Jesus Poll, the North American Boxing Federation super bantamweight champion, and challenger Julian Solis of Puerto Rico, scheduled to fight at The Country Club in Reseda tonight, have both failed neurological examinations and have been banned from boxing in California, according to the State Athletic Commission.
Their scheduled bout has been replaced on the card by a middleweight fight between Larry Musgrove of Los Angeles and Roberto Rociles of Blythe.
Poll, a Venezuelan training at the Ten Goose Boxing Club in North Hollywood, has taken a neurological exam four times in the past two months. The results of all four tests indicate possible brain damage, according to Marty Denkin, assistant executive director of the State Athletic Commission.
"Our neurological consultants reviewed all of the tests and determined that Jesus Poll has abnormalities related to boxing," Denkin said.
Poll has a professional record of 17-0-2, but he has fought more than 200 amateur bouts, most in South America.
Dan Goossen, Poll's manager, said that the fighter would appeal the ban and petition the commission to take the neurological examination a fifth time, but Denkin said he was unsure how long it would be before Poll could retake the test.
Once a fighter has been banned in a state, he must wait 30 days before he can box in another state. For example, Poll would have to pass a physical examination administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission before he could fight in Nevada, which does not require a neurological test. Because the ban took effect Wednesday, Poll would not be able to fight again until at least July 29.
A neuropsychologist who gave Poll a four-hour examination Tuesday said that the abnormalities Poll exhibited during the exam were caused not by boxing-related brain damage but by the fighter's cultural background and lack of education.
"I did see areas where Jesus Poll's scores were not in a normal range, but I feel his impairment is reflective of his limited formal education and his childhood environment," Dr. Richard Gallway of Northridge said. "In my opinion, it is not brain damage."
Poll told Gallway that he completed just six years of formal education in Venezuela.
One of the areas of the examination in which Poll did poorly, Gallway said, involved recognizing the location of objects in a drawing. Poll was shown a drawing containing three blue objects and one white object, each in a separate, numbered area on the paper. Poll was asked to identify which area the different--or white--object was in.
"He did not catch on to the fact that the areas were numbered," Gallway said. "The different object was in area number three, but he counted three blue objects and one white object and so he answered number three. He did not grasp the concept.
"But that part of the test, I feel, is based upon observations of North Americans and our culture. He didn't succeed, but he he did try to conceptualize things. He made a healthy approach to designing a hypothesis."
The chief neurological consultant to the State Athletic Commission, Dr. Richard Gluckman of San Pedro, reviewed the findings of that examination of Poll, determined there were indications of possible brain damage and recommended to the commission that the boxer not be allowed to fight in California.
Gluckman did not return telephone calls Thursday.
"This is our program," Denkin said. "We believe in our program to determine whether a person is capable of fighting. We believe in our system and we will follow it."
Solis, Poll's scheduled opponent, was the World Boxing Assn.'s bantamweight champion in 1980. Details of his neurological test, which led to the commission's decision to deny him a boxing license, were not available.
Solis and his entourage had left town and were unavailable for comment.
The replacement fight at the Country Club matches Rociles, who has a 16-3-1 record, against Musgrove, who is ranked 30th by the World Boxing Council among middleweights. Musgrove has a 9-7-3 record, but all seven losses came in the light heavyweight division. Since moving down to the 160-pound division, he is 3-0, including a knockout of highly ranked James Kinchen last August.
There will be four other fights on the program, which is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and will be televised by the ESPN cable sports network.