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06/06/2006 Archived Entry: "Dominic Pesoli on Female Boxing, His Team and His Fighters in Chicago"

Dominic Pesoli on Female Boxing, His Team and His Fighters in Chicago

By Juan C. Ayllon

DominicMiguelDudes (54k image)

Dominic Pesoli (left) with fighter, Miguel Hernandez (photo by Juan C. Ayllon)

CHICAGO Ė Dominic Pesoli is a hard working young man who in many ways epitomizes the successful young entrepreneur of the 2000ís. Always in terrific shape, he is the promoter and president of 8 Count Productions, which he founded in 1997, and runs JABB Boxing Gym, which began operations in December 2003, with fiancť, Tina, and his partner, Mike Garcia.

With shrewdly promoted events targeting the largest demographic supporter of boxing, the Latin market, compelling matches and partnering with majors such as Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions, and Main Events, and TV venues like Telefutura, ESPN2, Telemundo and Showtime, Pesoli has quickly carved himself a great niche in Chicago as a solid up and coming promoter.

Following a long day at the office, Dominic Pesoli touched on female boxing, the success of his shows, several of his fighters and working with other promoters.

JUAN AYLLON: Thereís been a lot of noise lately with womenís boxing thatís been gaining popularity and youíve been playing an active role in promoting it in Chicago. Can you tell us a little more about that?

DOMINIC PESOLI: When it comes to female boxing, it comes pretty much to I made a commitment to Rita (Figueroa). Iím trying to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a world champion. So, there were necessary steps to get her further along in her career and to get her an opportunity to fight for a world title. It really started more so because of her.

And, when we were in Rising Sun, Indiana, we did the title fight with Sumya Anani [versus Terri Blair for the Womenís International Boxing Association Welterweight Title] and that ended up being a phenomenal fight. And, as I recall, they just got a rematch and Sumaya got stopped in the ninth round this time instead of the 10th round.

Anybody that knows boxing knows that Sumya had been voted the most feared boxer for the last several years and in her last two fights, she got stopped.

JA: You had another fight pitting Nora Reyes versus Stacey Reile, which was a phenomenal fight. Can you tell us about that?

DP: It was an excellent fight. Reile is one of those very flamboyant fighters that doesnít care where she fights, if itís somebody elseís hometown, you can see that she tries to get under the skin of her opposition and uses every possible angle to get inside their mind. It was a great fight. So, we had that fight and we had Christina Christian also fight a heavyweight fight. In that particular show, we had two female fights and then recently we had the fight with Rita for the stepping stone title. So, now weíre talking about possibly the next step for a world title opportunity.

JA: Now, are you thinking of hosting Molly McConnell, who had an excellent amateur career and fights for Bruce Houdeówho also manages Christina Christianóout of the northwest? Do you foresee featuring her in one of your shows?

DP: Bruce and I go way back. Heís a good guy and heís been involved with 8 Count pretty much since I started the business. He does a lot for 8 Count. You know, heís recently gotten into managing fighters and if thereís an opportunity for me to help him, I will.

JA: Thereís been a lot of rumbling in Chicago with all your activity where people as far away as Mexico saying Chicagoís the place to be. We also have a contributing writer from Florida, Laz Izada, who keeps on talking about how exciting Chicago is as a fight town. What would you attribute all your success to?

DP: Hard work! [Laughs]. I think itís a couple different things: Obviously, hard work, staying focused and knowing your market.

I think a lot of it is having a very good matchmaker in Jerry Alfano and putting on entertaining fights. Fight fans want to come out and see quality fights. They donít want to see mismatches. I think thatís a very important factor with being successful is giving the people what they want. If you want your customers to come back, you have to provide them with quality fights. And Jerry has been instrumental in doing that.

I think it all boils down to having a good team: Bernie [Bahrmasel] does an excellent job of sending out press releases and building awareness; itís just across the board with everyone working really hard and doing the right thing and we always stand behind our motto, ĎCreating contenders, not pretenders.í

You know, itís really easy to build somebody up to be an undefeated fighter and then they get an opportunity for a big fight and they usually choke. But, I have to give credit to a lot of these young fighters from Chicago who are willing to take tough fights and make a stand, like Miguel [Hernandez].

Miguel didnít have a big amateur background, but heís taken some pretty competitive, serious fights early on in his career and always does.

Theyíve all taken a step to better their careers by fighting better quality opposition. With the fighters willing to do that, putting on these quality type of events, I think it all plays hand in hand with having a successful show.

JA: Speaking of which, I understand that Miguel is supposed to fight Yori Boy Campas pretty soon. What comments do you have to share about that fight?

DP: I think itís a great opportunity for Miguel. You know Miguel had a good showing with Raul Marquez and I think Miguelís going to go back in this fight and I think heís going to come out the victor. Yori Boy is a big name and I think itís a great opportunity for Miguel. I really do. Heís the younger, stronger guy and he is fighting a veteran, a very experienced former champion and I think itís perfect for Miguel.

JA: And youíve got a fight for David Diaz coming up on the 16th of June against Efren Hinojosa for the IBA Lightweight Title. How do you see that playing out?

DP: Iím very excited for David. I feel heís already won that title. We had him fight for the IBA title down in Rising Sun, Indiana [versus Ramazan Palyani]. I myself and everyone at the arena thought he won the title and they called it a draw. I felt really bad for him, because he really won that belt. If I think somebody lost a fight, Iíll be the first to admit I donít think he won. But this fight, I thought David really did great and he won the fight. I told David, ĎYou should take this belt. You deserve it.í He said, ĎI donít want to win the title that way.í

So, heís been wanting to fight for this title and the opportunity presented itself. Heís going to have the opportunity again next week. I think being in his hometown and all the fans will be coming out to support him, I think itís going to give him that extra boost and I think heís going to come out with the IBA World Championship.

JA: And youíve got Freddy Cuevas fighting June 10th against John Duddy.

DP: Freddyís been working hard also. Again, Freddyís the veteran, Duddyís the young guy trying to make a statement. For Freddy, itís a do or die situation. He knows that this is a crossroad fight for him and if he wants to continue in his career, he needs to get past John Duddy. Heís really prepared; heís worked really, really hard. Freddyís going to give it 120 percent like he always does.

JA: Can you give us a little preview of some of the upcoming shows that we have to look forward in Chicago?

DP: Well, we have this particular show next week and Iím basically running every month. In July, weíre going to be showcasing some new talent. I have a few guys making their pro debuts in July. Right now, I have Jorge Gonzalez out in camp with Fernando Vargas and heíll be fighting again in July, possibly an eight round fight. Jose Hernandez should be coming back soon. Like I said, weíre planning to run pretty much every month and, if an opportunity presents itself to do two shows in one month, we will. It depends on what all happens going forward.

I have to thank the fans for coming out time and time again and supporting our events. Without them, our shows are not successful.

JA: With Don King fading into the horizon not too long from now, Bob Arum in the twilight of his career, and new players like De La Hoya and his 'Golden Boy Promotions,' what do you have to say about rumors that you might be looking to position yourself as the Oscar De La Hoya of the Midwest?

DP: [Laughs]. Iíve never heard of it! Right now, I have relationships with [Bob Arumís] Top Rank, Oscar De La Hoya and Main Events. I try to work and get along with everyone. I donít try to make enemies in this business. I know thatís sometimes hard to do because itís such a cutthroat business, but I feel very fortunate that Iíve been able to build relationships with different promoters and itís been a pleasure working with Golden Boy, Top Rank and Main Events. I feel fortunate that Iíve built that rapport with three major organizations.

Iím going to keep working hard. I love what I do, I have a passion for it and I think that I have a pretty good team and I treat everyone fair and I expect to be treated fair back. If I can become the Oscar De La Hoya of the Midwest, that would be great. We just take it one day at a time. We just keep building our business.

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