'You Be The Judge: Fans Determine The Winner

When the amazingly successful reality-TV series “American Idol” debuted on FOX back in 2002, the idea was to create a vehicle whereby some of this country’s young, undiscovered singing talent would compete for the opportunity to win a million-dollar recording contract and evolve from obscurity to worldwide celebrity..

In the 2007 season finale of the ‘American Metal & Iron Fight Night at the Tank’ series last November in San Jose, CA, promoter Dan Goossen laid the groundwork for a similar concept in boxing by introducing to the packed house at the HP Pavilion ‘You Be The Judge,’ where eight preliminary boxers -- newly embarking on professional careers -- are given the chance to earn attention not normally afforded four round fighters, additional prize money and a return engagement to ‘defend’ their ‘You Be The Judge’ trophy on an upcoming series show.

Due to the tremendous fan response from that November experiment, ‘You Be The Judge’ is being added as a fixture on the popular ‘Fight Night’ series, which kicks off its 2008 season at ‘The Tank’ this coming Thursday night, March 20.

"We were discussing ideas on how to enhance our boxing series in San Jose and my dad came up with an idea that made perfect and total sense,” Craig Goossen, boxing coordinator for Goossen Tutor Promotions, revealed. “Give the fans fast-paced, evenly- matched four-round bouts and at the end of all four bouts let the fans decide who the most impressive winner of the night was. Then we will reward that boxer with a cash bonus, trophy and a returning slot on the ‘Fight Night’ series."

There are definite similarities between the various fan-driven talent shows now on TV and ‘You Be The Judge.’ In these television programs, competitors perform each week and their performance is judged first by a professional panel in that field, with the ultimate winner being selected by a vote of the television-viewing public. In ‘You Be The Judge,’ the contest for each series event consists of a quartet of four-round, action-packed bouts, with the four winners being selected by the three judges at ringside. Later in the evening, the four bout winners are brought into the ring and fans in attendance are handed the judges reins as – by the volume of their applause – they get to select the boxer they deem as most worthy of the bonus money, trophy and another fight on an upcoming ‘Tank’ show.

In last November’s inaugural ‘You Be The Judge’ competition, junior middleweight Francisco Santana (8-0, 4 KOs) of nearby Santa Barbara, earned the distinction of being the first contest winner and -- in addition to his cash bonus -- secured a spot in a scheduled six-round co-feature on Thursday’s show underneath the main event pitting Bay Area and US Olympic hero, Oakland’s Andre Ward (14-0, 9 KOs) against tough Detroit native Rubin Williams (29-3-1, 16 KOs). Santana’s opponent will be another undefeated Bay Area product – Karim Mayfield (5-0-1, 5 KOs) of San Francisco.

Among the promising talent scheduled for action in separate scheduled four-round bouts in Thursday’s ‘You Be The Judge’ competition are featherweight Rico Ramos (Los Angeles), Jr. Welterweight Mike Dallas, Jr. (Bakersfield) and welterweight Eric Garcia (Salinas), as well as the very popular Jr. Flyweight Carina Moreno of Watsonville. Ramos, a 2006 National PAL Champion and amateur stars Garcia and Dallas are making their pro debuts and Moreno will be the first female competitor in the tournament.

Thursday’s ‘You Be The Judge’ tournament will carry some added significance for the winner as he will be presented with their cash bonus by a special VIP guest: legendary trainer Angelo Dundee, universally recognized for his work in the corner of “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali.

"With ‘You Be The Judge,’ I've noticed two things,” Craig Goossen observed. “The fans love the blitzkrieg action and the fact that they have a voice. The fans have a say in not only who gets the bonus, but what fighters they want to see back at ‘The Tank.’

“The fighters have taken this ‘tournament’ to heart knowing that the fights will get them immediate media exposure at the four round level. Obviously, they have always been into their own fights. But now they take a keen interest in the other fights because they are competing not only against their opponents in the ring, but also against the other competitors in the contest and -- most importantly -- for the support of the crowd."

All bouts will be filmed by FSN and will air at a later date.

Individual tickets, starting at $25, to the March 20 edition of “American Metal & Iron Fight Night at the Tank” are on sale at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers located in Wherehouse Music stores, Tower Records and Ritmo Latino locations throughout the Bay Area; online at; or charge by phone at (408) 998-TIXS, (415) 421-TIXS or (510) 625-TIXS. Doors open at 6:30 pm. First bout at 7:30 pm.

Article posted on 17.03.2008

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