Will the Backyard, Bare-fisted Fights Continue This Saturday?
Photos by Carlos Miller
Will the fights continue?
That’s the question that is buzzing throughout Miami’s inner-city neighborhoods and suburban ghettos about the backyard bare-fisted bouts that have turned some of our fiercest street fighters into Youtube sensations.
Last Saturday’s fights were “postponed” on Friday due to “legal issues,” according to a text message sent out by promoter Dhafir Harris, also known as Dada 5000.
The Kimbo Slice protégé also said that the fights will continue this Saturday in the usual place in his mother’s backyard in Perrine.
But some people are doubtful.
“The fights have gone from underground to mainstream in the last year so it’s tougher for the authorities to look the other way,” said filmmaker Billy Corben, who just finished wrapping up a documentary about the fights called Dawg Fight (see trailer above).
Boxing Commissioner Ordered the Fights Stopped
Corben, who operates Rakontur of Cocaine Cowboys and The U fame, said he attended Dada 5000’s first pro fight at the Hard Rock Casino last May where the Florida boxing commissioner gave a stern warning that these backyard fights needed to end.
“The boxing commissioner of Florida said right there in front of everybody, ‘stop screwing around with these backyard fights or I will strip you of your license’,” Corben said.
“He said, ‘the worst case scenario is that someone is going to get killed and someone will go to prison. The best case scenario is that I will strip you of your license.’”
But the truth is, if it weren’t for those backyard fights, Dada 5000 would never have gotten the chance to go pro.
And neither would Kimbo Slice for that matter.
Corben is not certain what prompted Dada 5000 to cancel last Saturday’s fights.
“I heard the cops cruised by Friday telling him not to do it,” he said. “I also heard the boxing commissioner actually made a call to someone.”
If the cops did cruise by his house, it would be ironic considering they’ve always known about the fights and have tolerated them because they’d rather have these fighters duke it out in the ring rather than shoot it out in the streets.
Dada 5000, who won his first professional bout in May against Cedric James, is scheduled to fight in his second pro bout in September, so he may be hindering his professional career by going through with his plans to host the backyard bouts this Saturday.
Dada 5000 sent out three text last week regarding last week’s fights. They are as follows:
Do 2 The Rapid Grwth of Bk Yrd Fights DADA ran n 2 legal issues wit the local Authority’s do 2 tht the Evnt was post pond 2 nxt wknd sorry 4 the inconvenience! DADA 5000! Had 2 pstpne 2days bk yrd evnt till nxt wk! Due 2 interfer…frm the law/Tallahassee ths is a testiment tht whts go n on n P-rine is wrld wde & grw n!
Do 2 The Rapid Grwth of Bk Yrd Fights DADA ran n 2 legal issues wit the local Authority’s do 2 tht the Evnt was post pond 2 nxt wknd sorry 4 the inconvenience!
DADA 5000! Had 2 pstpne 2days bk yrd evnt till nxt wk! Due 2 interfer…frm the law/Tallahassee ths is a testiment tht whts go n on n P-rine is wrld wde & grw n!
“We’ll find out Saturday morning if the fights are going to take place,” Corben said.
Dawg Fight is due out early next year.
Rakontur’s Plans This Year
This year, Rakontur plans the release of the following three other movies:
Square Grouper – A documentary about the marijuana smuggling business into Miami during the early 1970s.
Cocaine Cowboys Remix – A completely re-edited version of the original Cocaine Cowboys movie with new footage.
Back in the Limelight – A documentary about Peter Gatien, notorious owner of several high-profile nightclubs in New York City, who was acquitted after being caught up in a federal ecstasy indictment during the 1990s.
Also, The U, the popular documentary about the University of Miami football team, will be released on August 17th on DVD.
Corben and Rakontur producer Alfred Spellman will also be posting clips from The U that did not make the final cut on their blog every Tuesday until August 17th.
Corben and Spellman, both who were born in Miami, have experienced great success with their movies.
“The U became the highest rated documentary ever shown on ESPN and Cocaine Cowboys became the highest rated documentary ever shown on Showtime,” he said.
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