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Wednesday, September 26, 2012
First NYC casino card was a success

By Michael Woods

You had the feeling the first boxing card at an NYC casino would go pretty well if you saw promoter Felipe Gomez before the card kicked off on Saturday night at Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, Queens. He flashed a grin every now and again as customers strolled in, and during the course of the night, which featured solid bouts, he did indeed smile between bouts, as the event unfolded smoothly.

NYFightBlog reached out to Gomez a couple days after the show and asked for his impression of the night, which saw Joe Smith of Shirley, Long Island, score a TKO3 win over Yasin Rashid of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

"Overall, I thought it was a great show," Gomez said. "I'm excited, it worked out well."

More than 1,600 fight fans paid to get in, a pretty darned impressive number, considering that there were no "stars" on the show. Gomez served up local guys, prospects, hungry guys who want to climb the ladder, and just about across the board, was rewarded with ebb-and-flow action.

The scrap between Frank Galarza and Alantez Fox stole the show. Red Hook's Galarza ate a boatload of left hooks from the 6-5 Marylander Fox, but refused to stop attacking. The judges called the eight-rounder a draw, and Gomez wants to stage a rematch on a high profile platform, like ESPN or ShoBox.

"Hats off to both of them. They took the biggest risk of their careers," Gomez said. Both men entered the ring Saturday with a 7-0 mark.

"I would've loved to see Frank win -- he's under our promotional banner -- but I credit the other kid coming to Frank's hometown," Gomez said. "But I tip my cap to the New York Commission, the judges, because out-of-town guys know they can come here and get a fair shake."

You have to root for a guy like Gomez, who is giving neighborhood guys a chance to compete.

He didn't lose his shirt, did he?

"We definitely didn't lose money," he told me.

Such a show can cost more than $75,000 to stage, with the cost of the venue, the ring, the purses, the security and insurance. So it's good to hear that he held his own financially, if you root for there to be ample stages for boxers to work on.

He didn't want to delve into specifics of the deal, but knowing what I know of the business, I do believe Gomez should have some leverage with the Resorts crew. If he doesn't get a share of concessions, that is something that he could ask to share in moving forward, for example. That was a brew-drinking crew at Resorts, and I spied a steady stream of patrons heading down for a chance at the slot machines all night.

Gomez said that was the first of four shows he'll do at Resorts; the next one, likely to be headlined by Vinny Maddalone, will unfold Dec. 8. He will check with the Resorts people to see if the fourth Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight can be screened at the venue after the live action.