Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An Untold Story: The Fighter Behind Susana: Father Was Famed El Paso Boxer; The Jake Martinez Story Exclusively Here, And: NM #1 In Jobs Lost In June 

Martinez, stepson Carlo (l) & husband Chuck
Where does GOP Guv nominee Susana Martinez get her fight? Well, look no further than her father, Jake Martinez, who it turns out is an icon in the amateur boxing world in El Paso and whose life story closely tracks the American Dream of the mid-twentieth century.

Our Alligators and insiders, curious about the background of the family of the Dona Ana County district attorney and unwilling to wait, came with the info on Jake Martinez's storied boxing career, combing through the catacombs of the Internet and uncovering a three part series on Jake published by the specialty boxing site, "Convicted Artist Magazine." (It has nothing to do with convicts).

This is must-reading if you seek to understand more about Martinez's roots. Here are the links to the series: Part one is here. Part two is here. And part three is here.


Jake Martinez stood tall and proud as he accepted his trophy and accolades from the Fort Worth Golden Gloves staff and print media for winning three consecutive state lightweight championships. His magnificent feat has not been equaled from any El Pasoan to this date in time. He was duly honored in El Paso by The El Paso times and The El Paso Herald Post.

One wonders why we haven't heard more about this from the Martinez camp as it is a compelling and uplifting life story. More from the series:

Jake loved his job on the Sheriff’s Department. However, besides winning state in 1955 he and Paula had their first son, Jacob. In 1957 they welcomed a lovely daughter, Leticia. Their beautiful daughter with a thirst for knowledge, Susanna, was born in 1959. As most informed people in the southwest know, Susanna is the District Attorney in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Jake and his wife sacrificed much of their social life and nonessential items to maintain a budget that would help their children obtain a higher education. Susanna was an intellect and she attended UTEP before graduating with a law degree from Oklahoma University.

In 1993, Martinez was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame:

While reviewing records in the early days of the hall’s formation president McKay was surprised to learn that Jake Martinez had not been inducted into The El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame. Since their elections of candidates was earlier in the year Tom took Jake’s credentials to the Athletic Halls Board of Directors, presented the boxing facts and the fine citizenship of Jake and waited for their final votes. Yes, Jake was honored at their great location at UTEP in 1993 and a plaque with his name and photo is a permanent fixture in the surrounding hallways of the Don Haskins Center.


And the series reveals that Jake Martinez and the Martinez family may have struggled in the early years but the security firm he eventually founded had a payroll "in the millions of dollars" putting the family in the ranks of the affluent:

Jake soon left the Sheriff’s office around 1972 for greener pastures in the garment industry. He was hired as Chief of Security for Mann Manufacturing and his family benefited well from the extra dollars he earned. Life was good and Jake was able to find the time to immerse himself into his boxing sport as an official, trainer, and referee. That being said he also aspired to own his own business. After two years of research and study, Jake opened his own security company and through his entrepreneurship built the firm into a major industry with a payroll in the millions of dollars. And he accomplished those goals without giving up a minute of his boxing time.

We found the Martinez business currently listed in an El Paso directory:

Jake Martinez Enterprises 3535 North Yarbrough Drive El Paso, TX 79925 Industry: Detective and armored car service

Martinez enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1951. While serving he won the "All Marine Corps Boxing Championships" in 1953. He was honorably discharged in 1954.

Today Jake Martinez is 78 and battling cancer as he watches the biggest fight of them all--his daughter's bid to become Governor of New Mexico. One suspects she's calling on him for some ringside advice and inspiration.


The father of Dem Guv nominee Diane Denish also rose to prominence in his lifetime. Jack Daniels went to work in his father's Hobbs-based insurance company and served in the NM House for several terms. He was the Dem US Senate nominee in 1972 and lost to Pete Domenici. Daniels died in 2003 at age 79.


More grizzly numbers about the ferocious bear market ravaging our state came in shortly after we put up Tuesday's blog describing the damage being done here in NM's largest city. The Feds report New Mexico was number one in the USA in the percentage of jobs lost in June, at 1.4 percent. And is also the worst in the nation when it comes to percentage of jobs lost in the last 12 months, 2.2 percent or nearly 15,000 jobs.

The state's jobless rate dropped in June from 8.4% to 8.2%. But don't be deceived. The reason for the decline is because the state's workforce is shrinking. People are giving up--throwing in the towel--and are quitting the search for work. We had 804,400 people working in NM in June, but that plunged to 793,200 in June, a downright scary drop.

The housing debacle has sent unemployment in the construction and related industries soaring into Great Depression levels. The credit bubble has cost thousands of financial services sectors jobs; the slowdown in the energy sector contributes more lost jobs.

Never mind crime, corruption and immigration. The unemployment and ancillary economic crisis wreaking havoc in this state will be front in center in the 2010 Guv campaign come October--and it ought to be.

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