By Ricardo Conde
Frank Espinoza is one of the top managers in the boxing game right now, having won the World Boxing Hall of Fame’s “Manager of the Year Award” back in 2007 and inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame that same year. His vast stable of fighters include three-time world champion Israel “El Magnifico” Vazquez (44-4, 32 KOs), former super flyweight champ Martin “El Gallo” Castillo (35-3, 18 KOs), bantamweight contender Abner Mares (20-0, 13 KOs), lightweight contender Luis Ramos (15-0, 8 KOs) as well as many others.
We recently caught up with Frank Espinoza and asked him a few questions and here’s what he had to say:
How long have you been involved in boxing and what made you decide to become a boxing manager?
I’ve been really involved in boxing since 1990 but ever since I was young I’ve always had a passion and love for the sport. I remember as a kid going with my dad and uncle to the Olympic Auditorium and I remember watching great fighters like Mando Ramos, Danny “Little Red” Lopez and many others. I’ve always wanted to be involved in boxing so I decided to become a manager and help young fighters reach their goals of one day becoming a world champion.
What do you think has been the best part of being a boxing manager and what do you feel has been the hardest part of being a boxing manager?
The best part about being a boxing manager is being able to be involved with these young kids and help bring them up to be world champions. Being a part of their dreams makes me work harder to help fulfill their dreams. I think that’s what I love most about it, is being in their lives and seeing them become world champions. As far as the hardest part of being a manager, well that’s a hard question to answer because I really love the sport and I don’t really see it as being hard. I see it as work I love to do and what ever challenges come up I’m always up for it and it’s something I love to do.
Give us your thoughts on the upcoming fight between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez, which will be their fourth fight and is considered widely by many to be perhaps the greatest boxing trilogy of all time. What’s your prediction on this fight?
Well, I believe these two fighters are great warriors and they’ve had some really great fights and this fight won’t be any different. They have made history and had three great wars and both are coming to win. As far as a prediction, I don’t see this fight going the distance, I think these guys are going to give it everything they got but I see Vazquez coming out the winner and knocking out Marquez.
You also have bantamweight contender Abner Mares taking on Yonnhy Perez for the IBF bantamweight title on the same card, give us your thoughts on that fight?
This fight is going to be a great fight and a great one for the fans and it may even steal the show that night. These two fighters have fought three times before in the amateurs, Mares beat Yonnhy twice and Yonnhy beat Abner once. I really believe this is going to be an action packed fight and may even be the beginning of another great trilogy. This fight will be a great fight for all the fans who are coming to watch the fights that night and for everyone watching on SHOWTIME.
Former champion Martin Castillo will also be headlining a card soon, can you tell us a little about that, how did that come about and what you think of him as a fighter?
Well, Martin is a former world champion and has been with me for many years and he’ll be coming back in June on the 19th. He’ll be fighting in Lindsay, California which is being put on by Fernando Vargas Entertainment Promotions. Martin already made his come back, having fought twice last year. We’re looking for bigger and better things for him this year. Hopefully he’ll get a shot at another world title this year but for this fight he’ll be fighting at 118 against Vernie Torres. Maybe we can fight the winner of Eric Morel and Jorge Arce as many people know Castillo already beat Morel once, so if Morel wins that would be a great rematch.
Tell us a little bit about some of your other fighters, what else is coming up in the next few months for Espinoza Boxing Club, who’s fighting when and against whom?
Well, on May 22, the same night as Vazquez and Marquez, I’ll have two of my other fighters fighting on that same card. One of them is Ronny Rios, he was an Olympic alternate and he’s a great prospect and I see great things for him, when I think of Ronny I think of the word, special. As well as Carlos Molina, who’s an undefeated fighter and had a great amateur background, he’ll also be on that card. I also have Luis Ramos who was on the undercard of Mayweather/Mosley; we’ll see him back in action in either June or July.
Is there anything you would like to tell the boxing fans out there?
I’d like to thank everyone for their support and hopefully everyone can make it out to the Staples Center on May 22, and if not then tune into SHOWTIME to see a great night of boxing.