Expecting and anticipating a rare card of pro boxing in the New York City area, as was the case Saturday evening at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn could be spectacular or disappointing. In this case it was disappointing and so appropriate was the show presented by Havoc Promotions.
Because it was havoc at the conclusion and something loyal boxing fans don’t deserve. A main event for the bogus alphabet soup New York State junior featherweight title, one of the participants, Reinaldo Lopez was advertised from Miami Florida. His opponent (35-0-1) Mauricio Martinez, from Brooklyn the former WBO bantamweight champion who was the heavy favorite.
So what happens? After nearly waiting an hour after the last fight, watching the awful comeback of Staten Island favorite Gary Starks Jr,, who took a pounding and took a decision over Leopoldo Arrocha of Panama City. Lopez hit the canvas three times in the first round before referee Steve Willis stopped the content at 1:21 by TKO.
Starks, a once promising lightweight was on the comeback trail after an 18-month hiatus. He needed medical attention and supposedly was taken by ambulance for further observation. Here is the point of contention that is not fair to the ticket holder that anticipates and expects good boxing.
In between the Lopez stoppage the loud and abusive rap music continued to blast from the speaker systems in the arena. We wait and talk, fans continue to lose interest and leave the venue. In the meantime there is no announcement made in the ring pertaining to the delay.
We waited and waited with nothing to do. Just like a rain delay at the ballpark and waiting for the rain to stop until the grounds crew can remove the tarp. Except during extensive rain delays, ballparks show out of town games on the video boards and here it was continued loud nonsense from the sound system.
The Havoc was so appropriately returned to Brooklyn, and in this case unfortunate it happened at a boxing event. Because fans were asking, “What was going on,” at least those who decided to wait and get their deserved value for a highly anticipated main event,
In the meantime, Martinez and Lopez are sitting in their respective dressing room area with hands wrapped and also waiting. Both at the Aviator complex hours before the doors opened for the first fight that got underway way after the scheduled 7pm start.
So this reporter, also tired of the wait seeks out New York State Athletic Commissioner Melvina Lathan, the political appointee of Governor David Patterson who should have the proper explanation as to causes for the delay. Is there a last minute medical issue with the fighters? Is this a matter of stalling time as the clock past 11pm?
Said Lathan, annoyed about being interrupted in the middle of a social conversation, “We are waiting for an ambulance.” That was it. Obviously the standby ambulance that is required had taken Starks to a nearby hospital for observation. But that could also not be confirmed because the commissioner had other pressing issues to discuss obviously not related to the boxing matter at hand.
Point of contention was asked. “Then why not make an announcement” to the remaining few that were roaming around ringside and in the back of the spacious Aviator complex. No response from the commissioner who should know better to address the issue for the interest of good paying boxing fans.
And after an hour or so of delay, we get this bogus main event that lasted all about 80 seconds. Oh, nothing spectacular to report about the previous fights. Except some of the former champions of the sport, who once made boxing great in New York proudly stepped through the ropes and were introduced to the crowd.
Junior Jones, Monte Barrett, among the great fighters when boxing was a premiere sport in New York, Havoc Boxing Promotions tried to help the starved boxing fans of New York But how many will return after witnessing havoc and being a part of the waiting game?
e-mail Rich Mancuso: [email protected]