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Open Letter: Saying goodbye to the A La Carte Pavilion

This Friday in Tampa, Florida we are saying a final farewell to a place that has etched itself locally in Boxing history and that’s the A La Carte Pavilion. This Friday will be the final event at the A La Carte. Allstar Boxing Promotions presents a rematch in a ten-round super bantamweight bout between Daniel Lozano (14-4, 11 KOs) from Bowling Green, Florida against Ricardo Rodriguez (16-4, 5 KOs) from Mexico City.

This fight will be televised on Telemundo at 11:35pm. Many greats and champions have fought at Tampa’s boxing historic site. Boxers like Keith “One Time” Thurman, Nate” Galaxy Warrior” Campbell, John “The Beast” Mugabi, James “Bone Crusher” Smith, Edner Cherry, Frankie Randall, and many more.

But the closing and demolition of this building is a little personal for me. After coming out of the Army in 2002, and becoming aware of the Pavilion, I have attended many boxing shows. They were highly entertaining and very competitive. I’ve tried my best not to miss a show. The crowd is always great and there was always a few surprise guests and local celebrities that would show up to these events. Watching these local talents get there start and seeing them achieve their dream on a larger global scale with networks like Telemundo, ESPN, Showtime, and HBO was very satisfying, because you saw their maturation and their path came through a place like the A La Carte Pavilion.


I started to get into boxing myself, but this time as a boxing official. I have judged several fights there and my first time in the ring as a referee at a live televised event was at the A la Carte Pavilion. So seeing this go sort of tears at my heart strings. Turning this place in to an development of upscale luxury homes personally just doesn’t sit right with me. But I guess money talks.

I would like to say thank you to few boxing promoters that continued to keep boxing alive in the Bay Area, but especially at the Pavilion. Tuto Zabala (Allstar Boxing Promotions), Phil Alessi (Alessi Promotions), Pete Fernandez Productions, Fire Fist Boxing Promotions, Chester Koener (TKO Boxing Promotions), and Aaron Jacobs (Fight Night Productions). If I missed anybody, please forgive me. I also want to thank the true hardcore boxing fans that keeps coming back and support the sport I love which is boxing.

So I urge the Tampa Bay area fans to come out the A La Carte Pavilion one last time. If you can’t make it please tune in. You never know, history might get made Friday night don’t be like me and regret not being there. Because after this Friday the ring lights and the final bell will toll for the last time, for the A La Carte Pavilion.

Thank you for the memories.