(DEC 11) On December 4th, the day of
the boxing event was the crescendo of what should have been a
very solid and exciting boxing card featuring some very skilled and
top-ranked boxers in the sport.
Reflecting on the time that I had spent in Albuquerque, I had
visited many of the people who are in the boxing community,
reconnected with others I had not seen in a long time, and met many
of the women boxers that I had never met in person.
I was very excited to see this card--- it was what I had been
waiting for, and I know everyone that I spoke to shared the same
Fight Time at the Casino
I, along with everyone else that was at the same hotel, shuttled
over to the casino at about 5:00 p.m. I needed to make sure that my
media credential would include being on the ring---and believe me, I
have traveled to many boxing events, just to find out my credential
did not provide me a spot on the ring---so I have always tried to
stay on top of this when I cover boxing events. Once I found
my seating at the ring----I pretty much stayed in that area until
the event began.
As I sat there, the first women
boxers to enter the ring before the card began was Holly Holm
and Jodi Esquibel, along with Holm's Manager/Trainer, Michael
Winklejohn. The two came into the ring to warm up.
After Holm and Esquibel left
the ring---Melissa Hernandez jumped into the ring. After she
moved around the ring for a short time---she came out through
the ropes just above where I was sitting. I was rolling my video
camera at the time, and I said to Hernandez, "Okay, Melissa, say
something you Bad Girl."
Hernandez of course had no problem spouting off something
clever, by retorting...."I am a bad girl, Rabbit season
First Women's bout on the card:
Amanda Crespin vs. Jessica Sanchez
I was very impressed with these
two new boxers on the scene. Crespin came out of the amateurs,
and was 0-1 going into the fight. Both Crespin and Sanchez kept
the fight ongoing as they exchanged a barrage of punches. The
fight ended in a four-round draw.
Women's Bout / Co-Main - Jodi
Esquibel vs. Suszannah Warner
Another very solid fight between
Esquibel vs. Warner. It was a rematch for the two. They had
originally fought each other when both had one pro fight on
their record, and Esquibel won the first time around. But, this
night Warner would be the winner by an eight-round split
decision and she retained her NABF Minimum title.
Women's Bout - Holly Holm vs.
Victoria Cisneros (late opponent for Holm)
As I have already written about
in a previous article, Cisneros put on a tremendous performance
with a Last Minute Notice (Full
personal thoughts on the Holm vs. Hernandez hand wrapping
I am not writing any of this from
secondhand information, speculation, or other witnesses, It is
just a straight from the heart feeling of how this
incident affected me.
Hmmm....how do I even begin to talk about this incident...
Let me see.. with the main event being the most anticipated
fight on the card---it was why people bought the webcast and
showed up in person to see Holm-Hernandez two mix it up---how
would I personally describe what happened that night?
Does T-R-A-I-N W-R-E-C-K come to mind?
When I say this---I am placing no blame. I am simply telling you
exactly what I was feeling when I got the news of this as
happening on the card.
Imagine for one moment, if you will....I am sitting at
ringside......I am so "Up", so "Happy", so "Proud" of these
women boxers who are on this card.
You also have to keep in mind as I express this-----to
understand my background as a person and my own mindset about
fighting in general.
I am a past fighter from the late 1970's. I fought in
full-contact karate when few women did so...I fought as a pro
female boxer----when we were more like the "plague" and not
respected athletics in this sport. I will tell you that I had
never backed out of any fight, in karate or boxing at
anytime---even when I probably should have. I do have a tough as
nails attitude, and anyone who knows me will more than likely
back that up.
At the same time, I was
never offered such great opportunities as the women boxers of
today, and would have probably given anything at the time that I
boxed to have such opportunities.
So while I am sitting at the ringside apron this night, I
have some real feelings and emotions about what is going on.
I am first feeling deeply embarrassed for the sport, embarrassed
for WBAN, for what I would end up having to write about this
incident---wishing I were somewhere else---perhaps at home in
the comfort of my home. Not in direct aim of a packed house of
boxing fans waiting for Holm to fight Hernandez, wondering if
people would become irate, throw things, this is all going
through my head, and at the same time, "wishing", "hoping", that
this was just some ploy to make the fight more exciting.
I was also upset-----Upset that I flew all the way from
Portland, Oregon, to Albuquerque, New Mexico (anyone who knows
me, knows that I do not like to fly), and so to take this flight
to New Mexico would have been a fight card I genuinely wanted to
That being upset was mixed with
the fact that I personally spent a lot of money to go to this
fight card---I am not independently wealthy, so I have to
carefully pick and choose where I use finances to cover fights
I was also embarrassed that WBAN's European writer, John Wilson,
who lives in London, England, came all this way to see this
boxing card. Sure, John was in the United States for other
things going on, but he made a special flight from Washington
D.C., to New Mexico to see this event.
In closing----This sport is struggling and has pretty much
always struggled to get mainstream acceptance. Even without
casting any kind of blame on anyone---I really think this hurt
the sport for awhile. We will get over it---we always do it
seems, but even though Cisneros saved this card by taking this
fight with Holm at the last moment, it will not overshadow what
happened on this card in front of a massive audience.