The Brawl at City Hall

Miami City Manager Cesar Odio and persistent gadfly Manuel Gonzalez-Goenaga ought to settle their differences like men

While Commissioner Miller Dawkins and Mayor Steve Clark refuse to divulge their favorite, the other commissioners are falling solidly behind the city manager. "Who would win? I would assume it would have to be Cesar because he's younger and he rows so he is in better shape," says Commissioner J.L. Plummer. "But then, Manny, I guess he could out-talk anybody, which could help him in the ring."

De Yurre thinks that Odio is unstoppable in a straight fight. "If I was a betting man, I would first look at the odds, then I'd put my money on Cesar," De Yurre says. "You have to think of it as a wrestling match instead of a boxing match, which is what it would actually turn out to be. For Manny to win he would have to have brass knuckles and hit Cesar in the balls and pull nylon ropes out of his shorts and that sort of thing."

Odio does have a weakness, though. His temper is famously quick to flare. Some on the commission worry that Odio's short fuse could cost him the match. "He might lose his coolness," says Gort. "That might be the thing that Gonzalez-Goenaga can take advantage of."

With luck, Gonzalez-Goenaga might still acquire one more extreme advantage: Jail time. On May 21, he was arrested at city hall after allegedly uttering the aforementioned threat. While the incident has earned him the intimidating boxing moniker of "Boom Boom," it also is a felony charge that could land him in the pokey.

The trial is in the discovery phase right now. Should the Puerto Rican lose in court and be thrown in the slammer, he could emerge from prison a veritable Mike Tyson: more "mature," more "focused," and with a tattoo of Arthur Ashe on his bicep. The pent-up tension from Gonzalez-Goenaga's absence will create hype for a fight that, in terms of sheer public interest, should rival the moon walk. Miami's reputation as a fight mecca will be restored.

As world-renowned boxing analyst and Miami resident Ferdie "the Fight Doctor" Pacheco told New Times last week, "Boxing is crazy enough, but politics is really the sleaziest endeavor in human existence.

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