Boxing commission grants Martin's license
Local boxing committee president Ralph Martin was granted his promoters license by the Hawaii State Boxing Commission yesterday.
The commission voted 3-0 to grant Martin his license, with chairman Willes Lee and commissioners Bobby Lee and Henry Sasaki giving their approval. The vote had to win unanimously because commissioners Herbert Minn and Della Martin were not present.
The commission went into executive session for more than an hour before voting, and came to an agreement after the representative for the Attorney General told the commissioners that it couldn't protect them should they deny Martin his license for holding an unlicensed event in January and another earlier this month.
Bobby Lee says it may be the last vote he participates in.
"I'm seriously thinking of stepping down from the commission," Bobby Lee said. "What do you want to be a commissioner for if you can't follow the rules?"
The issue came before the commission in its last meeting, but was deferred when Bobby Lee and Sasaki refused to vote, citing "a half-dozen or more" rules violations by the local LBC. That kept amateur boxing unlicensed in the state and the LBC held its Junior Olympics championships the next day. The commission was told that it can't recognize the event as being held until the state's Regulated Industries Complaints office completes its investigation charging the LBC with holding an unlicensed event. An investigator from RICO attended the event and its investigation is ongoing.
Bobby Lee said he didn't want to wait for the investigation to finish for fear of an athlete getting hurt in the interim.
"If I had abstained, we would have had to go through it all over again," Bobby Lee said. "And it will be the same thing all over again. I'm too old to waste my time."
» Kini Sofa Jr. of Waianae defeated Brian Williams of Des Moines, Iowa, by decision, 4-1, yesterday in a National Golden Gloves 119-pound preliminary-round bout at Omaha, Neb.
Another Hawaii boxer, Isaac Arasato, lost by a 4-1 decision to Isaiah Williams-Windley of Akron, Ohio, in a 132-pound preliminary fight.
On Monday, two Hawaii fighters won preliminary-round bouts: Carlos Tangaro of Waianae beat Jesse Cook of Seneca, Kan., by a 5-0 decision; and John Phillips of Wahiawa edged William Prieto of Akron, Ohio, by a 3-2 decision.