By Bruce Trampler, Chief Matchmaker, Top Rank
For eight years, Telefutura’s highly-rated program was the most important factor in developing young boxing talent in the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Numerous future champions and young contenders “made their bones” on the series, which reached greater audiences than any other televised boxing program. It’s time to sing the praises of the men who really made the show work for all of us, inside and outside of the boxing ring. A tremendous debt of gratitude is owed to network sports president David Downs and executive producer Art Izquierdo, the Univision executives who championed boxing on the network. Ring announcer extraordinaire Lupe Contreras, La Voz del Boxeo, has been a tremendous ambassador for the program and our sport.
We should also recognize the men in the production truck — Victor Bague, Bob Graham, Rick Seara, Cisco Caballero, Edwin Colon, Nelson Barquet, and the late Jorge “George” Ortega, who passed away while working on a show in Laughlin, NV. Publicists Ricardo Jimenez and Lee Samuels were invaluable as they gave big boosts to boxers’ careers. On behalf of Top Rank, matchmaker Brad Goodman and I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez, as well as Don and Lorraine Chargin for the wonderful fights they presented.
One of the amazing things about the Solo Boxeo series was the number of towns we visited in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Utah. Our thanks go out to all of the local promoters and boxing commissions who worked with us on our Solo Boxeo fight cards, and to the fans who supported Solo Boxeo’s sponsors. Rather than mourn the finish of more than 400 boxing telecasts on Univision, we’d rather remember the wonderful times and the great fights we saw. Whether you are a promoter or a TV viewer, we are all boxing fans at heart. It’s the end of an era, perhaps, but the Solo Boxeo series will always be remembered by the fighters who were developed on the program. Through them, fights on Telefutura will live on.