Feature Story

Q&A: Frank Espinoza

Frank Espinoza Sr. is one of the most successful west coast boxing managers in the last decade. His astute handling of the careers of former world champions, Israel Vazquez and Martin Castillo, proved to the boxing industry that he’s a force to be reckoned with. The proud East L.A. native hasn’t stopped there. He recently guided Abner Mares to a world title and has a stable-full of undefeated prospects that are making waves on just about every major television network. We caught up with Frank and he answered some questions:

Tell us about your recent signings?
I signed Daniel Ponce De Leon who is a former world champion and one of the hardest punchers in the sport. He’s very exciting. We like exciting fighters and when he became available, we jumped at the chance to sign him. We hope to get him another title shot by the end of the year. The latest fighter I signed is Jose “Loco” Hernandez. He’s a real warrior in the ring. He’s a hard worker and has a style that will give anyone problems.

What’s going on with bantamweight champion Abner Mares?
Abner will be fighting on April 21st in Mexico. We’re hoping to get him some very big fights. Jorge Arce has expressed an interest in fighting him so he may be a possible opponent. We’re also targeting Nonito Donaire at the end of the year or early 2013. We want to do the Donaire fight at the right time. Timing is always important.

What’s up with Israel Vazquez and Martin Castillo?
Martin is retired from professional boxing and is now part of the business sector. He’s doing well. Israel opened a gym in South Gate. He also does some broadcasting for Spanish television. They’re both still involved in the sport as trainers for the younger generations.

What does it take to be an effective manager?
A solid business acumen is important but nothing beats experience. I’ve been at this for more than 20 years and I’ve learned all the ins and outs of the business. I make sure that my fighter is treated fairly and that he’s fairly compensated. Once a fighter joins us he’s part of a family and we take care of our family.

What do you look for in a fighter before you sign them?
I look for someone who’s entertaining. Someone with a good style and a lot of heart. Personality is always a plus but we look for fighters that show tremendous grit and character inside the ring.

What should a young fighter look for in a potential manager?
A young fighter should really analyze who their dealing with. Does the person have the right kind of track record? In my case, I’m a business man and boxing isn’t where I make my primary living. The advantage is that no one can put any financial pressure on me to sign a deal unless it makes complete sense for my fighters.

What’s going with some of your prospects like Ronny Rios, Luis Ramos, Antonio Orozco, Carlos Molina and Abraham Lopez?
Ronny and Luis just fought and won. Luis will be back April 28th. They’ve been developing very nicely and they’re still undefeated. Hopefully they’ll fight for a world title sometime in 2013. Antonio Orozco will fight Feb 24th on a Sho-Box card. Carlos Molina fights March 17th in Texas on Telefutura and Abraham Lopez March 16th on ESPN2 My plan is to eventually get all my guys title shots. I can assure you they will be tested against very tough competition before that happens.

What should the fans expect from Espinoza Boxing in the next five years?
Expect more signings and more world champions. This sport is a passion for my son, Frankie Jr., and myself and we’re very driven to continue succeeding. We’ll have some exciting news coming up soon. I’ve been working on some deals that will have a long lasting impact on the world of boxing. In other words, there’s still plenty more to come from Espinoza Boxing Club.

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