Posted by Don Smith on Jul 24, 2014
tone Vs. USA Boxing, Meet & Greet & Boxing Noise

tone Vs. USA Boxing, Meet & Greet & Boxing Noise

Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don Smith
Stone Vs. USA Boxing, Meet & Greet & Boxing Noise

The matter of sanctioning convicted Chandler Arizona boxing coach Damien Stone continues and the situation is getting messier each day. As you recall. Mr. Stone agreed to a plea agreement over 1 count of prostitution for a charge stemming from a sting operation in 2013, close to Christmas. A few days after his plea agreement in the spring of 2014, he was arrested for soliciting a female police officer whom he thought was 16 years of age. He agreed to pay her $150.00 for a BBBJ (please don’t ask) and was arrested for his stupidity and indiscretion. He was released on a Surety Bail Bond according to court documents.
I have read the official police report and the recorded evidence is strong against the married father and former gym proprietor. His former gym, Stonehard, is currently closed, but there is chatter on his website that he wants to reopen a facility at a different location. His Chandler Arizona Facility, according to informed sources, was picketed and padlocked after word of his arrest and conviction from the first incident. Mr. Stone awaits trial in Superior Court in Phoenix on his latest charge.

USA Boxing Arizona, of which he was a member, has been timid to oust former member (Stone) who flunked the moral and personal requirements to be in good standing with the local chapter of a national organization . Recently USA Boxing Arizona President Jacob Magallanez sent a letter to Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead asking for help. I have decided to print the letter in its’ entirety in an effort to help the boxing community understand the problem and offer a solution if so inclined. The letter is dated July 15. A response is still pending.

Dear Sir,
As president of USA Amateur Boxing, Inc., we are experiencing a matter of great concern with a person that was arrested in Mesa, Arizona on a predator sting by the Mesa Police Department. He (Damien Stone) agreed to meet a 16 year old female (undercover cop) and pay for sexual acts. This person is a boxing gym owner that serves youth in the Mesa/Chandler Arizona area. He had been arrested on a previous charge of soliciting for prostitution ring as well. The first offense eliminated him through background check from participation in USA Amateur Boxing functions. This second offense is yet another criminal act that further concerns the Arizona USA Boxing contingency. His name is Damien Stone, Stonehard Boxing Gym, at 590 N. Alma School Road #28, Chandler Arizona 85224. The Gym webpage advertises, women’s boxing, kids boxing, men’s boxing, self-defense, and kick boxing.

The National Office of the USA Amateur Boxing, Inc., On Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909 has revoked Damien Stone’s Membership after a background check. He is not allowed to participate in any athletic, coach, or official function of Amateur Boxing events and activities. He continues to violate this restriction and is still training kids and females. He continues to attend USA Boxing sanctioned events and violates the restrictions of his membership denial.

Are there any sanctions that law officials and the courts can enforce to assure that this man is not allowed to work with children? Can we get support from the legal community to formally notify this person of restrictions working with Youth?

Sincerely, Jake Magallanez, President of USA Boxing Arizona

Boxing Noise: Lightweight contender Ray Beltran has filled out an application to work with USA Boxing. It is a volunteer position and I can’t think of anyone better qualified to work with kids than Mr. Beltran…..Shane Olivea, the former New York Giant football player who was thinking about boxing as a second career may return to the gridiron instead. Shane has a tempting offer from an unknown NFL expect an announcement soon….Light heavyweight Trevor McCumby plans to fight in his home city of Chicago later this year. The date is still tentative and the opponent is yet to be determined… proof that he was knocked down in a sparring session with David Benavidez. The rumor has been floating around for some time, but McCumby and his team adamantly deny the accusation. David is fighting next month in Mexico. Contender McCumby fights on the Iron Boy 14/Top Rank produced Card at the Celebrity Theater on July 26 in Phoenix.It should be a whale of a card and tickets are going fast. A victory in Phoenix should enable Trevor to fight in his home town (Chicago) on 8/23 at Cellular Field it will be his first professional fight in the windy city. Trevor’s record is 15-0 with 12 knockouts…. Popular Casa Grande Arizona fighter Abel Ramos, out with a broken hand, returns to action before the end of this year. No definite date!

More Boxing Noise: printed rumors continue to surface about Middleweight Gabriel Rosado and Super Middleweight Brian Vera facing off in a pit (no ropes) in Vegas on August 16. Sanctioned by the Nevada Boxing Commission and created by Direct TV, “Big Knockout Boxing” is a modified version of Bare Knuckle Boxing featuring thinly padded gloves with knuckles slightly exposed. The program is billed as a series and Irish Canadian knockout artist Janks Trotter was being considered as one of the additional warriors to participate. Trotter, after a three year layoff, returned to action on July 6 in Calgary, Alberta at the Roadhouse Night Club (“Redemption under the Tent”) and was very impressive in wasting no time in knocking out (TKO) tough Phil Rose in the second round. The win upped Trotter’s record to 8-1-1 with 8 knockouts. Trotter is ranked #2 in Canada and # 70 in the world. Golden Boy is whispering in Trotter’s ear. Three more wins and the promotion company may do something more than whisper. Trotter has challenged Canadian Champion Brandon Cook for his Canadian light Middleweight title and he made overtures to Joachim Alcine # 1 ranked Canadian light middleweight.

Trotter hopes to fight in two months and Cook’s itinerary suggests a fight in September, but I doubt if he (Cook) will step up and ask for or accept Alcine or Trotter as ring foes. Either hookup would be a sellout, but it appears that Cook would rather keep his title then give the people of Canada what they want: a real title challenge.

Trotter was interested in the pit challenge, but his work schedule on the oil rig wouldn’t allow him to accept. His people were dead set against the notion. To me, the idea is demeaning to the sport of boxing despite Trotter’s lingering interest in fighting in the pit, someday.

Rosado is near at the end of his career (in my opinion), so I can understand his interest in fighting Vera in the pit. In reality, Trotter wants Cook, but manager Tyler Buxton will nix that idea because he doesn’t consider Trotter big enough draw. After Trotter’s thumping of Rose, that conclusion may be erroneous. It will be interesting to see who Cook fights in September.

On The Record: Phoenix Boxer Keenan Carbajal didn’t shy away from answering questions at a “Meet & Greet Press conference aimed at promoting the upcoming Iron Boy 14 show at the Celebrity Theater on Saturday July 26 in Phoenix, Arizona. I asked young Carbajal if he was capitalizing on the fame created by his famous Uncle (Michael Carbajal) and he adamantly denied the charge made by various critics. Keenan (3-1-1) is trained by Danny Carbajal, brother and trainer of Michael Carbajal. As for the continuing rumor that he is wearing boxing trunks owned and worn by the five time world Champ, his answer was no. Keenan told me the trunks were hand made by his Grandmother Sally who was shot and killed in 2005. He said he continues to wear them out of respect and love for his Grandmother. Her killer is still being sought, 9 years after her gruesome death. The tragic case remains open according to local authorities.

Welterweight Jose Benavidez Jr. (20-0) attended the meet and greet affair and was open and friendly to friends and members of the press who attended the event which was held at the Central Gym in Phoenix. His father (Jose Sr.) told me the idea of him fighting Brandon Rios was discussed as a potential foe as were Steve Claggett and Samuel Vargas. Claggett supposedly bowed out after a mysterious dog bite and Vargas who fought on July 6 was battling weight issues.

Jose Jr. is fighting Arman Ovsepyan (14-4) in the main event on the July 26 Iron Boy 14 card at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix. I asked him about the health of his celebrated right hand and he said it was good. I reminded him that his last two fights went the distance and I noticed a bit of ire in his voice as he told me it was hard to knock someone out when they received a 20 count. He was referring to Referee Michael Margado’s counting in the Angel Hernandez bout, his last fight which went the distance. I have known Jose yr. for years and never heard him raise his voice to that level in the course our many conversations.

A big smile swept over his face when I asked him what it felt like to headline a show. There were rumors that Mexico’s Oscar Valdez would headline the televised event (UniMas), but after everyone considered Jose’s local following and hometown status; the nod deservedly went to Junior. Team Benavidez hopes the July 26 headline spot will be the first of many for the 22 year old budding boxing star He is ready to prove that a title shot is close to becoming a reality.

Top Rank protégé Trevor McCumby didn’t attend the Central Gym leg of the Meet and Greet, but I understand he was present for the Power MMA Gym meet and greet in Gilbert and he was scheduled to attend the last leg of the press tour at Sonny’s boxing gym in Goodyear. A spokesperson for the press junket told me the three facilities selected were considered the biggest and best boxing facilities in Phoenix. Power MMA in Gilbert is the home base training center for Team Benavidez.

Joey “The Boxer “Ruelas was available at the meet and Greet and he is a much better interview than he was a year or two ago. His story reads like an open book. A boxer with a lot of potential made some bad early life decisions and took some valuable time to get his life back together. At 32 the pugilist known as the “The Boxer” is set to fight Izaak Cardona, 8-0 with 8 knockouts. Cardona is considered a prospect and this matchup is a definite crossroads fight for Ruelas who needs to win all of his fights to remain in the hunt for an eventual title.

He was scheduled to fight Andrew “Hurricane” Hernandez, a fighter he has little if any respect for; but Hernandez cancelled out due to a hand injury that had skeptics wondering if the injury was real. Hernandez is wearing a cast, so the question is a moot point.
I asked Joey about the Hernandez withdrawal and he said it doesn’t matter; Hernandez, according to Ruelas, will never fight him. As for mixing it up with Cardona, it doesn’t matter who he fights, Ruelas claims to be confident and ready. He has modified his diet and now swears by Herbal Life Supplements. Ruelas vs. Cardona could be the most anticipated bout on the Iron Boy 14 card. He hopes to fight out of state when his probation is lifted. Time is money.

I had brief chats at the Meet & Greet with youngsters Emmanuel Nieves and Alexis Zazueta and the two young fighters did little talking. Nieves aka Manny, was happy to be making his debut on the July 26 card and his dad said that after 2-3 false starts, he and Manny were finally happy to get the chance to fight. Neither Nieves was happy with amateur officiating.
Alexis Zazueta, 2-00 w/ 2 knockouts, was rather quiet at the meet and greet. I asked him to offer one word to describe manager Cameron Dunkin and he seemed intimidated by the question. Then I asked him to report on a rumor that he might take a fight outside the state of Arizona. There was a report that he was trying to square away an immigration paper work problem, but it appeared he didn’t want to address the question even though the subject was brought up in a previous interview. Alexis is a good kid, according to boxing insiders, and down the road, he will be much better at talking to journalists, I am sure! As a fighter, he gets high marks from most area trainers.

Announcement: Details are a bit sketchy, but I have been told that a group of boxing loyalists and investors will announce the formation of a newly organized boxing promotion company on Wednesday July 23 at 3615 North 15th Avenue BLDG A in Phoenix, Arizona at 11 am. I believe the event is open to the public.

Named after former civil rights attorney Ben Miranda who passed away several months ago; the goals of the group are unknown to me and hopefully I can give my readers a little insight in our next column. Ben managed Michael Carbajal and it was a relationship that soured towards the end of Michael’s career. I know that Mr. Miranda loved politics and boxing. I thank him for his service in Viet Nam. Mr. Miranda was 64 years old when he left this world. The Ben Miranda Boxing Promotion Company is registered with the Arizona State Boxing Commission. New competition is usually good for the free enterprise system, if run with the right set of principles.

Movie Shoot: Most of my readers are too young to remember “My Name is Nobody” a very popular spaghetti western styled film starring Terence Hill and released in 1973.
Motivational Speaker Phillip Penza, born in New York, has penned a book using the same title and he is filming the story on various locations including the Central Gym in Phoenix on Saturday, July 1 for about 12 hours. After the shoot at the gym, he and his merry band of filmmakers reportedly headed for the Biltmore for more filming on Monday July 14.
I first heard of the project from a friend (film buff) who called and informed me that a casting call was being held at the Melrose Restaurant in Phoenix during the month of November in 2013. He thought I might be interested because I worked as a film critic, print & broadcast, for several years. I politely told him I didn’t see a current connection, so I passed.

In February of this year, I received an email inviting me, and others, to attend a book signing with Author Phillip Penza. The topic was his book, “My name is nobody”. I wasn’t able to attend, but was told that 40-50 people attended his book signing.

Earlier on the same day as the shoot at the Gym, I was there for an unrelated matter (Meet & Greet) and noticed a number of trailers and Winnebago’s camped in the parking lot. I asked someone who was coming out of a trailer “what was going on” and I was told a movie was being shot and after identifying myself as a journalist, I timidly asked if I could come back and observe and ask questions. With assurance there was no harm, no foul in my return, I did so at 6 pm of the same day.

When I arrived, the entrance door to the Central Gym was locked. After knocking on the door a couple of times, a short seemingly intense woman, maybe 40 years old, came to the door, opened it and said yes, may I help you. I was startled, but managed to recover and identify myself. She walked to the office where the manager Tom Garcia was seated at his desk. We exchanged small talk and then another woman (Audrey Beth) approached me and asked me who I was and I told her. She told me that all of the crew & cast members had signed a letter of confidentiality and she hoped I would honor that same code of silence. Since I didn’t see the issue vital to national security or the preservation of mankind as we know it, listened, but had no intention of taking her seriously. I was later told that Audrey Beth is married to Phillip Penza and she serves as the film’s producer. She promised to call me when she thought it was okay for me to print a story. As you can see, I didn’t wait. Stifling a member of the press isn’t wise in a free society. I hope my experience won’t stop readers or movie goers from viewing Mr. Penza’s work. Best of luck to the power couple and their supporters. Making a movie is hard work.

Parting Shots: Eben Vargas (Gene Lewis Boxing) won the 141 lb. division titleat the Coachella California Desert Showdown Tournament….Mario Esparza is training again. Handlers hope the talented but inconsistent young boxer will stay focused. He needs to forget everything and box….. Please send your prayers to boxing fan Susan Hernandez who continues to battle cancer and never complains. 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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