Posted by Don Smith on Dec 9, 2015
Bounced Check Burns Fighter, Fight News & Trivia Quiz

Bounced Check Burns Fighter, Fight News & Trivia Quiz

Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith:

Boxing Fans, in our last column we recapped the results of the Desert Heat III card at the Clarion Hotel in Tucson Arizona, Friday November 13. In particular ABNN focused on the 8 round headliner bout between former Top Rank welterweight protégé Michael Finney (13-5-1) fighting out of Georgia and Journeyman Promotions rising star Nathaniel Gallimore (10-0-1), fighting out of Chicago after departing his beloved homeland of Jamaica. By most accounts, it was a memorable fight with Gallimore receiving a favorable nod from all three judges while the reaction from the fans was mixed. I missed the show due to anther assignment.

Manager Darrel Wright (Finney) thought the judges were watching a different fight. The soft spoken former boxer scored the win for his fighter because of the 8th round knockdown and his body work that, according to Wright, took a toll on the quicker Gallimore in the later rounds.

Team Finney wasn’t happy about the loss but there are no mulligans or instant replays in boxing. After the fight the 24 year old veteran of more than 130 amateur and professional ring contests was consoled by his trainer (Rick Carrillo), Manager (Darrel Wright) plus family members; the outreach from family, matters: somewhat!

The next morning (Saturday), Michael Finney checks out of the Clarion Hotel and heads home to Georgia where he resides with his wife of a year and half. They have no children; however, the couple has bills and the payday from Desert Heat III would pay those and provide a turkey with trimmings on the Finney thanksgiving table.

3-4 days after the fight check was deposited in his local Bank of America branch, Michael was informed the check bounced and the news didn’t sit well in the family household. Imagine, a week before Thanksgiving and Michael and his bride were dead broke; it would be a bleak Thursday.

Michael was a bit more optimistic. TKO Promotions (former promoter) tried to pay him with a bad check after a fight a few years ago, but they quickly reissued a good check and all was forgotten. This time it was the same song, but a different chorus.

Thanksgiving Day came and passed; Michael was still holding the worthless check ( I think I know where he wanted to put it) and Mama Finney was sending “strongly worded” emails to Wild West Promotions CEO Ray Mitchell who eventually told the family he would sell his car to cover the debt. We weren’t able to establish if he had a car to sell.

On Sunday November 29, Papa Finney reached a boiling point and the protective dad began a campaign to share his son’s experience with Wild West Promotions and Ray Mitchell on Facebook; sharing doesn’t always equate to caring.

Word quickly spread and later that day; I started receiving calls from members of the boxing community hours after the story of check-gate broke and once I had a thumb nail sketch of the situation, I left messages for Mr. Mitchell who failed to respond to my query about the alleged misdemeanor.

My next step was to call a member of Finney’s team and he confirmed the problem. According to another source, a third party aware of the situation and its’ impact on the Finney family-game the embattled Wild West Boxing promoter enough green to pull Mitchell out of the Red, but what did he do with the bailout money isthe $64,000.00 question.

The third party in question asked me to help the young fighter; so, I contacted a political acquaintance who gave me the number to the office of Pima County (Tucson) Attorney Barbara LA Wall and that call reached a detective who listened and gave strategic instructions on how to proceed with the matter. I then relayed the information to the Finney Family who thanked me; there was more work to do. Amanda Jacinto, PIO at the Arizona Gaming Department was sent her an email detailing the reported crime. Ms. Jacinto didn’t contact me and I’m not surprised after I chided her about answers she sent me in regard to questions I received from ABNN readers; nothing is personal with me-just me the facts and move on to the next challenge.

The Arizona Boxing Commission, in my opinion, would like to keep an air tight lid over the issue; however, that clandestine approach will breed contempt and suspicion toward the process and bureaucracy that takes that deceptive route.

Michael Finney will get his money back through the protective bond process and hopefully the commission will discuss the matter openly and decide if changes need to be made. Good luck to Michael Finney and his team. His record over the course of his last 7 fights is 1-5-1; he is better than that!

As for Mr. Mitchell, he is a man who was caught in a web and didn’t know how to spider his way out without biting someone; such a tragedy. We wish him well!

Trivia Quiz: (1) American Film Institute rated what boxing movie as the greatest film with a sports theme? (2) Who is the oldest heavyweight boxer to win win a world title? Who did he beat and how old was he? (3)What fighter was known as the acorn? (4) Who is the only boxer to ever go 15 rounds with Rocky Marciano?

Fight News: Fast rising Phoenix Light Heavyweight David (“El Bandera Roja ”Benavidez (11-0-10 knockouts) has been added to the undercard of the Danny Garcia vs. Roberto Guerrero Premier Boxing Champions telecasted fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday January 23. The show will be aired Fox Sports beginning 8 pm ET/5pm pt. David is a comer and unless he slips on a banana peeling or gets married, he has the makings of a contender and eventual champion… Danny’s brother is David’s co-manager….Ryan & Tim Riddell and talking to Fight Hard Promotions about fight dates at the Valentino Center in February and March……..good luck to 108 lb. Adrian Servin at the Olympic Trials in Reno 12/7-12/12. We hope he makes Arizona proud….ABNN was told that Premier Boxing Champions will present a show in Glendale early next year, but no confirmation.

More Boxing News:Iron Boy Promotions and Benavidez Gym will unite and host a media workout in Phoenix to promote the Homecoming show in Tucson on December 12 which features budding super stars Jose Benavidez Jr. (WBA Interim super lightweight champion (23-0-16 knockouts) and 2 time Olympian Oscar Valdez (#1 ranked featherweight) in marquee matchups. The media workout kicks off at 1:00 pm and ends after Benavidez Jr, completes his 2 pm workout. Valdez will not be at the workout.

5 time world champion Michael Carbajal will at the gym working out his fighter, Johnny Tijerina who will make his professional debut n the 12/12 card in Tucson. Undefeated Carlos Castro (13-0) and newcomer Luis Espinoza will work out also….Sonny Gutierrez is the new matchmaker for Fight Hard Promotions.

Trivia Answers: (1) Raging Bull (2) George Foreman at age 45 beat Michael Moorer on November 4, 1944 with a 10th round knockout.(3)Ernie Shavers (4)Ezzard Charles in 1954. Until Next Time!

About Don Smith

Don Smith has written 79 post in this blog.

Don Smith became interest in boxing from age 8 when his Dad gave him a pair of gloves, he eventually wore them out. During his Don Smith served in the US Army as a Military Police Desk SGT. The skills he learned while writing reports laid the foundation for him becoming a journalist. According to Don “I didn’t really flip the switch to journalism until I was detained in Belfast Ireland for taking pictures during my vacation in Ireland. I made the questionable mistake of trying to albii my way out of the situation by claiming to be a journalist, wrong move. No diplomatic immunity, ha ha. II returned to college in Texas, wrote for my college paper as a paid staffer”. He grew up during the Friday Night Era, and In his role as a sports writer, he has rubbed elbos with Leonard, Norton, Ali, Mancini, Cokes, Paez and other champion boxers. His his works have been high lighted and published by Community Newspapers in Texas, Sports Stringer, Dallas Morning News, WRR Radio Critic Dallas Texas, KCHU Radio Talk Show Host Dallas, Texas, Talk Shoow host, Plano Texas, Interviewer for OPUS & STARSHINE Networks, Interviewed more than 1,000 celebrities including 7 US Presidents, Athletes, Movie Stars, etc.

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