Thompson Boxing Promotions continues busy stretch
There is no rest for the weary for Thompson Boxing Promotions and its General Manager and Matchmaker Alex Camponovo. After spending much of last week in Chicago with WBA 122-pound titlist Danny Roman (who stopped Gavin McDonnell in 10 rounds in his third title defense), they touch down in Salinas, California, this weekend where featherweight prospect Ruben Villa headlines another card in his hometown.
Next week they stage another card at the familiar haunts of the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California.
“Yeah, it’s the busiest stretch in awhile. It all kind of started in the month of September. The fall season is very promising for us,” said Camponovo. “Between the fights we’ve had in September, now Danny Roman, Salinas with Ruben Villa and the following Friday, October the 19th, with Saul Sanchez. So it’s been quite busy and it’s been quite fun also.”
Roman was part of the stateside debut of DAZN after Thompson Boxing made a deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA to be a part of this new venture. Being a smaller promotional outfit, Thompson Boxing had no built-in network deal but it was in a position in which Roman suddenly became a hot commodity, as these platforms were looking to procure talent.
Camponovo told UCNLive.com, “As things progressed, our independence became the best tool. We’ve been able to navigate through the networks and co-promoting fights with other people in the past, so it wasn’t anything new. What it’s opening up now is the streaming services that we have. The demise of HBO – which is very sad for boxing fans and I’m sure other promoters – but not so much for us because we never really had a stake in the network.
“We had an initial offer from them awhile back ago to stage a unification bout with (WBC junior featherweight titleholder) Rey Vargas and Danny Roman but the offer was so low, it really didn’t speak of what HBO used to be in its heyday. So we moved on and that’s why we took Danny around the globe to solidify him in the position that he’s in today.”
Last year Roman won his title in Japan and then made its first defense back there in late February before coming back to the States last June to face Moises Flores in Frisco, Texas, on Showtime.
“Now we have this new opportunity with DAZN and Matchroom, in which we are co-promoting for the next few fights, to make him into a household name, a bigger name and ensure that he’s got some fights at home, if not all of them. So that has opened up a lot,” said Camponovo, who was once again impressed by the form Roman showed last week in the “Windy City.” “He did beyond well with McDonnell, who was a tremendous opponent and came to fight and didn’t want to take no for an answer during the fight but Danny was a formidable opponent and a great champion.”
The objective with cards like this Saturday night and next Friday is to develop the next Roman. In the past Thompson Boxing cultivated Timothy Bradley, Josesito Lopez and Mauricio Herrera among others. If Villa, Sanchez, Michael Dutchover and Ruben Torres come along as expected, they will have decisions to make, in terms of where they will be featured next.
“Everything changes in this world and in this industry. Everything is all so cyclical. I think the new ways that we’re all enjoying with all these new platforms coming up between ESPN+ and DAZN and the resurgence of network television in boxing like FOX and there’s been conversation about NBC working with another promoter,” explained Camponovo. “I don’t think the sport has ever been this healthy. Showtime’s still there and will be featuring a tremendous amount of fighters, always good quality and high-caliber matches.
“So everything is cyclical and we all have to base it on how and when our fighters will develop. For Ruben Villa and Michael Dutchover, who are are two of our young fighters, who we work with Banner Promotions and Artie Pelullo and we always talk about how they’re not Showtime ‘World Championship Boxing’ material yet but they’re soon to be ‘ShoBox’ fighters and maybe we’ll have a chance to get some of those dates in 2019 and be able to showcase them and go from there.”
Regardless Thompson Boxing’s independence will be its strength.
“We’ve been at this for 18 years; 14 years we’ve been able to work with different promoters and different networks and we’ve always been able to do well,” says Camponovo. “So we’ll go with the flow and try to do the best for our fighters.”
Here’s this week’s edition of “The 3 Knockdown Rule” with Mario Lopez and me:
As always Beto Duran and I will be on the call for Thompson Boxing on Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m. PT, from the Storm House in Salinas…The WBO announced on Thursday that Billy Joe Saunders has voluntarily vacated his middleweight belt after failing a VADA test for a banned stimulant. So now Demetrius Andrade will face Walter Kautondokwa on October 20, in Boston, for the vacant title…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.