Back to the Finish Line
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (April 1, 2011) Special to Doghouse Boxing

Alcorta Promotions, in association with II Feathers Promotions and All World Promotions, are back at the Finish Line Sports Grill in the city of Pomona, California for another hybrid card featuring professional boxing and amateur Muay Thai on Saturday night. The goal is to pick up where they left off.

"We're trying to build off of what we've been doing," said Ray Alcorta, who's had a busy slate of cards in 2011. "We did a show in Ontario; we did the show in Pomona [at the Finish Line Sports Grill]. We really like the venue in Pomona. I think it's something I can build off of and get a monthly show there. The people at the venue are great; they're helping out. They're getting 100 percent involved. They're actually doing a lot of the marketing and they really want to help me make something out of there, where we can grow and do something on a consistent basis. What I'm doing is- like I told you the last time- trying to build a little farm system. Something where I can build fighters, turn around and take them to Top Rank.

"So I'm building off the talent I used recently,” added Alcorta. “The main event is going to be a six-rounder; it's a club show, Arman Ovsepyan against Alex Viramontes. Viramontes is the perfect opponent. Anybody that's going to do something, you gotta be able to get by guys like this. When I used Ovsepyan the first time in Ontario, he was in against another journeyman, Francisco Rios Gil, and he had some time off. He did good but he struggled towards the end of the fight. I think we got a little tougher opponent and the guy is going to be ready to fight, this time. We want to build fighters; we want fighters to be able to learn while we're building them. We don't want to feed them bad opponents; we want to build them tough and them in with guys they should beat if they're going to go anywhere.

"If you don't beat a guy like Viramontes, who's a very, very tough fighter- he's ready and he's in shape for this fight- it's really going to tell us. Everybody benefits from this. From a promotional standpoint, you see where your fighters are going and how they're progressing. And from a fan’s standpoint, you get your money’s worth because you get a fighter who's in there where anyone can win."

The club show is an often forgotten component of building and developing young fighters at the local level, where followings can be cultivated early on. Often times, younger talent can get lost in the shuffle with the bigger, brand-name promotional outfits. But compared to years ago, while they aren't necessarily a dying breed, the number of cards across the country is shrinking.

Of this development, Alcorta says, "I don't think a lot of the club show promoters promote the event. That's what I think. I don't think they come out there and do stuff. They go and put fighters out there and they base it solely on the fighters to sell tickets and the promoters not going out there and doing their job and promoting outside of their own. They're depending on all the fighters who are on the card to sell themselves but they're not doing anything to promote on a broader level."

With that in mind, Alcorta could be expanding his reach.

"I'm actually working on something in Santa Ana," he explained. "Santa Ana, it's a city with a lot of fighters. When you look at different managers and the different promoters, everyone pretty much has a fighter from Santa Ana. I've worked with the Roman brothers [Jesse and Jose], who are working with Top Rank. You got Luis Ramos, who's with Golden Boy; Ronny Rios, he's from Santa Ana. You really got a lot of fighters. It seems like a fight town."

Like more and more other promotions, this is a Prius- in other words, a hybrid- where boxing is mixed in with another fighting discipline. More and more cards are throwing in MMA; here it's Muay Thai. The reason is simple; it makes these shows economically viable.

Alcorta explains, "What it is, California is one of the most expensive states to do boxing. What a lot of promoters are doing is amateur Muay Thai and amateur MMA, like the show last week at the Commerce Casino. So when it's amateur- the key word is 'amateur'- you don't pay them. You get rounds that count on your card without having to pay the extra expense. But I think it helps boxing, overall, because it helps get people out there and you get people who normally wouldn't be going to the boxing show to be there. They are there to see the MMA guy but if you notice, every show- my shows included- the boxing is really the main event. So those people end up going to see amateur Muay Thai or amateur MMA but they stay for the boxing.

"And if you get lucky and you get a good boxing card at the end of the night, everybody has a great time and you create new boxing fans."


The Finish Line Sports Grill is located at 2201 N. White Ave. Pomona, CA, 91768. Tickets are priced at $40, $60 and $75. You can call 562-205-6270 or 323-595-3662 for more information. First bell is at 7 PM; doors open at 5:30.


Noted trainer Gil Clancy passed away on Thursday at the age of 88. I never really had a chance to cover or talk to him but he's a man whose contributions to the sport were immense. Growing up as part of the last generation of boxing fan that watched boxing on weekend afternoons on network television, I'll always remember him best as one-half of the CBS broadcast team with Tim Ryan. He will be missed by the boxing community...Alonso Lopez, the son of the legendary “Finito”, Ricardo Lopez has been added to this weekend’s pay-per-view show featuring the rematch between Giovani Segura and Ivan Calderon from Mexicali...Steve Chambers will oppose Josesito Lopez on May 27th on “Friday Night Fights” on ESPN2...Baltimore Raven-turned-heavyweight Tommy Zbikowski will return on the April 23rd edition of “Top Rank Live” from Thackerville, OK...It's still strange to see Don Mattingly in Dodger blue. I remember how dominant he was as a Yankee before his back gave out. He was well on his way to Cooperstown. I still have his ‘84 Donruss rookie card, which, at one time, was listed at $100. I guarded that thing with my life...So 'Nique Wilkins punched some guy out that he owed money to? That's the most exciting thing to happen at an Atlanta Hawks game since the “Human Highlight Film” was in his prime....

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