The CyberBoxingZone News

Broken Heart and Broken Head--Roseland Show Shoved Back
Katherine Dunn

January 9, 2000

Scratch that Friday, January 21 fight card at the Roseland Theater in Portland, OR. The date has been shoved back to an unspecified date in February.

Jim Cassidy, the Executive Director of the Oregon State Police Boxing and Wrestling Commission says no bouts had yet been proposed and none of the required paperwork for a show had made it to his desk. According to Cassidy, his phone calls to the promotion and to matchmaker Thad Spenser have not been answered.

Given that situation it may have been a relief for Spenser to be able to claim that the reason for the cancellation is that local Jr. middleweight, Quandray "Candy" Robertson of Salem, OR bowed out of his scheduled main event against veteran Rudy Lavato.

The 27 year-old Robertson had been riding a two year win cycle, running up an 8-0, 6 KO record against flabby vegetable opposition under the guidance of his original manager, Fred Ryan, and trainer Ed Milberger. In the autumn of '99, Robertson's contract with Ryan ran out and the fighter asked long-time master manager Mike "Motormouth" Morton of Portland to take him on.

The 87 year-old Morton was making his own comeback from massive health problems--a stroke, broken hip, gall bladder removal, and more--and the defection of his formerly ranked Jr. lightweight Miguel Arrozal. But Morton agreed to work with Robertson, hooked him up with Arnold and James Manning to train him, and made a fight for him with a respectable payday in the main event at Legends Casino in Toppenish, WA last Nov. 5.

After less than a month of training with the Mannings, Robertson stepped in with banger Carlos "El Elegante" Bojorquez of Mira Loma, CA. After a fairly close bout Bojorquez backed the tiring Robertson into a corner in the 9th round, bent him over with a body shot and then cold cocked him with a right to the chin. Robertson spent several seconds in the crocodile zone. He was grumpy when he woke up, and blamed the Mannings for trying to change his style. Various witnesses said Candy was doing fine until he reverted to his old wild, winging style.

Bojorquez improved to 10-1-4, 7 KO's. Robertson suffered his first loss and was handed a medical suspension for sixty days. Morton told him to keep doing his roadwork and come back to the gym after the holidays.

Enter matchmaker Thad Spenser who was planning the January 21 show at the Roseland for promoters Dave Leiken and Ivan Kafoury. Spenser, an old friend of Morton's, got a promise for Candy Robertson to fight his main event. When the time came for Robertson to return to the gym, Candy wanted the Mannings to drive from Portland to Salem every day to train him. Not practical. Manager Morton talked coach Wally Jorgenson into training Robertson at Jorgenson's gym in Salem.

Robertson didn't get started at the gym.

On Thursday, Jan.6, Robertson let Morton know that he couldn't make the January 21 date. Candy explained that he is breaking up with his wife and planning to move to Vancouver, WA to live with his brother, or maybe to Portland to live with his Dad. In addition, Robertson had recently lost his job in a Salem warehouse.

This being a bit of a triple-whammy (a first loss by serious knockout followed by traumatic breakup of family and sudden unemployment) it might be reasonable to suppose that Robertson would take some time to get his act together. But the amazing Morton grabbed the phone to persuade matchmaker Thad Spenser not to get a replacement main event, but to actually move his show a month to wait for Candy. The shortage of official paperwork suggests that Spenser's arm didn't need much twisting.

The news broke late on Thursday and, by uncomfortable coincidence, an advertisement for the fight on the Jan.21 date ran on Friday in The Oregonian newspaper. On Saturday, FASTIXX was still selling tickets for the Jan. 21 date.

Developments as they appear......


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