A Bad Night in Vegas: A Boxing Story

His name was Javier Ayala and he was from Los Angeles by way of Tijuana. He had once gone ten rounds with the great Roberto Duran in 1973 in Los Angeles and also went the distance with Leroy Haley. But on this night at the Silver Slipper in Las Vegas, his main event opponent was Bruce Finch whose claim to fame would be that after his 3rd round TKO loss to Sugar Ray Leonard in1982 in Reno, Leonard would have surgery to repair a detached retina.

Coming into the Finch fight, Javier had lost six straight including ones to the very capable Jerry “Schoolboy” Cheatham and Dujuan Johnson as well as to rugged Lou Bizzarro. Arguably, he had become a gate through which prospects must get through before going to the next level.

I was visiting my brother at the time (I had been on assignment in nearby Phoenix and flew in for some R and R), but on this particular July night in 1980 I was alone. After several hours of Black Jack at Bally’s and dinner at Kathy’s Southern Cooking restaurant, I pursued my real interest of the evening which was to watch a young lightweight prospect out of Youngstown, Ohio by the name of Ray “Boom Boom” Manicini. He had won ten in a row and was on the undercard in a eight-rounder against one Leon Smith whom he blew away in the first round with several unanswered body shots to Smith’s liver that you could hear throughout the hall…………I was on the aisle near ringside and they sounded like muffled bombs. I was most impressed and anything else on this particular boxing night would simply be icing on the cake.

Chris Schwenke fought his first pro fight and won a four-round UD over Bill Fallow. He would then go on a 14 fight win streak. There was an uneventful 6-rounder before the Finch-Ayala bout between Danny Sanders and Irish Pat Coffey which Danny won by TKO in the last round. At that point, there was a brief intermission and I remember this young boy of about 9 or 10 years old who then appeared and was standing just to the rear of my seat. I asked him his name and he said he was Javier Ayala’s son. He was very shy and humble. We had a nice exchange and I said I hoped his father would do well. As the fighters walked to the ring, I noticed Javier reach over to pat his son on the shoulder and give him a smile and wink. The fighters were then introduced amidst the usual fanfare and the crowd readied for the main event.

Finch, from Milwaukee, had lost only three fights coming in and these were to the very capable Tommy Hearns, Larry Bonds, and Pete Ranzany. He had won 21 and was touted as having lot’s of pop in his punches. The much younger Finch looked to be in excellent welterweight shape, while Ayala, at age 37, looked just a bit shop worn.

As I torched up my Cuesto Rey……….thankfully, there was no political correctness back in 1980, particularly in a gambling casino……….the fighters received their instructions touched gloves, the bell rang and the fight began. The first two rounds were mostly cat and mouse with both fighters feeling each other out and getting in a few decent shots. Finch threw some neat combinations and seemed to have taken control by the end of round two. In the third round is when it happened. Both fighters were coming out of a clinch and as they set themselves, Ayala moved forward to throw a telegraphed looping right. Finch got there first unleashing a short and vicious right uppercut which hit Ayala at the point of his chin. You could hear the blow back in the gambling area.

Ayala hit the canvas as if he had been hit with a ten gauge shotgun……..and that’s when what started out to be a pleasant evening of manly fun became something else. As he landed on his back, his body hit before his head which then whip sawed onto the canvas. He stayed down as his only handler hovered over him and as ringside officials and the referee quickly went to revive him. He was unconscious and stayed that way for between 15 and 20 minutes without so much as moving a limb. A stretcher was being readied, the crowd was hushed, and a genuine sense of concern permeated. Everyone feared the worse. Finch, while elated with his one punch victory, was visibly concerned. While this was all going on, I glanced over at his son standing in the rear area and I’ll never forget the look on his face or the tears in his eyes. I went over to him, put my arm around him and said “don’t worry, your father will be fine.” He was shaking all over and it was all I could do to keep myself composed.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Javier Ayala arose to scattered applause, but their was palpable relief as well. He left the ring under his own power, albeit unsteadily, and seemed okay. As he was heading for the dressing room, he stopped and took his son’s hand in his own and they both disappeared from sight as they went into the room. The word that best descibes what I witnessed at that moment was pathos……..my overwhelming emotion was one of sympathy and pity.

I never found out exactly what happened to Ayala but I do know that was his last fight. He would finish with a record of 21 wins, 24 losses, and 1 draw. Where he is today or where his son might be remain mysteries that I just as soon not solve. My connection with Javier Ayala has remained deliberately unresolved.

As for Bruce Finch, he would go on to win eleven in a row before being stopped by Sugar Ray in 1982. He would then lose six of his next seven fights before retiring in 1985.

To this day, when I get giddy over some fight or engage in a heated argument over boxing in general and need a reality check, I always think back to that bad night in Vegas………one that would leave me with indelible memories. “In no other sport is the connection between performer and observer so intimate, so frequently painful, so unresolved.” – Joyce Carol Oates

Be a Sharp Gambler

The gambling world is full of people who just throw down hard earned money

without thinking about what they are doing. Are you one of those people who will

just go with the flow? If so, you are most likely a losing gambler or you are not

winning as much money as you could be. There are three main factors that make up

every successful gambler: money management, value and knowledge. This article

will take a look at all these of these areas and help you become a sharp gambler.

Money Management

It’s amazing how many people gamble and don’t think, for even one second, about

money management. You wouldn’t go on a trip without thinking about what you

want to do right? Then why gamble without a goal? When you go on a trip, is your

goal to simply go on a trip? Of course it’s not. You at least decide on a destination,

time of stay and so forth.

Before you gamble, you should have some goals in mind. Here’s a quick list of a

couple goals you want to define.

1. What is your total bankroll for the gambling session?

2. If I am ahead $X, I will leave.

3. If I lose X% of my bankroll, I will leave or I will leave once my bankroll is gone.

4. I will devote most of my time to playing [ insert game ].

5. While playing [ insert game ], my average bet will be around $x.

Defining these five goals will help you keep organized and focused.

Value

The sharp gambler stay way from bets that are for suckers. He or she is only

concerned with getting good value. Here’s a list of key bets and activities to stay

away from.

1. Slot Machines – The payback percentage is poor.

2. Roulette – Huge house advantage.

3. Proposition bets in Craps.

4. Parlay cards in sports betting that contain a large amount of selections.

5. The insurance bet in Blackjack.

6. The tie bet in Baccarat.

7. Caribbean Stud Poker, which has a large house advantage.

8. Bingo

There’s no law against playing the above items from time to time, but you have to

do it in moderation and not make these items part of your main betting activities.

Knowledge

This is one of those factors that separate the long-term winning gamblers from the

consistently losing gamblers. If you are going to wager on something, you should

know all you can about it. Study the game, learn the tricks and understand

everything about it. By being knowledgeable in the game, you will know how to

maximize your wagers and your time.

Pick a game you want to play and follow this guide to become a guru.

1. First, research the game by typing in the name at your local search engine.

Look for how-to-play articles, tips and strategy. You will find many free resources

out there.

2. Find an online casino that offers play money games and go practice what you

have learned. If are learning about sports betting or horse racing, find a sports book

to get odds from and play bet.

3. Visit your bookstore and look for books on the subject. Sit down at the store

and read a little.

Keep reading and searching for the area(s) you like and soon you will become a very

sharp player. Knowledge is power, especially in the gambling world.

By improving yourself in these three areas, you will have a great possibility of

winning more consistently and you will have more fun because you are organized,

focused and education.

Things To Consider When You Play Casino Slots Online

Did you know that you can play casino games online?. Many people are amazed when they learn that they can play exciting games such as craps, roulette, blackjack, and slots online as well as enjoying the full casino experience at home instead of at a land based casino.

However before you play slots online, you should know a few guidelines as to the best sites to play with. If you are interested, be sure to check out this article about playing casino slots online.

To begin, you should always check for the legitimacy of a site before visiting an online casino. While there a number of exceptional casino sites, there are also numerous dangerous ones. Some sites are frauds which will simply try to steal your money. Others do not provide an adequate level of security and protection for your personal information. Some sites can even infect your computer with harmful malware and viruses, so be careful when searching for new sites.

Many sites offer a plethora of information about online slots as well as casino games. For starters you can find all the latest casino news, reviews, jackpot progressives as well as the most popular slot machines to play. Not to mention information relating to slots bonus deals which are available in your area.

Live casino games are also available from the comfort of your own PC. These types of games allow you to watch live dealers, deal the cards in Blackjack and spin the wheel in roulette, this eliminates the threat of playing with corrupt software. As you get to see in real terms the cards being turned over and where the ball lands.

With slot machines however we do not have this luxury, so we have to rely on certain aspects of casinos that can not be so easily played over the web. To help with this you will need to look for accredited casino sites that are industry recognised and regulated by independent auditors. Which ever casino you choose make sure that they have some governing jurisdiction that they are accountable too. And make sure you check the percentage payouts are audited on a monthly basis. Most online casinos have this information printed on their website, usually in their help files.

Another thing to remember when you play casino slots online is to check out the bonus section and wagering requirements. There are many casino sites that offer huge bonus deals, that rely on the wagering requirement to negate any withdrawals. As players will need to wager the bonus up to 50x before any cash out is permitted. This is obviously way in excess of what is required when it comes to preventing bonus abuse.

There is a lot to think about when choosing the right to casino, and finding the best online slots that are regulated enough to prevent any serious tampering with. For all these details and more you should check out the resource box at the bottom of this article for the best online slots website for playing slot machines online.

Sports Betting Tips – Get All the Information You Can

There are many ways in which people place sporting bets, and many different strategies used in order to maximise their chances of winning. But the number one key strategy for maximising your chances of winning that all important bet is information. Having all the relevant information you can muster before placing your bet is all-important to ensuring you stand the best chance of winning big.

This is the same idea behind many other financial investments in life. If you’re buying a home or purchasing a car, you undertake some research in order to be sure you’re investing your money wisely. The exact same principle applies to betting.

It certainly helps if you know a lot about the sport you’re betting on. Nobody should be betting on a game of cricket if they don’t know the first thing about the game. But if you follow your local football team every week and know their strengths and weaknesses, you have a much more informed view of how they might fare in their next match than your average gambler.

Bookmakers and other big stakes gamblers exploit the ignorance of the average bettor. By doing your research, you stand a much better chance of winning. Trying to get that information is a slightly trickier proposition. If you want to know the horse racing form, then you buy the Racing Post. Unfortunately everyone does that, and you will only get information that anyone serious about betting on the horses already knows.

Often the best idea is to look into a small area of a sport, and become an expert in how that area operates and the various intricacies of the competition. You might focus on say, 20/20 cricket, and know the form of the various players, and whether a run chase is doable or not based on previous games on that particular pitch. Many successful gamblers have made their fortune just focusing on one specific area, and becoming all knowledgeable about it.

Another important tool to use is odds comparison websites. Now because of the Internet, it’s possible to check the various odds offered by all the major bookmakers on an event, and selecting whichever bookie is offering you the best value. A few examples of these sites are http://www.oddschecker.com and odds.bestbetting.com. These websites also allow you to gauge whether you’re getting a good deal by viewing the history of the odds. If you see what was long odds rapidly fall just before the event, you know that a lot of late money has gone on it. Obviously you can’t tell why this has happened, but it allows you to get an idea of what the rest of the betting public are thinking. Every piece of information you can gather counts.