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Thread: A Brief History of Forum Boxing

  1. #1
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    A Brief History of Forum Boxing


    Forum Boxing has long been recognized as one of the premier boxing organizations in the world and has more than lived up to its reputation for putting on consistently good, competitive fights.

    Forum Boxing has averaged nearly 20 fight cards a year at Great Western Forum since 1982. Since 1988, it's averaged more than 25 shows (including six a year at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim). Amazingly, there has never been a cancellation.

    Since February 1989, Forum Boxing has promoted 95 world title fights, 67 of which were at the GW Forum. In the last 97 months, it also has promoted or co-promoted world title fights in Las Vegas, Sacramento, Reno, Lake Tahoe, Corpus Christi, Tex., at the Arrowhead Pond.

    Besides world title fights, Forum Boxing also has staged countless boxing tournaments. World class boxers in all weight classes compete in these tournaments, some of which have offered as much as $106,000 to the eventual winner.

    Simply, Forum Boxing, under the direction of president Dr. Jerry Buss, who also owns the Los Angeles Lakers, is the reason why boxing is alive and well in Southern California.

    Forum Boxing also is responsible for introducing not only to Southern California but to the United States many of the top prizefighters from south of the border.

    If you didn't know, a difference between Forum Boxing and the vast majority of promoters is that, for the most part, it promotes fights, not fighters. In other words, it does not stage mere formalities; that is, "house fights" where one guy not only is expected to win but will look good doing so. Bottom line is, it does not tolerate matchups that insults the fans. Forum Boxing doesn't care if a favorite wins, of course, providing he has to fight to win.

    Even world champions haven't had it all their way in Forum Boxing-promoted title fights. In a five-month stretch in 1989-90, for example, four consecutive WBC champions were dethroned at Great Western Forum, aka The House of Upsets.

    Forum Boxing is no stranger to pay-per-view, having promoted several successful pay-per-view events since 1991, among them the first two fights in the memorable Chiguita Gonzalez-Michael Carbajal series. Other main events on our PPV shows were Chiquita-Jesus Zuniga, Marco Antonio Barrera-Jesse Benavides, Chiquita-Saman Sorjaturong and Thomas Hearns-Virgil Hill.

    Forum Boxing established a first in March 1994 on pay-per-view when it promoted a world title fights from each of the four major organizations -- the IBF, WBC, WBA and WBO.

    Forum Boxing's Monday fight cards are shown nationally on Fox Sports West. KCAL-TV, Channel 9, televises six shows a year live on Saturday nights in Southern California. The popular fight cards get terrific ratings. KCAL won an Emmy in 1996 for their June 1995 presentation of the WBO world title fight between Hector Lopez and Sammy Fuentes in Las Vegas.

    In the past, Forum Boxing has been honored many times by various boxing groups and publications (Fight of the Year, Upset of the Year, Round of the Year, Promoter of the Year, Site of the Year, Ringcard Girls of the Year, etc.).

    All the accolades are nice, to be sure.

    Even more satisfying, however, is forever knowing that the type of fights it promotes leave a good taste in the mouths of the fans, who come away feeling that they got their money's worth.

    Some of the boxers who have appeared on Forum Boxing Fight cards at the GW Forum in the past (including the days of promoters George Parnassus and Don Fraser) are Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton, Ruben Olivares, George Foreman, Bobby Chacon, Thomas Hearns, Alexis Arguello, Chucho Castillo, Jerry Quarry, Jean Josselin, Alan Rudkin, Billy Backus, Julio Cesar Chavez, Lionel Rose, Terry Norris, Roger Mayweather, Jorge Paez, Jose Naploes, Carlos Zarate, Raul Soriano, Alfonso Zamora, Jesus Pimentel, Oscar De La Hoya, Greg Page, Albert Davila, Jose Legra, Hedgemon Lewis, Marty Monroe, Tim Witherspoon, Bonecrusher Smith, Ernesto Marcel, David Kotey, Danny Lopez, Sean O Grady, Lupe Pintor, Art Frias, Enrique Pinder, Randy Shields, Rafael Herrera, Rodrigo Valdez, Hedgemon Lewis, Emile Griffith, Rodolfo Martinez, Ahzuma Nelson, Marcos Villasana, Juan “ Kid” Meza Curtis Cokes, Micheal Carbajal, Jonny Tapia, "Chiquita" Gonzales, Arturo Lomeli, Ben Villflor, Rodolfo Martinez, Dwight Hawkins, Takao Sakurai , Frankie Narvaez, Evan Armstrong, Irish Frankie Crawford, Rafael Herrera, Raul Cruz, Enrique Pinder, Ruben Navarro, Manuel Pulgarcito Ramos, Jack O'Halloran, Rafael (Bazooka) Limon, Paul Ferreri, Erbito Salavarria, Mike Waever, Juan Kid Meza, Ruben Castillo, Frankie Duarte, Marcos Villisana, Jaime Garza, Andy Price, Jose Medal, Ernie Red Lopez, Rojelio Lara, Romeo Anaya Irish Art Haffey, Genero Hernandez, Julio Cesar Barboa Vincente Saldivar, Mark Johnson, Marco Antonio Berrera, Sammy Fuentes, Luis Santana and Bollilo Gonzalez.

  2. #2
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    A Brief History of Forum Boxing

    A few of the great, memorable, significant fight dates in the 29-year history of boxing at Great Western Forum:

    June 14, 1968 -- Owner Jack Kent Cooke and promoter/matchmaker George Parnassus stage first fight card, ChuChu Castillo winning a 12-round decision over Jesus Pimentel in main event.

    Dec. 6, 1968 -- In the initial world title fight here, Lionel Rose retains bantamweight crown on a hotly-disputed 15-round split decision over ChuChu Castillo before 15,156.

    April 18, 1969 -- Jose "Mantequilla" Napoles wins world welterweight title on a TKO 13 over Curtis Cokes.

    Aug. 22, 1969 -- The largest boxing crowd ever here -- 18,408 -- watches "Rockabye" Ruben Olivares knock out Lionel Rose in fifth round to retain world bantamweight title.

    Sept. 10, 1970 -- Muhammad Ali wins a controversial 12- round nod over Ken Norton before 12,419, who paid $476,750 to establish a California gate record that would last 27 years.

    April 3, 1971 -- A crowd of 16,594 sees Olivares win the rubber match with ChuChu Castillo to regain his world bantam title. The boxers split first two bouts -- Castillo won title on a TKO 14 before 16,707 on Oct. 16, 1970 after Olivares had captured a 15-round decision to retain his crown the previous April 18 in front of 18,141 (the second largest crowd here).

    April 23, 1977 -- In a hugely anticipated non-title bout between unbeaten bantamweight champions, Carlos Zarate scores a devastating TKO 4 over Alfonso Zamora before 13,971.

    Nov. 17, 1979 -- The end of an era, sort of, as 11-year run of promoters George Parnassus and Don Fraser ends with their 30th title fight here since 1968 -- Alexis Arguello by TKO 8 over Bobby Chacon to retain WBC super feather title.

    Aug. 31, 1982 -- Forum Boxing, under direction of Dr. Jerry Buss, promotes its initial fight card (the co-features: Hedgemon "Two Gun" Robertson vs. Frankie "Preacherman" Moultrie and Gonzalo "Sony" Montellano vs. Doug James)

    March 21, 1983 -- Rudy Hernandez (welterweight) and Henry Hearns (heavyweight) win their 12-round fights to become Forum Boxing's first tournament champions.

    Jan. 19, 1984 -- In one of first classic wars here under Buss, Billy "The Kid" Robertson wins Schlitz middleweight tournament on a 12-round decision over Jeff Stoudmire.

    Sept. 27, 1984 -- Genaro Hernandez wins his pro debut on a four-round decision over Dino Ramirez.

    April 19, 1985 -- Buss and Don King co-promote the first world title fights since 1979; Julio Cesar Chavez stops Ruben Castillo to retain WBC super feather belt and Juan "Kid" Meza retains WBC super bantam title on a TKO over Mike Ayala.

    June 12, 1986 -- Mark "There's A New Sheriff In Town" Wills scores an upset TKO 9 over Greg Page, who quit on his stool, in a Schlitz heavyweight tournament quarterfinal.

    Aug. 13, 1986 -- A young, unknown kid named Terry Norris wins first of three straight starts here to improve to 2-0.

    Dec. 10, 1986 -- J.B. Williamson outpoints Prince Mohammed across 12 rounds to win WBC light heavyweight title.

    June 27, 1987 -- In a nationally televised bloodbath for NABF bantamweight title, Frankie Duarte wins by TKO 10 over Albert Davila.

    Aug. 13, 1987 -- Derrick Kelly hands Terry Norris first defeat, winning a unanimous decision in their welterweight tournament semifinal.

    Feb. 29, 1988 -- Azumah Nelson captures an unpopular 12- round decision over Azabache Martinez to retain WBC super feather belt.

    March 7, 1988 -- Derrick "Hurricane" Kelly wins lopsided 12-round decision over Felipe Canela to capture Stroh's welterweight tournament championship

    Aug. 1, 1988 -- Miguel "Happy" Lora retains WBC banty title on a decision over Albert Davila; in semi-main, Julio Cesar Chavez knocks out Yogi Buchanan in the third.

    May 13, 1989 -- The largest crowd in 1980's -- 10,052 -- turns out to watch Julio Cesar Chavez retain WBC super lightweight title on a TKO 11 over Roger Mayweather.

    June 5, 1989 -- On a night Gilbero Roman retained WBC super fly title on a decision over Juan Carazo, Chango Moreno registers the prelim upset of year, knocking out Kelcie Banks in fourth round before 5,200.

    June 22, 1989 -- In a "Fight of the Decade" candidate, Daniel Zaragoza retains WBC 122-pound title on a 12-round split decision over Paul Banke in the first of their three classic meetings.

    Oct. 23, 1989 -- More than 7,500 turn out to see WBC banty champ Jibaro Perez outpoint challenger Diego Avila.

    Nov. 13, 1989 -- Jorge "Maromero" Paez makes Manchester & Prairie debut, and totally brings down house, winning a TKO 7 over Alan Makitoki and, for good measure, getting kissed by ringcard girl.

    Dec. 11, 1989 -- Jesus Salud dethrones Dinamita Estrada, wining WBA 122-pound title on a ninth-round disqualification

    April 23, 1990 -- In a gut-wrenching, bloody slugfest, Banke knocks out Zaragoza in ninth round to capure WBC super bantamweight tile.

    Aug. 27, 1990 -- In a surprise, Javier Leon dominates Olympic gold medalist Paul Gonzales en route to a decisive l0-round decision.

    Nov. 5, 1990 -- In a shocker, Pedro Decima wins WBC super banty title by upsetting Banke on a TKO 4.

    Dec. 19, 1990 -- In a bigger upset than Douglas-Tyson a couple months later, Rolando Pascua deals Chiquita Gonzalez his first loss, winning WBC light flyweight title on a KO 6.

    Feb. 11, 1991 -- The second largest crowd since 1979 -- 8,807 -- sees five-time champion Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns flatten Kemper Morton in third round.

    Feb. 25, 1991 -- Greg Richardson upsets Jibaro Perez on a 12-round decision to capture WBC bantamweight title.

    March 25, 1991 -- In his first defense after shocking Chiquita, Rolando Pascua is forced to quit by Melchor Cob Castro, losing his WBC light fly title by TKO 10.

    May 20, 1991 -- In one of most controversial results in a world title fight here, Greg Richardson retains WBC banty title on a disputed 12-round decision over Victor Rabanales.

    Aug. 12, 1991 -- In an excellent scrap, Mantecas Medina outpoints Troy Dorsey to retain IBF featherweight title.

    Oct. 7, 1991 -- Jibaro Perez wins a hard-fought 12-round decision over Chicanero Perez to retain WBA 122-pound title.

    Nov. 18, 1991 -- Mantecas retains IBF 126-pound title on ninth-round technical decision over Tom "Boom Boom" Johnson.

    Jan. 5, 1992 -- The World Boxing Association honors the Great Western Forum as 1991 Site of the Year.

    June 29, 1992 -- Bolillo Gonzalez wins vacant WBO junior welter title, impressively flattening Jimmy Paul in second round.

    Aug. 24, 1992 -- Wild and crazy Jorge Paez is his usual unpredictable, entertaining self as he helps Forum Boxing celebrate its 10th anniversary by defeating Brian Brown.

    Nov. 6, 1992 -- Before over 8,800 fans, Rafael Ruelas scores a TKO 10 over Paez.

    Nov. 23, 1992 -- U.S. Olympic gold medalist Oscar De La Hoya makes his pro debut before more than 6,600 hometown fans, flattening Lamar Williams in the first round.

    Dec. 7, 1992 -- Chiquita regains WBC light fly title on a 12-round decision over Cob Castro.

    March 22, 1993 -- In a devastating performance, Bolillo retains WBO junior welter title by flooring Tony Baltazar three times in the first round.

    April 26, 1993 -- In one of shortest world title fights anywhere, a bout between WBA junior lightweight champion Genaro Hernandez and Jibaro Perez is stopped after 28 seconds because of an unintentional headbutt.

    May 18, 1993 -- In a breakthrough performance, Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson registers an upset 12-round split decision over former champion and then No. 2-ranked Raton Jimenez.

    June 28, 1993 -- In perhaps the Knockout Punch of the Year, Genaro Hernandez finishes ex-champ Jibaro Perez with a devastating left hook to the liver to retain WBA title.

    Jan. 31, 1994 -- Genaro destroys Cocas Ramirez, knocking him out in the seventh to retain WBA 130-pound title.

    Feb. 19, 1994 -- Before more than 10,200 fans, Chiquita wins a split decision over defending IBF/WBC light flyweight champ Michael Carbajal and Rafael Ruelas wins IBF lightweight title on a close decision over Freddie Pendleton.

    Aug. 29, 1994 -- In a minor upset, Colombian Harold Grey outpoints Julio Borboa to win IBF super flyweight title.

    Jan. 9, 1995 -- In a career-best showing, Jesse "El Cuervo" Magana demolishes former No. 1-ranked contender, Rudy Zavala, stopping him in fifth round.

    July 15, 1995 -- In most everybody's Upset of the Year, Seman Sorjaturong stops chiquita in seventh round to win IBF/WBC light flyweight titles.

    Nov. 6, 1995 -- The amazing Zaragoza regains WBC super bantam title on a split decision over Hector Acero-Sanchez.

    Feb. 3, 1996 -- In Fight of the Year, Marco Antonio Barrera knocks out Kennedy McKinney in 12th round to retain WBO junior feather title before nearly 9,000 fans.

    April 29, 1996 -- In a career-best performance, Juan Manuel Marquez demolishes ex-champ Julio Gervacio, knocking him out in eighth round.

    Sept. 14, 1996 -- In a one-sided war, Barrera retains WBO junior feather title on a KO 10 over Magana.

    March 17, 1997 -- Bolillo Gonzalez captures a disputed 10-round split decision over Hector Lopez.

    July 28, 1997 -- Jorge Eliecer Julio escapes with a 12- round decision over Oscar Maldonado to win WBO banty title.

    Aug. 25, 1997 -- Melchor Cob Castro clearly outpoints Jesus Chong to win WBO light flyweight tile as Forum Boxing celebrates its 15th anniversary with its 67th world title fight at GW Forum.

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