|The Harder They Fall: Fight Night at The Cosmopolitan
By Sunset Thomas at ringside (May 9, 2011) Doghouse Boxing ( All Photos © Amelia Lukiman)
When the ring-wag announced that Junior Middleweight Carlos Molina hailed from the Windy City—Chicago, Frankie Gambino howled, “Hey, Las Vegas is the Windy City!” and on this night Frankie was right on the mark—he’s such a wiseguy…
And though the wind did blow with gusto it didn’t put a damper on the triumphant debut of Vegas’ newest boxing venue The Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan Hotel/Casino.
Frankie was singing “Up On The Roof” by The Drifters while Chris Rincon and Mathew Spindler were pouring us shots of John Jameson with beer backs while young hotties were showing back and it was a party—Viva Las Vegas style!
The scene around the Boulevard Pool at the Cosmo was festive and the place lent itself to a hip-style boxing–bash—the perfect venue for a Squared-Circle event (with not a square in the house). And though the card featured no “big” names the crowd did—Ernie Shavers, Christy Martin, Nonito Donaire and ESPN—with my guy, Teddy Atlas at the helm!
I love heavyweights and when Ken “One Tough Indian” Frank mixed it up with Cuban Glendy Hernandez I was leaning forward in my ringside seat. What a parallel universe. Glendy was cut, a fine specimen of male musculature while Frankie said of Frank, “The guy looks like he’s eaten a few Franks!” But Kenny was chuckin’ body shots at the Cuban Missile Crises and, he was wearing him down. And even though Glendy took a deserved unanimous decision, the fight was everything you want from a couple of big guys—a gutsy, in-close slugfest.
As for the Main Event, Carlos Molina put a pasting to Brooklyn bad-boy Allen Coyers. I thought the fight shouldn’t have been stopped in the 7th Round. Hey Coyers wasn’t hurt but he was moving in that direction—but erring on the side of caution is a good thing in our sport and so even Frankie agreed that there was no beef to be had with referee Tony Weeks.
Having a new venue in town, of course, adds to the “Fight Capital of the World” status of Las Vegas. But it also means another boxing promoter on the scene—in this case Leon Margules, a man with a sweet pugilistic pedigree.
“Hey, this guy was a barrister baby,” that Frankie is sooo poetic. “He was the attorney for the Cuban Heavyweight Jorge Luis Gonzalez when he defected from Cuba to the U.S. in 1992. Gonzalez went on to fight Riddick Bowe in 1995 at the MGM Grand.
| To loyal readers of Dog House Boxing, I hope you’ll all go to amazon.com and search for Anatomy of an Adult Film, that’s my bookit’s doing well. Anatomy of an Adult Film is a fast-paced read and a sexy rompI’m sure you’ll love it!
“Margules’ ties with the Cuban boxing world have remained tight. He started Team Freedom Promotions, which repped Cuban fighters who made their way to freedom’s shores, which is why he has a sizable stable of guys like super featherweight Rances Barthelemy (who improved his record to 12-0 on fight night, with a second-round TKO of Rynell Griffin).”
Frankie waxes something less than poetic when he gets into the whole Cuban/Communist boxing schematic.
“Hey, boxing has always been a means to an end—a way out of the dumps so to speak. Back in the day you had your Jewish, Irish and, of course, Italian fighters—a bunch of immigrants looking to make a tough buck—an honest buck—but a tough one. The blacks fought for the same reasons, Latinos—you name it. So what’s the inspiration for a Cuban fighter? I never got it. Just so you can ride with that kook Castro in a parade? No future. They had to get to the USA. Hell, if they just wanted to beat people up they could have joined the police force down there!”
Frankie’s kind of harsh, but he also makes sense—he’s old school that way…
So anyways, Margules helped these Cuban two-fisted defectors turn pro and make a living. He went on to represent the Florida Seminole tribe and their Seminole Warrior Boxing promotional company before buying them out in 2009. This guy knows his way around the fight game.
Margules is also a man with the integrity to know that a main-event, despite being the icing on any fight card, is still only one fight. The card at the Cosmopolitan was loaded with fighters having winning records going against opponents with winning records—which is not always the case of an undercard—but which explains the amount of quality boxing we witnessed at the Boulevard Pool on April 29th.
Margules has found himself a venue and will become a valuable asset to the Vegas fight scene. As for the Cosmopolitan, I’ve got to say the PR guy Alex Acuna provided me with everything I needed—answered phone calls and emails promptly. And Amelia Lukiman (an associate of Alex) was there for us when Frankie got us lost in the cavernous Cosmo. I mean it was our first time there and it’s an eyeful—the chandelier alone is a Vegas style 7th Wonder of the World. And the young, hip crowd had Frankie rubbernecking—turning his head until he resembled Linda Blair in the Exorcist. So anyways, we got mixed up and Amelia came for us and led us to our seats.
On a final note, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the large electronic Cosmo billboard/marquee that overlooks the Strip. They actually simulcast the action right there for all to see—something right out of Times Square but right here in the heart of Sin City!
Loyal DoghouseBoxing readers please check out my book (Anatomy of an Adult Film) and my cohorts hard-boiled murder/mystery novelDeath’s Green Eyes….
To find out more on Frankie Gambino
- Please click the link:
The Harder They Fall: How I meet Frankie Gambino.
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