Manager Frank Espinoza has experienced a busy 2013. We caught up with him and discussed several subjects including Abner Mares, Vic Darchinyan, Joseph Agbeko, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Oscar Valdez and Ronny Rios. He also updated us on upcoming bouts for all his fighters.
What were your feelings regarding the loss by Abner Mares to Jhonny Gonzalez?
I was just as surprised as everyone else, but it was Jhonny ‘s night. I think Abner would beat him in a rematch. It was only a one round fight so the real story hasn’t ended between them. They need to face each other again so we can have a clear winner. I’d like to make that rematch happen for Abner next year.
You’ve got Vic Darchinyan fighting Nonito Donaire on November 9 in Corpus Christi, Texas. What do you think about Vic’s chances against Nonito?
I think Vic is extremely motivated for this fight. He wants to defeat the man who first defeated him. He wants this win very badly and there’s nothing more dangerous than a genuinely determined fighter. He has a good chance at winning. He will be the semi main event on HBO.
Two time Olympian, Oscar Valdez, is a highly regarded prospect that you signed. What’s going on with him?
Oscar is still undefeated with a record of 6 and 0 with 6 knockouts. He’s been impressing fans from his debut. What can I say? He’s sensational. He’s fast, his style is fan friendly and he’s bi-lingual. I think he’ll be a super star. He’ll be fighting on November 9 as part of the Darchinyan vs Donaire card.
What about Daniel Ponce de Leon?
Daniel will be fighting on November 16 in Mexico. Daniel wants another crack at the 130 lb. world title. He wants to be champion again. All he has to do is win and I’ll get him into world title contention.
You recently signed former world champion Joseph Agbeko. He’ll be fighting Guillermo Rigondeaux on December seventh in Atlantic City for the world title. Why did you take this fight against a fighter everyone seems to be avoiding?
I like this fight. Joseph is exactly the type of fighter that can beat Rigondeaux. He brings that gritty toughness African fighters, especially fighters from Ghana, are known for. He has the athleticism and boxing ability to wear down and defeat a fighter like Rigo. The fight will be the main event on HBO.
You signed Diego Magdaleno. How do you feel about his progress and what are the plans for him?
Diego is a fighter with a tremendous future ahead of him. Joel Diaz is his trainer and he’s doing a great job with him. We’re looking to position him into world title contention in 2014. He’s currently 24 and 1 with nine knockouts. He’ll be fighting in January. We don’t have an opponent yet.
What’s going on with Antonio “Relentless” Orozco?
Antonio is doing great. He’s still undefeated and were looking to get him a title shot next year. He’s gaining quite a following and I have a lot of faith in him. His punching power and killer instincts in the ring are quickly making him a fan favorite. He fights November 30 on Showtime Extreme.
What about Ronny Rios?
Ronny Rios is currently undefeated with a record of 22 and 0 and ten knockouts. We have big plans for Ronny next year. This kid has incredible skills and I expect him to fight for a world title soon. Ronny will be making big news in 2014. Keep your eye on him.
What about Luis Ramos, Joet Gonzalez and Carlos Molina?
Luis is fighting November 11 in San Antonio against Fidel Maldonado, we’re looking for Carlos to come back in January or February. As for Joet, we’re looking for a date for him in November.
You were inducted into the WBC Legends of boxing museum just recently. Tell us about that.
It was great to see all my friends in the boxing community at the awards ceremony. It was nice to receive recognition for my work as a manager. I didn’t get into it for the awards but I have to admit, it feels good to be recognized.
Is it hard to deal with so many fighters at the same time?
It’s a lot of work. We pay a lot of attention to our fighters and make sure they get the best deal possible when it comes time to negotiate a fight for them. I’m lucky to have the support of my son Frankie. This job isn’t easy by any means, but it’s very rewarding when someone you signed and helped develop, wins a world title under your management.
What message do you have for boxing fans who follow the Espinoza Boxing fighters?
I want to thank them for their support and I want to let them know I’m very dedicated to this sport and I love being a manager. I work hard at it and I’m always looking to get better at what I do. We’re going to make more announcements soon. We plan on signing more fighters and making more moves in the boxing world. We have some big plans for our fighters and our company that will shake up the boxing industry.