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The Sycuan Way: Boxing’s Newest “Family.”

"We have been very lucky and have a great team to have been able to secure fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Joan Guzman, Israel Vasquez, and Julio Diaz this fast. We will continue to treat our fighters and team with great respect and they know that they are part of a family."-Glen Quiroga, president of Sycuan boxing operations intends for Sycuan to make a big impact on the sport.

On August 9, 2005, at the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, and televised on ESPN 2’s “Tuesday Night Fights” series, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, boxing’s newest promotional company, will host a boxing show to honor the United States military men and women who have, and continue to risk their lives overseas. To my recollection (leave it alone Britkid…lol), this will mark the first time in promotional boxing history that a promoter themselves will purchase the entire gate, approximately 10,000 seats, and turn them over to the Camp Pendleton officials for the benefit of active duty military personal and their families. This is not exactly the way that “promoters” do business, but the Sycuan Tribe considers themselves as more of a “family” than “promoters.” “Everyone that is part of our family is taken care of and we make sure that all of our people are looked after. That is why Julio Diaz, Mia St. John, and Butterbean have taken less money and agreed to do the fights at Camp Pendleton. These fighters want to contribute to what is a great benefit and that is to show support and respect for our troops,” said Michael Marley who is the VP/Director of Public Relations for Sycuan Boxing.

Glen Quiroga, president of boxing operations for Sycuan, had this to say, “I think that it is very important that we show admiration and appreciation to our soldiers. A lot of people only hear the bad things that are happening out their (Iraq and Afghanistan) and tend to forget that we need to support our troops. They are out there following orders and doing their job. We at Sycuan felt that it was very important to show our troops the respect and support that have earned and deserve. The fighters were in complete agreement and did not hesitate.”

Sycuan is off to a fast start as their “siblings” include 140-pound prospect Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., former lightweight champion Julio “Kid” Diaz, former 122-pound champion Joan “Little Tyson” Guzman, current IBF 122-pound champion Israel Vasquez, former cruiserweight champion Orlin Norris, and perennial title contender Antonio “Tono” Diaz. Quiroga added, “This is a family effort and that is the way we do business. The Sycuan Tribe is made up of about five families and we translate that united atmosphere to the people we work with. We have been very lucky and have a great team to have been able to secure fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Joan Guzman, Israel Vasquez, and Julio Diaz this fast. We will continue to treat our fighters and team with great respect and they know that they are part of a family. We have a lot of special events planed with our fighters and the public will definitely benefit from these great guys.”

Had this been some scandal with accusations of fight fixing, promotional outfits stealing money from fighters, pugilists being sentenced for criminal charges, or anything Mike Tyson has done to disgrace our beloved sport over the past decade, I’m sure the mainstream media in general would have immediately ran the story and further discredited our passion. Since it is a promotional “family,” and boxers voluntarily taking less money, doing their part to respect the war efforts of the many soldiers involved, and honoring them with fistic warriors doing battle risking their own lives, I doubt that anyone other than us, the internet boxing media, will pay it much attention. Such is life, and life is boxing.

Contact Sergio Martinez at srg_mrtnz@yahoo.com

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