1975 SOUTH CITY CLASS REUNITES 483 MONTHS LATER

483 MONTHS FROM JUNE 1975 GRADUATION DATE

Anthony Peligrino (2014)

Anthony Peligrino (2014)


San Francisco, CA– The 40th reunion of the 1975 South San Francisco High School class was truly a jaunt down memory lane in a number of ways. First off, few people look like they did in high school. One guy whom I photographed for the 1974 yearbook in just his underwear, I didn’t put his face and that snapshot together until late in the evening when I saw the picture on the way out.

MR. PELIGRINO AND MR. ZUEBLER AT THE ELK’S

Twas’ a return to the Elk’s Club, a place I hadn’t been since I was honored by the Northern California Retired Boxers Assn. On that November 2001 evening, my late mother was present and our guest list included South City teachers Mr. Peligrino and Mr. Zuebler. When I took the dais, the first thing I did was ask everybody to, “Please give my mom, Mr. P & Mr. Z a big round of applause.”

PELIGRINO CONVINCED ME I COULD WRITE

Of the near dozen or so awards for my writing, be it a cover story of Essence Magazine or penning for Scotland’s #1 Sunday periodical, the Oakland Trib, the old Examiner, as well as the San Francisco Progress under a pen name while a member of the San Francisco Police Dept., I should have shared the awards and free trips to Japan, Spain, the UK and Hawaii with Anthony Peligrino, because sans Mr. P they would have never happened.

MR. P SAID “WRITE THE STORY” & MR. Z “DIDN’T WANT TO KNOW”

Ali & Pedro Fernandez (1994 China)

Ali & Pedro Fernandez (1994 China)

It was Mr. P who told me that I had a “duty” to expose the SSFHS administrator who was reportedly stopped four times and popped twice within 180 days for Drunk Driving. This was the guy chasing people around campus and disciplining them with impunity. The story begins with me being the Editor of The Warrior and we’re having lunch with Mr. Z in his typing class. Obvious to me, Mr. Zuebler didn’t want anything to do with this and probably wished he wasn’t there when I brought in the police reports.

ENDED UP TELLING MRS. WISNEWSKI OF “E WING”

It was one of the few times in my life where I had to keep a secret, and yet write about it. “Tease the story,” leaking out one drip per issue of the school papers. After two months and people asking, the bomb was dropped and this “Mr. Thirsty” ended up being driven to and from work (SSFHS campus) for a while.

WITH ADMINISTRATOR’S FACE ON FIRE, I THOUGHT “NOTHING OF IT”

There were a number of teachers who supported me, Mr. Jacobs for one. But talk about naive, seeing it was all true, I didn’t think for a second there would be “retaliation” from the “Thirsty” administrator or faculty. E wing’s Mrs. Wisnewski who supported me, I confided in her and she told me to talk to Mr. Peligrino.

REMEMBERING MR. COHEN “EXPECTORATING” IN MY FACE

The one teacher that did lash out at me was Science teacher Mr. Cohen. He gave me additional homework, sent me to Mr. Zaro, made my life hell because we both knew I needed the 5 Science credits to graduate in 12 weeks. Cohen got in my face, spitting as he talked and I shoved him away from my seated position which led to him ousting me.

BILL HUNTER “HAUNTED” BY CLASSES AFTER 1975

For better or worse, I got an extra period off and Bill Hunter, a gem of a counselor who was run off campus (harassed for his perceived sexuality) some years after our graduation, set me up with a Science correspondence course, thus my graduation was a guarantee.

Pete Fernandez, Al Bernstien, "Judge" Mills Lane

Pete Fernandez, Al Bernstien, “Judge” Mills Lane


“TOP SHELF” HERB & SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE

Some things change, some don’t. As the jocks sucked down a cocktail or two, the stoners were well represented at the Elk’s, albeit without the participation of the guy (he was there) who first brought Colombian Red to South City. In closing, the last time I saw Frank Verducci and Paul Bachtold, they were hamming it up for the camera at our graduation dance some 483 months ago. Saturday night, there they were, Frank & Paul together again shooting “gag” photographs wearing funny hats. Just like the mighty Stylistics tune of 1975, “Some Things Never Change.” Not the class of ’75. Truly a great evening!

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman, licensed California Private Investigator and four-time Golden Gloves boxing champion, who also pens feature stories for the R & B band Tower of Power. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

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1975 SOUTH CITY CLASS REUNITES 483 MONTHS LATER

FEDOR EMELIANENKO RETURN TOPS MMA NOTES

JAPAN WILL HOST RETURN OF “LAST EMPEROR”

Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko


Los Angeles, CA-If you watched the freak show that was Bellator 142, you saw Pride Fighting Championships founder Nobuyuki Sakakibara bring out the legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko (34-4, 1 NC) to announce his return to mixed martial arts competition.  Fedor will fight on New Year’s Eve in Japan for a new organization that is essentially the rebirth of the beloved Pride banner.

QUESTIONS YET TO BE ANSWERED

Who will Fedor fight?  Will it be in a ring or a cage? Will there be a ten-minute opening round?  There are several questions that will be answered in the next few months.  Fedor’s return will no doubt generate a lot of buzz and bring Bellator, who will be part of this event, into the world spotlight in a new way.

WHY BELLATOR & NOT UFC?

Many fans have been left to wonder in the wake of Fedor’s return why he elected not to fight in the UFC.  The answer is more complex than it appears.  Fedor likely refused to UFC’s offer based on financial information, which makes a lot of sense.  Dana White, long an opponent of Fedor’s, no doubt low-balled the legend to stroke his own ego.  Fedor compiled a resume that has made him the greatest heavyweight (265) martial artist of all time without the help of the UFC.  He still may fight under the Zuffa banner, as this deal in Japan is only supposed to last for one or two fights.

“MIGHTY MOUSE” NOT SO WHEN IT COMES TO ENTERTAINMENT

Demetrious "Mighty Bore" Johnson

Demetrious “Mighty Bore” Johnson

Demetrious Johnson (23-2-1) is one of the best fighters in the world, but the UFC flyweight (125) champ causes fans to need “Viagra” as Pedro would say.  People just cannot get up for his fights.  Yes, he is the undisputed champion.  Yes, he just beat his biggest rival John Dodson (17-7) for the second time.  This has been met with a resounding “so what?”.  The guys can move, he’s fast, he is great technically, but his fights generally do not have the drama fans want to see.  They usually involve DJ picking apart some hapless opponent for 5 rounds and winning on the cards.  Fans booed this latest performance, and that says a lot about what type of entertainment value Johnson has.  Best bet is to move up to bantamweight (135) for a unification bout with kingpin TJ Dillashaw (12-2).

FORMER KING MIR LOST A TOUGH ONE

The good news for Frank Mir (18-10) is he did not go out there and get embarrassed on Saturday night.  The bad news is he lost a unanimous nod over three to Andrei Arlovski (25-10, 1 NC), who will probably get the next title shot after Fabricio Werdum (20-5-1) whoops Cain Velasquez (13-2) again in early 2016.  That is, of course, if Velasquez stays healthy, at which he has proven to be rather piss-poor.  This could have been Frank Mir’s shot to reclaim the heavyweight (265) title he lost back in 2009.  Instead, this will be a major setback for the 36-year-old vet.

“RUMBLE” JOHNSON GETS BACK IN WIN COLUMN Read more

AL HAYMON PUTS DEONTAY WILDER ON FREE NBC

DOES DEONTAY WILDER HAVE “FRANCHISE” FIGHTER LOOKS?
nbc-peacock-AP
San Francisco, CA– Although I will get deep into whether or not Al Haymon Boxing can make it with their current lineup of headliners, mid-carders and opponents in a special next week, the real money and hope for Premier Boxing Champions is on unbeaten American heavyweight and WBC belt bearer Deontay Wilder.

WILDER FIGHTS AGAIN ON NBC FOR FREE

Now 33 & 0 with 32 whacks, at 6’7 the 2008 Bronze medal winner has had but one modest test in Bermaine Stiverne (W UD 12). Outside of that, Wilder has lived on soft touches who were “certifiable” losers with little or NO chance of prevailing. Now the Alabama native trained by 1984 Olympic king Mark Breland is set to dine on another mackerel when he meets Johann Duhaupas (32-2, 20KOs) of France Saturday on NBC.
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DUHAUPAS HAS AS MUCH CHANCE OF…HE HAS NO CHANCE Read more

AL HAYMON BOXING TONIGHT ON BOUNCE TV

AL HAYMON DOING IT LIKE THE JAPANESE
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San Francisco, CA– As comedian Bobby Slayton points out, “The Japanese really didn’t invent anything…they just made it better.” He was comparing the life expectancy of a Honda Accord to that of a Chevy Cavalier, TV’s, electronics, Japan didn’t invent these things, they just made them better.

BOXING ON CABLE “DONE RIGHT” MEANS RATINGS

So, Al Haymon didn’t invent a Tuesday night crowd on Cable TV, it was an already proven success as USA’s Tuesday Night Fights prospered until the network hired a female chief executive and axed the series in 1998. USA aired what they say is officially the world’s quickest knockout as heavyweights Jimmy Thunder and Crawford Grimsley lasted 1.5 seconds (:13 on BoxRec) as Thunder clipped Crawford with a right.

NO LACK OF SPONSORS, SITES OR VIEWERS

That was the real hard thing about losing Tuesday Night Fights, they were a “roaring” success and the way the dollars were divvied up, everybody, promoters, fighters and fans, including Brad Jacobs, long considered the USA Tuesday night boxing boss. The only people bitching were promoters who could not get dates.

HAYMON HAS FOX SPORTS ON TUESDAY & BOUNCE TV TONIGHT Read more

NICK DIAZ MARIJUANA SUSPENSION A DISGRACE

NEVADA COMMISSION SO SADLY “OUT OF TOUCH” THEY ARE

Nick Diaz Training

Nick Diaz Training

Los Angeles, CA- The Nevada State Athletic Commission is not an ally of Stockton, CA’s Nick Diaz (26-9, 2 NC). DISGRACEFUL Following his UFC 183 positive test results for what has been determined time and again to be recommended “Medical Marijuana,” after the group suspended Diaz for five years and fining him $165,000.  This was Diaz’ third offense, having previously seen his career-highlight win over Takanori Gomi (35-11, 1 NC) change to a no contest and serving suspensions in 2007 and 2012.  Yes, Diaz broke the rules, but why does such a rule exist in the first place?

“KING OF MMA” RONDA ROUSEY WEIGHS IN

“I’m sorry no one asked me anything, but I have to say something. It’s so not right for him to be suspended five years for marijuana.  I’m against them even testing for weed at all. It’s not a performance-enhancing drug, it has nothing to do with athletic competition, it’s only tested for political reasons. They say ‘Oh, it’s only for your safety to keep you from hurting yourself because you’re out there.’ Well then, why don’t they test for all the other things that could possibly hurt us that we could be under the influence of while we’re out there?,” said Rousey.   Read more

UFC CZAR DANA WHITE ALLOWS NO USURPERS

DANA’S “FUN-DRIVEN PRESIDENT” IMAGE HAS WORN THIN

Czar White

Czar White

Los Angeles, CADana White has done great things for the business side of the UFC.  He and the Fertitta’s bros. (Lorenzo & Frank) took a company that was $30 million in debt and turned it into a billion dollar entity.  He was hailed as a visionary and his first little outbursts in which he would curse at anyone within range were refreshing diversions for most fans.  Now, it seems his ego has outgrown his popularity.

DANA WHITE LOVES DANA WHITE

If you pay attention to the UFC head, you will notice his appreciation for all things “Dana.”  To be fair, he deserves credit as a shrewd businessman.  That being said “shrewd” is only a consonant away from sounding a whole lot like “rude.”  Thankfully, fans do not have to endure his grotesque displays of wealth, as he has not hosted his own video blog for a couple years now.  Something just seems wrong about the president of a company showing off his material possessions while fighters who sacrifice their bodies for his benefit are paid being peanuts.

UFC BEHAVIOR SIMILAR TO FASCISM

One man controls the vast majority of MMA talent in the world.  This same man reportedly pays fighters about 12% of the total profit made by the UFC.  You read that correctly, folks.  Fighters, who are responsible for 100% of the viewership of the UFC, are only given 12-15% of revenue.  Some of Dana’s “boys” get a bigger cut, like Conor McGregor (18-2), but the majority are no longer happy campers.

REEBOK DEAL ANOTHER UNNECESSARY MONEY-GRAB Read more

ODDS ON FLOYD MAYWEATHER BOXING AGAIN!

WHEN WILL MAYWEATHER ANNOUNCE THE UN-RETIREMENT?

Floyd "Money" Mayweather

Floyd “Money” Mayweather


San Francisco, CA– While some felt that the retirement speel of Floyd Mayweather was “sincere.” Others were of the opinion that Floyd after making a fortune many times over, enough cash for tens of Mayweather generations to live incredibly well into the 23rd century, that, “enough is enough” and that Floyd will walk away.

FLOYD “USED” THE MEDIA AS A TOOL

The majority of pundits, most of us, including myself, some unwittingly, some not, have been used by Mayweather, because whether you like him or not, Floyd is the “ultimate” shot caller in the fight game. Having used Muhammad Ali-like antics at times, Floyd has done a few Mike Tyson impressions as well during his 18 year tenure in the professional fight game.

PRICE BOXERS PAY WITH THEIR HEALTH WORTH IT? Read more

UFC CZAR DANA WHITE IN “DEEP SHIT”

UFC PREZ IN HOT WATER?

Dana "Moneybags" White

Dana “Moneybags” White

Los Angeles, CA- According to UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, Dana White has been forced to use an iPhone so he can be tracked by an unknown authority. Rogan claims this investigation is related to the recent lawsuit levied on the UFC by its former employees, including Cung Le (9-3), Jon Fitch (26-7-1, 1 NC), Nate Quarry (12-4), and the Bay’s own Kyle Kingsbury (11-6, 1 NC). While the exact parameters of the investigation remain unclear, it is apparent that Mr. White is being probed on some serious matters.

WHITE FAMOUS FOR “BURNER” FLIP PHONE

Before being forced to upgrade to an iPhone, White used a flip phone with basic functions. In 2015, seemingly the only people who use those types of devices are drug dealers. So tell me why the the head of a billion dollar company was using a “burner” to conduct business? Drug dealers generally use these phones because they have no GPS and are harder for authorities to trace. The fact that White would choose to use a phone like this may surprise some, but given his character it seems like a logical occurrence.

DOES WHITE HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE?

Speculation will no doubt swirl around the UFC president, but could he actually have some dark secrets? Only time will tell, but you can bet Mr. White will be less outspoken in the mear future than usual. He has yet to release a formal statement on this matter, and word has it the Fertitta bros., Frank and Lorenzo, UFC primary owners, have him on a short leash.  I do believe in reserving judgment until all of the facts trickle out, but I must admit my eyebrows are certainly raised.

JOE ROGAN’S EXACT WORDS ON DANA WHITE’S PROBLEMS

“He has an iPhone now. They make him use the iPhone because he’s under some investigation so they have to be able to track all of his shit because they’re getting sued. There’s a bunch of shit going on.”

WHITE’S MOM CALLS DANA “SON OF SATAN” Read more

MAYWEATHER-BERTO “FIGHT WEEK” ODDS & MORE

FLOYD PROMISED TO QUIT AFTER #49…BUT…

Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao


San Francisco, CA– If Saturday actually was to be the end of the Floyd Mayweather era, it might be worth watching and or celebrating. Fresh off a record payday and his 12-round May spanking of Manny Pacquiao, the 48-0 champion has for the longest said he was getting out after #49. That appears not to be the case as Mayweather is looking at complete “free agency” as the Showtime/CBS deal comes to an end.

MADE SHOWTIME/CBS LOTSA’ MONEY

Initially, Mayweather’s boxing might have been a “loss leader” for the Showtime PPV folks. But the money made on the Mayweather-Pacquiao mismatch was beyond profound, so they are looking at the Mayweather time with them as plus and would love to resign him. HBO PPV, they too, if Floyd is a free agent would probably be interested. And there is the possibility that Floyd going all by himself (Mayweather Promotions) with advisor Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.

BERTO “BIGGER UNDERDOG” THAN BUSTER DOUGLAS

When this match was first announced, the Las Vegas MGM Grand, site of Floyd’s last 12 fights, put Mayweather up at 40-1 over Berto. That means, you bet $4,000 in order to win $100. In the biggest upset in the history of boxing, Mike Tyson was a 38-1 favorite of James “Buster” Douglas. Currently, the Floyd number has dropped to 30-1 and if you want to go with Berto, I’ve seen odds anywhere between 15 & 19-1.

SOME SAY “ENOUGH FLOYD” WHILE OTHERS CALL HIM GOD Read more

INCREDIBLE TRAINING OF GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX

RIGONDEAUX HAS UNIQUE TRAINING METHODS

World Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux

World Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux


San Francisco, CA– I spotted a YouTube.com clip of Guillermo Rigondeaux, the Cuban boxing legend who defected to box in America. Apparently, the former Olympic champion is being trained by Freddie Roach, and between the two they utilize a lot of interesting training methods.

BRUCE LEE FOUGHT IN OAKLAND STREETS

One training method that Rigondeaux uses is hitting a boxing glove hanging as a target. This training method is what living legend Leo Fong saw Bruce Lee doing the morning after the street fight that he had with Wong Jack Man in Oakland, that was a life changing event for him.

SHADES OF THE BARE KNUCKLE ERA Read more

AL HAYMON BOXING NOT YET ANSWERING “DREAMS”

AL HAYMON BOXING” STILL NOT ONE YEAR OLD!
Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 5.09.30 PM
San Francisco, CA– When Hall of Fame journalist Larry Merchant and I were last year discussing Premier Boxing Champions’ Al Haymon getting into boxing, I think we both looked at it as possibly a gift from the boxing Gods. Here was a Harvard educated man with a great reputation in music, willing to carve out a new niche out for himself by putting boxing on FREE TV again. What could be better for the “die hard” fight fans and the fledgling sport itself?

IT IS “BIG AL’S” WORLD RIGHT NOW

With Haymon becoming numero uno, I thought things would be different, when little has changed really. We thought, here is a supposedly honest man who has an affliction for fighters and boxing, as “Big Al,” who got into the game managing the late Vernon Forrest, was going to bring in lots of new people, he hasn’t.

PBC HAS WENT WITH “ESTABLISHMENT” TYPES

No, instead of “Big Al” bringing in new people to the game, he has instead hired publicists, et al, that have been tools of the “Boxing Establishment” for decades. How loyal will they be at the end of the day? In addition, PBC seemingly accepts associations with people that are not a credit to humanity, let alone boxing. When this subject is broached to Haymon’s right hand Sam Watson, he puts his hands over his ears.

AL HAYMON COULD BE ANDY GRIFFITH OF BOXING

So while I was hoping Al Haymon could step in and be the Sheriff Andy Taylor of boxing,, you know the guy that gets everything done without involving negative people. And while I still have hope, that just hasn’t yet panned out.

BOXING NEEDS TO BE “WASHED”

Al has the power, the money, and the influence to control boxing, but does the Harvard grad have the intestinal fortitude and wherewithal to clean it up as well? And does he want to? The jury is still out!

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves boxing champion, who also pens feature stories for the R & B band Tower of Power. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

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AL HAYMON BOXING NOT YET ANSWERING “DREAMS”

PETER MCKINN HAD “FELONY” CHARGES REDUCED

SHADES OF OPERATION MATCHBOX

Peter McKinn

Peter McKinn


San Francisco, CA– When you look at the things that promoter Peter McKinn did to Joe Diaz, supposedly trying to hire people to burn down his house, and the years of Diaz not being able to train fighters that led to the shutdown of his Phoenix, AZ gym, to me it was beyond despicable. Of course this was all based on documents Forged by McKinn that also led to the sidelining an an aged “Yory Boy” Campas. In 2009, McKinn was charged in a Maricopa County Grand Jury Indictment with five felony counts: Count 1 Theft (Class 3), Count 2 Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices (Class 2), Count 3 Forgery (Class 4), Count 4 Perjury (Class 4), and Count 5 Conspiracy to Commit Theft (Class 3).

PROBATION “CLAUSE” REDUCED FELONY CHARGES

After the jail time, paying fines and restitution, any Felony charges McKinn had were all reduced to Misdemeanors. To me, this is like the difference between six and a half dozen. He committed Felonies certainly, but officially now Peter McKinn is not a Felon. To that we say congratulations for having completed your probation.

SHADES OF OPERATION MATCHBOX 2 Read more

AZ PROMOTER SCOTT MALING SAYS HE IS NO “FLEA”

ARIZONA BOXING PEOPLE “FEELING” HEAT?

Scott Maling

Scott Maling


San Francisco, CA– Today I received a letter from Arizona promoter Scott Maling’s attorney claiming that Maling has “never” fronted for Bob Arum’s Top Rank. In 2005, with promoter/Felon Peter McKinn on a path that would lead to jail, I was told then that Mr. Maling reportedly “filled the void.” He denies this.

PEOPLE ARE JUDGED BY THEIR COMPANY

Mr. Maling was also irked at my calling him, John Montano and McKinn “fleas.” Maybe that was an obvious conclusion to some seeing he attended an Arizona Boxing Commission with Peter McKinn, a Felon convicted of theft, forgery, fraud, filing false police reports, suborning perjury, all the result of McKinn stealing money from a boxer in Arizona.

MCKINN ASKED BOXER TO “BURN DOWN” ACCUSER’S GYM

Ex-Top Rank Felon Peter McKinn

Ex-Top Rank Felon Peter McKinn In Jail

After listening to conversations that were picked up on a police wire, there’s no way you can walk away NOT thinking McKinn is the lowest form of human life. According to ex-boxer Daniel Lerma, (who once boxed for McKinn) he told Phoenix Police that McKinn wanted to hire his brother, “To knock out Joe Diaz. You know, burn his house down, his truck down.” Lerma said he was aware of the $5,000 check that Diaz tried to cash. Lerma says McKinn, “Voided the check and Diaz did not get paid.”

JOE DIAZ’ CAR SHOT UP & GYM WAS BURNED

Trainer Joe Diaz’ joint, the shuttered Top Level Gym in Phoenix was shot up one night, set on fire another, and his vehicle was filled with bullet holes as well. Is that just a coincidence Mr. Maling, sir? You know, McKinn looking to hire people to harm and or possibly kill a feeble old man, torch his place, and then that’s exactly what happened!!! And I’m not saying this flippantly, it is part of the Phoenix Police investigation.

NOW MALING CANNOT DENY KNOWLEDGE OF CRIMINAL COHORTS Read more

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