2012 has been an exciting year for Frank Espinoza Sr. and Frank Espinoza Jr. of Espinoza Boxing. We caught up with Espinoza Sr. and asked him about the year past and his hopes for 2013.
How was 2012 for Espinoza Boxing?
Overall it was a great year. We had Abner Mares win a second world title. He also defeated Anselmo Moreno which was a very big deal. There were many who felt he couldn’t win that fight. Daniel Ponce De Leon won his second world title with us this year. And we also had the debut of Oscar Valdez who I think will be boxing’s next big star.
Two of your prospects, Luis Ramos and Carlos Molina recently experienced their first setbacks. How do you deal with that and bring then back from those losses?
The only way to deal with a loss is to make sure you learn from it. It’s not the end of the world. There are great fighters with losses on their records. Fighters can bounce back. Especially if they’re young like Carlos and Luis. They’ll learn and they’ll be back stronger than ever. In Luis’ case, the loss was very controversial since the damage which stopped the fight was due to head butts. He was ahead on the score cards at the time but the fight was stopped instead of going to the judges' cards like is normally done. We’ll bring up his case in front of the California commission and hopefully we'll get the decision reversed. In Carlos’ case, he fought a great fighter in Amir Khan and lost. He showed a lot of guts and determination so he’s still considered a solid fighter. He’ll be back, the loss will only help make him a better fighter.
You’ve got Ronny Rios facing Rico Ramos on Showtime in January. How do you see that fight playing out?
We’re very excited about that match-up. Ronny has always been an exciting prospect and now he’s ready to climb the ladder. He’s stepping up to fighting a former world champ in Ramos. I think Ronny will use his boxing skills and speed to win this one.
Daniel Ponce De Leon is scheduled to fight Jayson Velez in March. Tell us about that fight.
Daniel will be defending his featherweight world title for the first time against a very hungry up and comer in Velez. This fight will pit youth vs. experience. Brawler vs. slick fighter. In the end, I have a feeling that Ponce’s brutal punching power will be too much for Velez, but that’s never a given. That’s just a theory.
You signed two time Olympian Oscar Valdez to a management contract which was considered a big signing for you.
Yes we did. Oscar was a very hotly recruited fighter and luckily we ended up signing him. Since then, he’s had two fights and looked sensational in both. His performances have been making quite a buzz in Mexico and the U.S. He definitely has what it takes to make it to the top. We’re very excited about his career. He’s currently signed with Top Rank Promotions and were very happy about it. They seem to have a real long term plan for him.
What are you expecting for 2013?
I believe 2013 will be another big year for us. We’ll see Oscar Valdez further develop into a hot prospect. We also have Daniel Ponce De Leon defending his title. We have some very big plans for him in 2013. We also have Joet Gonzalez in the early development stage. It’s going to be a busy year.
What about Antonio Orozco?
We're very high on Antonio. He's shown consistent progress and I think 2013 will be a big year for him. He's got a style that the fans love and a great personality. I think once the fans get to know him more, they'll realize he's the kind of person you want to root for. Antonio is a humble kid and the fans will easily connect with him.
What’s the plan for Abner Mares?
After his great win against Anselmo Moreno, the only fight Abner wants, is a fight against Nonito Donaire. Right now there hasn’t been much give between their promoters at Top Rank and Golden Boy which is keeping the fight from happening, but we’re still optimistic that the fight can get made in 2013. It’s an important fight for the fans and boxing. It’s too bad a great fight like that can’t be made because two promoters refuse to work together. You have to ask yourself, where does that leave the fighters? Where does it leave the fans?
Tell us about your son's involvement in the sport.
Frankie has been helping me out for a few years now. He's just as passionate about the sport as I am and he continues to do great work. His support has helped spur the growth of our company and I think he'll be in the business for a very long time.
Any words for boxing fans who follow Espinoza Boxing Club?
Yes. We want to thank you for your support. Keep following us. Frankie and I have some big surprises coming up in 2013. Some big announcements that will shake up the world of boxing. Most of all, I want to wish the fans the happiest of Holidays, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.