The trouble ahead for boxing promoters hoping to go worldwide

The poor misunderstood Yamaguchi Falcao (r) tries to look like he has been wronged by referee Jose Bezerra (l).

The poor misunderstood Yamaguchi Falcao (r) tries to look like he has just been wronged by his disqualification by referee Jose Bezerra (l).

The interest in seeing more boxing on television is certainly there. But, and the big but remains: “Will the promoter be able to maintain the sponsorships, the advertising dollars, if they can’t control the professional decorum inside the ring and at the venue, when dealing with the uncivilized boxer?”

In his pro-debut on Saturday night, January 25, 2014, 26 year-old Yamaguchi Falcao of Vitoria, Sao Paulo, Brazil faced 21 year-old Martin Fidel “El Terrible” Rios (10-0-2, 3 KOs) of Parera, La Pampa, Argentina in a scheduled eight round middleweight bout which aired on Fox Deportes. This Golden Boy Promotion was also making its debut on Globosat in Brazil with the show being aired from the Arena Santos in Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

What transpired on Saturday night demonstrates the risk of showcasing this sport worldwide. If there are judges, rotten to the core judges, a referee that tends to show favoritism or a boxer who has no business being in the ring at all, the world will soon know.

Yamaguchi Falcao of Vitoria, Sao Paulo, Brazil is shown unloading a straight left to the head of his opponent Martin Fidel “El Terrible” Rios.

Yamaguchi Falcao (r) of Vitoria, Sao Paulo, Brazil is shown unloading a straight left to the chin of his opponent Martin Fidel “El Terrible” Rios (l).

Martin Fidel “El Terrible” Rios is shown landing an overhand right to the chin of Yamaguchi Falcao.

Martin Fidel “El Terrible” Rios (l) is shown landing an overhand right to the chin of Yamaguchi Falcao (r) in their battle on Saturday evening January 25, 2014 at the Arena Santos in Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The boxers in this match illustrate the problems ahead. First of all, you had Falcao making his ring entrance with a hunter’s axe on his shoulder, supposedly to point out his intent “to ruthlessly chop his rival in half.” 

From the outset, both boxers used every dirty trick in the book to disgrace not only themselves but the sport. Rios, who spat at Falcao and twice at the referee, acted as if it was acceptable. His counterpart, Falcao, kept pushing Rios’ head down, attempted a head butt, continually hit him in the back of the head and also held.

In the first two rounds, the outmuscled referee, Jose Bezerra, did everything he could to maintain the proper decorum by issuing warnings and even took a point deduction from Rios. With the boxers ignoring his directive, they continued to fight even after the bell sounded to end round two.

Before starting round #3, the frustrated referee disqualified both. Bezerra could no longer stomach their disgusting antics. As seen on the following video, both of these boxers and perhaps the corner people should be reprimanded by asking them to pay a fine or receive a suspension.

Now here’s the problem for the Brazilian. Falcao signed a five year contract with Golden Boy Promotions, and it is written into their agreement he must appear, on average, five fights per year. Falcao’s next fight has yet to be scheduled which makes the upcoming year sound a bit hectic. After this fiasco, Rolando Arellano, his manager stated, “I have not ruled out fighting in the United States.” 

Falcao brothers winning gold medals

And to think, at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, Yamaguchi Falcao (above right), along with his brother, Esquiva Falcao (above left), representing Brazil, won medals for their country. Yamaguchi Falcao won the bronze in the light heavyweight division, while Esquiva Falcao won the silver in the middleweight division. For Yamaguchi Falcao, being a national hero didn’t last long. 

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About the Author

Jim Wyatt, a 1970 graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has written weekly sports features for several Military newspapers, WCKMuayThai.com, SportofBoxing.com and Examiner.com as their San Diego Boxing Examiner. He was one of the four "Wise Guys" who predicted winning football selections versus the Vegas spreads. Some of the people he enjoyed meeting: Earvin "Magic" Johnson, WWF Wrestler Lita, LaDainian Tomlinson, Nate Kaeding and Darren Bennett of the Chargers, Tony Gwynn and Jake Peavy of the Padres, soccer stars Shannon MacMillan and Julie Foudy, Mixed Martial Artists Cris Cyborg, Junior Dos Santos, the Nogueira brothers plus the many great people involved in boxing and Muaythai.