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Straight Talk: One on One Interview with Promoter Roy Englebrecht
by Sue TL Fox

June 1
4, 2009

     
   
   
   
   

(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 cards?

R. Englebrecht:   I have always believed we are in the entertainment business as well as sports, and women's bouts are always entertainment and competitive.

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 at fightpromoteruniversity.com.

TL Fox: Where do you see boxing vs. MMA at this time, what are your thoughts on MMA grabbing the attention over boxing in events?

R. Englebrecht:  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?

R. Englebrecht:  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.

Related Links:

#1 Interview: Straight Talk - Jerry Hoffman  Link

#2 Interview: Straight Talk - Roy Englebrecht  Link
#3 Interview: Straight Talk - Miranda Carter  Link
#4 Interview: Straight Talk - Jane Couch Link

 
     
     
   
 
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