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Straight Talk: One on One Interview with Lenny Fresquez
by Sue TL Fox
July 22, 2009

     
   
   
   
   

(JULY 22) Lenny Fresquez, a promoter in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has not only promoted men's boxing, but has been supportive of women's boxing. Fresquez currently promotes many male boxers, and New Mexico’s multi-world champion Holly Holm. Last year he was responsible for putting on the highest profile boxing card that featured four women's bouts that were all fighting for world titles. The card was shown on Pay-Per-View, with some of the top women boxers in the world.

TL Fox: How did you originally get into promoting boxing? And in what year?

Fresquez: I originally got into promoting when Danny Romero and his father came and asked me to help them promote him. I was promoting Latin music at the time. It was in 1995, when I had my first fight card. I have had the opportunity to promote or co-promote some of the best fighters in the world that include Floyd Mayweather, Johnny Tapia, Danny Romero Jr., Corrie Sanders, Buster Mathis, Goyo Vargas, Cruz Carabajal, Eric Morrel, David Diaz, and many other world champs.

TL Fox: In other news stories, you have said that you were never a boxer yourself. Without fighting in the sport at anytime, what sparked your interest so heavily in the sport?

Fresquez: Attending a couple of electrifying fights of Johnny Tapia. I also had two different venues that I ran where I had all the concessions, so I was trying to make money on both---did not do too well on the boxing end.

TL Fox: What was your first exposure to women's boxing?

Fresquez: Well, I would have to say Christy Martin on the Tyson undercards. She is the pioneer of getting women's boxing noticed.

TL Fox: When did you decide that you would put women's boxing on your cards?

Fresquez: When I knew that certain ones could sell enough tickets.

Sue TL Fox: Who were some of the first women boxers you had on your cards?

Fresquez: I had Trina Ortegon fight for me and fight for her World Title. I also worked with Adriana Delgado.

TL Fox: What are some of the problems you have encountered as a promoter when trying to make a woman's match?

Fresquez: Some do not understand the economics of boxing and out price themselves out of a fight. If the female boxer is that big of a name they probably do not have to worry about fighting Holly. Other issues---boxing politics; ridiculous sanctioning; letting fighters with no worthiness to fight for a World Title fight with just a few fights---Crazy, this is what is really killing the sport. I have gotten to the point where I do not care what belt or if there is a belt on the line. They strip the fighter without any notice, they do not go down their list of ranked boxers and there are so many titles. Who even knows which one anyone has.

TL Fox: What are some of the toughest obstacles you face when putting on a boxing event (i.e. venues, commissions, sanctioning bodies, boxers, etc.)?

Fresquez: I have great relations with venues. Commissions do not run into many problems. Really my biggest obstacle is dealing with people from out of the country and their Visas. The sanctioning bodies used to be----but I no longer pay any attention to them. As far as boxers go, my biggest hurdle I find myself in is finding good opponents that are a challenge for Holly Holm.

TL Fox: How did you get involved with promoting Holly Holm?

Fresquez: She fought on one of my cards and I hit it off with both Holly and her coach Mr. Winklejohn. Holly began with a small fan base that has grown. I never imagined that we would get this far in Women's boxing. Holly is a great ambassador for Women's boxing. She is not afraid to fight anyone or anywhere as long as she is paid correctly. Not being bias, but she in my opinion, is the most definitely, and best female fighter in the world!

TL Fox: The biggest fight, or one of the biggest fights that we see on the horizon is Holly Holm vs. Anne-Sophie Mathis of France. Do you see this fight ever happening, or are there just too many obstacles to see this fight transpire (i.e. purse issues, locations, etc) ?

Fresquez: I had spoken to Crystal of Team Mathis and they wanted too much money and too many plane tickets. Although I think this is a good fight, I will not lose any sleep over not fighting her. I had hoped women's boxing was bigger over there (France), and that we could get some television revenue, but I was wrong. This is a marketable fight----but only if they come down on their requests. Flying people from out of the country gets pretty expensive. And also, I think this fight needs to be a televised fight.

TL Fox: With MMA on the rise, do you see yourself mixing MMA and boxing on any of your cards?

Fresquez: No, do not care for MMA, only the ones from Winklejohn's camp will I watch. They are great guys----and they really help motivate Holly and feel like they are part of our team.

TL Fox: Has the current economy had a significant impact on your events that you promote, if so, in what way?

Fresquez: Fortunately it has not. Holly has sold out eight shows in a row---until we went to fight in Detroit in Auburn Hills which the venue is much bigger---And that is probably the fewest fans she has fought in front of in over three years.

TL Fox: As a promoter, what is your perspective as to some of the major problems plaguing women's boxing that may be hurting them in the sport?

Fresquez: Sanctioning bodies, mismatches, lack of television coverage which means no television revenue and makes you dependent on your gate and sponsors.

TL Fox: There are many boxing promoters out there that will not feature women's boxing. What made you decide to support the women boxers and have them fight on your cards?

Fresquez: Really---I am getting ready to retire from this business. After Holly's career---she is a rare person that is so easy to work with that it is a breath of fresh air to deal with a down to earth person. Even as her popularity has exploded. I feel women are a lot more appreciative in what you go through for them. In regards to Holly, she is a great student of the game and is great to see her peak. Without a doubt, I believe that she will go in the history books as one of the best female fighters----if not the best to lace them up.

TL Fox: You mentioned that you are going to retire from promoting. After you retire, what are your plans for the future?

Fresquez: To move to Maui and enjoy life. For those not aware----I do boxing for a hobby and not a living. Will go to all the big fights and buy a ringside ticket and enjoy the fight without the hassles.

TL Fox: Of all the women boxers you have seen thus far, excluding Holly Holm, who have you seen in the sport that you feel represents the "whole package" in the sport?

Fresquez: The fighters that impress me the most is Jennifer Barber. She is one of the best technicians, I have seen with a lot to learn. My wife, who is not that great a fan of women's boxing even liked Barber when we saw her fight---that says a lot.  My wife has seen a lot of fights---men and women and rarely comments on them but was impressed by Barber. Some others include Ann Marie Saccurato, Chevelle Hallback---are all heart and very good fighters.   I really like to watch them. And last but certainly not the least is Carina Moreno. Very good technician and a lot of heart. Sophie Mathis does not impress me that much----or for that matter any of the European fighters.

TL Fox: If you could give women boxers any advice that you feel would further the sport, and their boxing careers, what would you say to them?

Fresquez: Do not get started in boxing ( Just kidding). I would tell them to make sure that they get with people who they can trust. Also, that they have no need to make money off of boxing---and are doing this for a hobby, unless it is a person that trains and manages multiple men world champions. They need to set their goals high and give it their all. They will run into a lot of hurdles and this will be a test to see how hungry they are. Lastly, get use to fights falling out for one reason or the other without letting it get them down.

TL Fox: In conclusion, if there is anything that I have not asked  you, can you add your comments.

Fresquez: Would like to thank you for all you do for women's boxing. There are but a few, of what I would call experts in women's boxing and consider you one of them. Lets try to stick together and do what is right for the sport not worrying about the little things. We must put on exciting fights and make sure we get television interested in women's boxing. I wish everyone out there the best in their careers and lets represent the sport in a positive manner. Thank you and keep on punching!

Fresquez also added an open challenge to women boxers. He said in regards to Holly Holm, "We will fight anyone from 140-154 lbs. We CHALLENGE every female out there that will fight in these weight categories. You must be a top five fighter.

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
#5 Interview: Straight Talk - Lenny Fresquez Link

 
     
     
   
 
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