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Oklahoma Underground >> Tulsa World follow up Joe Miller/GUTS Church

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12/5/11 12:49 PM
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Sources: State official was told of fatal fight event beforehand

An Oklahoma State Athletic Commission official was told of boxing matches at a Tulsa church weeks before a fighter died following the church's sixth unsanctioned fighting event, according to several sources from Oklahoma boxing circles.

Joe Miller, executive director of the commission, said he is told about unsanctioned events frequently, but only sanctioned events or events featuring OSAC-licensed professionals fall under the jurisdiction of his organization.

Miller said he had no recollection of hearing about the Guts Church boxing matches but is aware of the claims that he was told about the event.

"It was very possible that they did. I don't recall it," Miller said. "Any action that I would have done would have been to call Guts Church about it."

George Clinkscale, a former University of Tulsa football linebacker and father, died at a hospital in the early hours of Sept. 22 following Guts Church's Fight Night VI. Clinkscale fought in the unsanctioned fight's final match.

Clinkscale's family has since filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages against Guts Church.

A Tulsa police investigation into the death is finished pending a report from the medical examiner, officials said.

The Tulsa World requested under Oklahoma's Open Records Act all correspondence Miller had received for two years regarding unsanctioned matches and for six years regarding Guts Church.

In the emails Miller provided to the World, Ric Sniffen, a muay Thai fighter and official in the United States Muay Thai Association, wrote to Miller to sympathize about the situation and loss of Clinkscale. Phone Post
12/5/11 12:53 PM
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 In the Sept. 22 email, Sniffen writes to Miller, "I don't know if you'll remember or not but last year I had made mention to you that Sam Adams was holding boxing events there at the Guts Church, and I didn't know if he was permitted to do that or not without USA Boxing sanctioning it." 

Sniffen confirmed that he sent the email and told Miller about the Guts Church fights. 

Officials at Guts Church did not return phone calls requesting comment. 

Sniffen said he sent Miller emails about any illegal or unsanctioned match he heard about but couldn't specifically remember whether he sent Miller an email about the fight or told him in person. 

Miller said he is sometimes told about illegal events in passing and can't remember all of them. 

Miller has also said his organization does not have the resources or the authority to handle unsanctioned boxing events in the state, and many people inform his organization about them because the commission "is the first name in the phone book." 

However, days after the Guts Church fight in which Clinkscale died, Miller said he often gets word about unsanctioned, illegal fights and does what he can to shut them down. He said then that he usually calls the organizer or informs local police. 

Miller and state Assistant Attorney General Grant Moak withheld emails between themselves, citing attorney-client privilege, Miller said. 

The provided emails contained nothing before Sept. 22, when Clinkscale died. 

The World specifically requested emails containing the words "unsanctioned," "not sanctioned" and "unpermitted, etc." 

Miller said after completing the open records request that the term most often used is "non sanctioned," and 15 to 20 emails would have been included had that term been used. 

Upon requesting those emails several days later, Miller said he was mistaken, and the 15-20 emails did not exist within the request. 

The World has filed a second open records request to Moak and Miller. Miller said he would respond to the request but needed to focus on the priorities of his job first. 

Others have come forward saying they told Miller about the Guts Church fights several times prior to Clinkscale's death. 
12/5/11 1:00 PM
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 Leigh Brown, an assistant with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Athletic Commission, said when she heard about the event in August, she sent Miller a text message from her cell phone. 

The Potawatomi athletic commission regulates boxing and other athletic events in the tribal nation's facilities, she said. 

Brown said she can't provide proof of the text, which is no longer on her cell phone memory, without a court-ordered subpoena to the phone service provider. 

However, her bill shows the time of the texts she sent to Miller were Aug. 20 at 2:07 p.m., she said.

Brown said she told Miller there was going to be an unsanctioned fight at Guts Church and Adams would be the referee. 

She sent another at 2:10 p.m. correcting the date of the fight, she said. 

At 3:27 p.m., Miller responded to her text, writing: "'Thank you for the heads up.' or something like that. Something real short," Brown said. 

The morning after the fight, Brown said she sent Miller another text stating: "The show that I told you about happened last night and a fighter died." 

Brown said that Miller replied: "I know. I've been working on it all morning." 

Miller said he didn't recall prior warnings from Brown about the Guts match but confirmed receiving text messages the day after. 

Brown said she understands it's not the commission's legal responsibility to shut down all unsanctioned fights, but she said Miller should admit he knew about the fight. 

"It should have been prevented," she said. "It didn't have to happen. Now, nothing is going to make it right." 

Since Clinkscale's death, Miller and state officials have identified what Miller called "legal loopholes" that allow for unsanctioned events to happen with little or no legal authority from any state entity. 

"My authority is to regulate the legal events," Miller said. 

Miller said to fix the problem in the future, all combative-sporting events may need to be cleared either through the commission or through notification from a licensed regulator. 

"Right now, I think without much problem, we'll get legislation passed that they (event organizers) will have to notify our office," Miller said. "The other part is we're trying to make it more appealing to law enforcement to go in and do something. 
12/5/11 1:33 PM
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Open e-mails request content Phone Post
12/6/11 12:42 AM
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 MY, MY, MY . . .

I have said, just be honest. If you knew about something, and did nothing, okay, state your reasoning. Why didnt you do anything about it? Well . . .

When you lie, then get called on it, and there is tons of proof that you did have knowledge of an event that you lied about and said that you knew nothing about the event, you are a LIAR! What really pissed me off is when Joe knew damn good and well that I had informed him about GUTs' first event and he lied about being told that.

I can tolerate alot of bullshit, really I can. I lived with my boys' mother for 10 years. But when someone lies about 411 that I have given them, and it makes me look like a liar, I will not tolerate that shit. I don't trust people that cannot/will not look in my eyes when they are talking to me, and a proven liar.

Now, all of the BS will have to sifted through in order to find the truth. People have put my name out there, it is public record. People that I know, and people that I do not know. Just talking out of their asses. Plain and simply, if you want to know if I have said something about you, just ask me. How difficult is that?

12/6/11 1:06 AM
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Welcome NAN!!! Great to have you back at the new OKUG at MMA.tv Phone Post

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