The CyberBoxingZone News
Duran Passes Brain Tests
Roberto Duran tops off his tour of tribal
casinos in Washington state on Saturday, August 12 at the Yakima
Nation Legends Casino in Toppenish, WA. Though Duran has been
doing public workout sessions at other casinos under contract with
Ballys, it is Legends pro fight card that proposes to
feature the 49 year-old Duran (103-15, 69 KO's) in a ten round 168
pound main event against 30 year-old Patrick Joseph Goosen (19-2,
Goosen's last fight was a 1999 ten round decision loss to Hector
Camacho Senior. He has been out of the ring for over a year and
has reportedly been coaxed from retirement to serve as Duran's
As of this writing, neither Duran nor Goosen has completed the
requirements for licensing by the Yakima Tribal Commission. Both
are expected to submit complete applications early this week.
Concern has been expressed by various parties
about the fact that Duran was placed on the national suspension
list by Nevada in August,1998 after being stopped in the third
round by William Joppy. The suspension includes a requirement for
an MRI and a complete neurological examination with the notation
"Dr. (Flip) Homansky must O.K."
Duran has fought twice outside the U.S.A. since the Joppy
fight without clearing the suspension with Nevada. In March of '99
Duran lost a ten round decision to Omar Gonzalez while weighing
178 lbs. On June 16, this year in Panama, Duran won a 12 round
decision over Pat Lawlor in partial revenge for the 1991 bout in
which Lawlor TKO'd him in the 6th. Duran, who is reputed to roll
in groceries between fights, is listed as weighing 165 for his
June 16 win.
Jeff Connor, Marketing Director of Legends, has said
consistently that if Duran doesn't pass the neurological tests
required by Nevada, he will not fight at Legends.
Duran passed his MRI in Miami two weeks ago. He
also passed the full compliment of neurological diagnostic tests
requested by Nevada and administered last week in San Pedro, CA by
Richard S. Gluckman, M.D., the neurological consultant for the
California Commission. In his comments on
the test results Dr. Gluckman wrote that at this time there is
"nothing objective on the testing that was requested of us
that would mandate him not fighting." In Gluckman's
opinion there is "no reason for him not to fight at this
Rumor has it that the Washington Department of Licensing
Professional Athletics Division is looking for revenge after the Yakima
tribe booted it off the reservation just months ago and founded
their own tribal commission under the provisions of the federal
McCain act. The Yakima Commission adopted the Washington state
rules as a basis for operation but is expected to make some
modifications in the near future. Washington, for example, allows
a fighter to be licensed who has six straight losses. The tribe
reportedly considers that number too high.
Word is that the Washington agency has been lobbying Greg Sirb,
President of the Association of Boxing Commissions and Mark Ratner,
Director of the Nevada Commission to prevent the Duran bout. Sirb
and others have made contact with Jeff Connor of Legends. Connor
says, "They're concerned about the safety of the
participants, and that's nice. But they're not telling us anything
we don't know, or anything we wouldn't be doing anyway."
Just a few years ago the Washington Department of Licensing
aging Iran Barkley to fight while under medical suspension from
New York, and has fostered the vegetarian mismatch diets of
perennial heavyweight contenders Joe Hipp and Tim Puller, among
many others. The Washington Commission was roundly criticized in
October of '99 for permitting the first sanctioned pro female vs
male bout during a non-casino card in Seattle.
The agency currently regulates pro boxing at tribal casinos in
Washington without any written contract with the tribes. Critics
say the Department of Licensing has no legal authority to tax
casino shows or to regulate any activities on tribal lands.
Meanwhile, the state of Washington is at war with the Yakima tribe
for other reasons. State police seize truckloads of cigarettes en
route to the Yakima reservation where they are sold without the
state tax. Following the cigarette embargo, the Yakima banned the
sale of all alcoholic beverages on the reservation, causing a
persistent furor in surrounding communities and the State
government. In July, Washington legislators were thwarted in a
vigorous attempt to eradicate all tribal sovereignty in the state.
Jeff Connor of Legends insists that the Department of Licensing
attempts to quash the Duran bout has nothing to do with the
general warfare. Connor, who moonlights as a stand-up comic, asks
"What do the people involved in boxing want most?"
He answers his own question. "They want to go to boxing
matches for free. They want to sneak under the circus tent and see
the show without paying." The whole hullabaloo, according to
Connor, is just the state officials' bitterness over not getting
free passes to Legends shows anymore.
More cynical types, such as this reporter, suspect that state
governments try anything to throttle the success of tribal casinos
which are direct business rivals, eating into state lottery
profits. Tribal casinos have rescued the sport of boxing from
death by strangulation by reviving the tradition of club
shows across the nation.
On the undercard for the Saturday, August 12 show:
In a ten round Women's International Boxing Federation Americas
title bout at 126 lbs, Kelsey Jeffries (7-1) of Gilroy, CA
meets Cynthia Prouder (5-7) now fighting out of Freddie Roach's
Wildcard Boxing Gym in Los Angeles.
In a lightweight six, rugged and undefeated Eleazar Contreras
(9-0, 3 KO) of Bakersfield, CA steps in with Victor Mendoza (11-9)
of Nogales, Mexico.
A six-round featherweight match pits Juan Carlos Martinez (9-13)
of Guadalajara, Mex. vs Ramon Aragon (3-10) of Sinaloa, Mex.
A four round Jr. welterweight encounter is scheduled between Mike
(4-4-1) of Aloha, Oregon and Gerardo Pacheco (0-5) of Mexico.
Heavyweights Cody Gray (1-0) of Washington and Ben Pearson
Idaho are scheduled for four.