Thompson Boxing Promotions goes to the Storm House
The hub of Thompson Boxing Promotions’ program is typically the Doubletree Hotel, in Ontario, California. However this Saturday night, it stages a card from the Storm House in Salinas, California that will features featherweight prospect Ruben Villa IV, in his hometown. In 2018, Thompson Boxing will hit the road as it looks to cultivate the Villa and Michael Dutchover (who hails from Texas) in their local regions.
In short, it’s looking to expand its brand and develop these boxers into attractions.
“The conversation started last last year with Artie Pelullo, our partner, regarding our two fighters,” said Alex Camponovo, the general manager and matchmaker for Thompson Boxing, now in its 18th year of operation. “We have both guys under co-promotional agreement and we realized that both guys were moving up in their careers, little by little. They’re young prospects and we thought it was time to see how they can do in their respective towns.
“Obviously, Michael Dutchover, who’s from Midland, Texas, we haven’t been able to finalize the details for a fight in the late summer over there but we’re working on it.”
As for this weekend’s event, which has Villa facing Marlon Olea for the vacant WBO youth featherweight title, Camponovo states, “It’s going to be a sold-out event. Ruben has worked really hard in his hometown promoting the event and he pretty much sold half of the tickets for the Storm House.”
The venue is no stranger to the “Sweet Science.”
“They’ve done shows there before. I believe Golden Boy (Promotions), Don Chargin in Salinas, and it’s an indoor soccer arena,” explained Camponovo, “so we’re going to transform it into a boxing arena. They have done some television shows there in the past and we’re going to stream the show live. It’s going to be on our website; it’s going to be on Facebook (Live) and I’m pretty sure it’s also going to be on the Banner (Promotions) website.”
And Villa performing in Salinas will not be a one-off.
“Oh no, this is going to be the first of many. The important thing is for us, besides the fact we’re taking the show to his hometown, Banner and Thompson, we’re going to make a huge effort to move him up in the ratings,” said Camponovo of the 10-0 (4) Villa, who beat 2016 Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson a couple of times in the unpaid ranks. “He’s going to actually fight for the WBO youth featherweight title, so we’re going to make sure he gets elevated in the ratings and he gets moved up and eventually he becomes a contender in that division.
“This is the first step and definitely we want to come back. We’re already seeing this show has a lot of traction over there. We have about 50 tickets left or something like that, “Camponovo said earlier this week, “so we’re going to be sold out that night and, in the same area where the Storm House is – which belongs to the city of Salinas – there’s other venues, like where they do the biggest rodeo in the country, and there’s a huge football stadium and there’s another smaller arena.
“So if things go well, I see us doing a bigger show over there or perhaps going to the Storm House in the month of June/July, most likely July, and then seeing what we can do for the fall in a bigger venue. So Ruben has a huge following over there and we want to capitalize on that and make sure his fans don’t have to travel to Southern California or other venues because he’s fought in Maryland with Artie and he’s fought in Verona at Turning Stone (Resort & Casino). We want to make sure we take the show back to them and they have a chance to see him.”
As for Dutchover’s homecoming venue, “There’s a number of them available to us; we’re trying to make a deal with one of them in particular. We’ve been working with the Chamber of Commerce, and also with the city of Midland, and hopefully we’ll have an announcement soon. We have to stop by and scout these arenas. I’m actually going to meet with Artie Pelullo and we’re going to talk about that.
“They’re eager to have us there and I’m sure he’ll do, as well as Ruben is in Salinas.”
Thompson Boxing – which has developed Timothy Bradley, Mauricio Herrera and Danny Roman (its latest world champion) and now has a promising roster of young prospects – made the decision to come out of its comfort zone, in which it has thrived for years.
“As you know, things change in this industry at the drop of a hat. TV networks are doing their thing and support certain promoters. It’s hard to get your foot in the door but all we have to do is keep on working,” explained Camponovo. “We have a great roster of young fighters who are up-and-coming prospects and all we have to do is keep on working. The more we try, the more of an effort that we make, the better off we’re going to be in the near future.
“Definitely we can turn that corner and get some dates on television but it’s up to the executives. It’s up to them opening the door to us and trying to see what our kids are capable of. I’m confident of their ability when they have to move up on the boxing ladder, so it’s not a problem about testing kids in future events. They’re going to be ready for any challenge that comes their way.”
Meanwhile, Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions will build them locally.
Here’s this week’s edition of “The 3 Knockdown Rule.” Mario Lopez and I talk all things boxing and you hear from Shawn and Kenny Porter. We also have WrestleMania memories.
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