Stories: Newspaper Stories: Cockfighting


"The Sport of Exiles" 

By Jesse Katz 

Los Angeles Times Magazine 

December 5, 1999 

Down a fraying stretch of Wilmington Avenue, somewhere between Watts and Compton, past liquor marts and storefront churches and the spray-painted threats of Crips and Bloods, there is a corral. It is hidden from the street, behind a weathered Depression-era bungalow, up the driveway, through a chain-link fence, then another padlocked gate. Pavement gives way to dirt, thick with dung and feathers. A life-size poster of two barely clad Bud girls, nailed to a plywood wall, says: "Let's Fiesta!" What comes next is pure Mexican country, adapted to inner-city Los Angeles—a labyrinth of rusty pipes and patio awnings, snaking down tarp- covered alleys and into a network of rickety chambers, each filled with roosters, more than 150 in all. It is the chicken coop of an urban cockfighter, the refuge of Tony and Miguel.... 

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Photo: Luis Cinco