is that this will be Manuel Avila’s first go-round in a 10-round fight and that Angel Cota will be a good test on this front.
In the last 6 1/2 years, Cota has had 10 fights. He’s 1-8-1. His one win was against a guy who was 1-19-2. If you discount the squash win, Angel Cota hasn’t had a real win since December 2006. When he fought Leo Santa Cruz in June 2010, Boxrec noted that his announced fight record was made up. Cota announced as 20-4 (17 KO) before the bout.
Angel Cota’s last 10 round fight was in 2007. In five of his last eight losses, he’s gotten battered and knocked out or stopped. In his decision losses, the outcomes have been utterly one-sided on the cards. He can’t go 10 rounds at this point without enduring a beating. He’s facing an opponent in Avila who has a little power but not brutal KO power.
You can see where this is going. Avila is going to pound away on Angel Cota like a punching bag, dish out a lot of punishment in the softening up process, and then get a promoter-friendly outcome against an opponent who shouldn’t be in the ring with him. It’s a recipe for physical punishment. We expect garbage bookings like this from commissions like Florida but to see it happening in California in 2013 and on television, no less, is dangerous.
Golden Boy can’t figure out why their ratings aren’t so hot for their Monday night FS1 telecasts. The FS1 brand sucks (ask UFC all about that). There’s Monday Night Football. And, oh, it would help if you stop booking squash fights like Manuel Avila vs. Jose Angel Cota. This is why Golden Boy draws 150,000 viewers per telecast at maximum.
The last time Angel Cota fought was a year ago in Ontario, California and he was medically suspended after losing a one-sided unanimous decision. His booking this Monday night against Manuel Avila should have never been approved by the Sacramento front office. The paying customers deserve better than this and so do the officials who get booked on shows with these types of lopsided matches and are left to deal with the carnage afterwards.
Nichole Bowles, the lead athletic inspector who is Andy Foster’s number one in Northern California, will be working the Golden Boy show. She was the same lead inspector who worked the show with Mike Alexander getting brutally knocked out in June and knocked out later for another promoter in October. Hanley Chan, golden boy from CAMO, worked the June fight in Redwood City and has this booking as well.
I can only hope that Ed Collantes is booked as the referee for the main event and that he’s ready to pull a quick trigger to stop some of these Golden Boy mismatched fights early in Redwood City on Monday night. The last thing we need to see is another stretcher job in Redwood City.