(JUNE 14) In WBAN's second
installment of "Straight Talk", I conducted an interview with the
ever-busy Roy Englebrecht, who not only promotes boxing, but has
many other irons in the fire with various organizations, with some
of those that he has created.
TL Fox: Roy, thank you for taking the time to be interviewed
on WBAN. I first met you in 2002, when you were doing a show up in
Portland, Oregon. On that card, you had a women's bout between Ada
Velez vs. Layla McCarter. I was impressed from the beginning of the
quality of women's bouts that you put on your cards.
TL Fox: How did you originally get into promoting boxing? and
in what year?
R. Englebrecht: I have
always been in the promotions business, and really learned the
ropes as Director of Promotions for the LA Lakers, LA Kings, and
all the Fabulous Forum events from 1975-1981. But my first
promotion of a pro boxing show was February 15, 1985, our first
Battle In The Ballroom show at the Irvine Marriott.
TL Fox: What was your first exposure to women's boxing?
R. Englebrecht: Just hearing about Christy Martin
and noticing all the hype she was getting.
TL Fox: What made you decide to add women's bouts on your
I have always believed we are in the entertainment business as
well as sports, and women's bouts are always entertainment and
TL Fox: Who were some of the first women boxers you met
or had on your cards?
R. Englebrecht: My
first female bout was at the Irvine Marriott on December 28,
1995. Gina Guidi vs Del Pettis. A great fight and Gina won in
3rd round KO. Very, very few promoters had females on their
show, and certainly we were on first on the West Coast. I
remember a number of my season seat holders called to complain
when I announced a female bout, but after the three great
rounds, the fans were cheering. As a matter of fact it was the
fight of the night.
TL Fox: What are some of the problems you have
encountered as a promoter when trying to make a woman's match?
R. Englebrecht: Very
few problems compared to the men! Maybe the toughest is finding
opponents, as the pool is not that large. Women are very
competitive and will fight just about any opponent.
TL Fox: I have seen you do many boxing shows, and you
have branched out into MMA on your cards---has that been
successful so far in not only featuring boxing bouts on cards?
R. Englebrecht: We
only do boxing and MMA on the same card with our Worlds Collide
Tournament at Primm, NV. We alternate bouts, one boxing than one
MMA. The fans really enjoy it, as it is a different look each
bout. I have not tried to mixed the two sports at any of my
Battle In The Ballroom shows, as not sure fans want to see this.
Maybe I would do a MMA bout at a boxing show to promote my
upcoming MMA show.
TL Fox: When I made an earlier comment about you having
many irons in the fire, I was also including the fact that you
have a class for people who are interested in promoting, can you
tell us about that?
R. Englebrecht: I
started Fight Promoter University three years ago, as I was so
sad to see rookie promoters getting into the business and losing
$25,000 on their first show and never being heard from again. It
wasn't that they were bad promoters, they just didn't have any
knowledge of how to promote the right way. I had developed a
template on successful club shows, and thought I could teach
this in a course. FPU was born, and we have had 100 alumni with
a number doing their first shows successfully. FPU VI is August
13-16 and info
TL Fox: Where do you see boxing vs. MMA at this time,
what are your thoughts on MMA grabbing the attention over boxing
Boxing will do OK. When someone in American develops a great
American Heavyweight Champion, the fans will be back.
TL Fox: Is MMA
grabbing the attention away from boxing?
R. Englebrecht: MMA is hot right now because
Boxing doesn't have any marquee stars! Plus MMA attracts
Generation X and Y fans, they make up a lot more people than the
Baby Boomers, who are mainly boxing fans.
TL Fox: Has the current economy had a significant impact
on your events that you promote, if so, in what way?
R. Englebrecht: Yes,
sponsors don't have as much money to spend, and people in
general don't have as much to spend. You have to be smarter and
more creative, and work harder with less. This is where the
foundations of what we teach at Fight Promoter University come
in. Remember, you can't control your revenue, but you certainly
can control your expenses!
TL Fox: At this time it is looking very good for amateur
women boxers to be able to be included in the 2012 Olympics. Do
you feel that if this happens, that it will significantly give a
boost to the sport?
R. Englebrecht: It
certainly will be a very positive step for the sport, but don't
know if it will make it a good career for women....meaning
making a decent income.
TL Fox: As a promoter, who has dealt first hand with
women boxers, if you were to give them any advice at all, what
would that be?
Don't get spoiled like the guys, always wanting an easy
fight...and easy opponent.
TL Fox: In conclusion, if there is anything that I have
not asked or you, can you add your comments.
R. Englebrecht: Hey,
I talk the talk and walk the walk, as I gave two women their pro
debuts this past Thursday, it was Mia vs Mia.