Loeffler’s Game Plan For Success In 2018: Promoter Cooperation

By William Trillo
Photos: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/360 Promotions

The year end holidays always bring boxing to a standstill but the Superfly 2 press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday put the wheels in motion for the 2018 boxing season. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, (43-4-1, 39 KO’s), will be defending his title over 12-rounds for the second time against former world champion and #1 ranked mandatory challenger Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada, (36-2, 25 KO’s), of Sonora, Mexico. The event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark® beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Coming off a stellar 2017 boxing has seen a resurgence. In the eyes of the newly founded 360 Promotions director Tom Loeffler, it would be a shame not to jump on that momentum for 2018. Of course, that is always easier said than done. With all the different agendas that plague the sport the wheels can come off the bus quite quickly. But in Loeffler’s mind it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it seems very simple. “I think we just need to keep putting the best fights together, stated Loeffler, “If we can do the rematch with GGG & Canelo, if we can do shows like Superfly…. Anthony Joshua just announced a unification bout with Joseph Parker…these are the types of fights that boxing needs.”

With the Lucas Matthysse vs.Tewa Kiram bout notwithstanding, Superfly 2 will be one of the first real championship fights to come down the turnpike in 2018. The rest of the early 2018 boxing landscape looks more like a who’s who of contender’s or pretenders taken on a slew of broken down war horses. These “keep ‘em active” fights are exactly what Loeffler wants promoters to stay away from.

When asked how to keep boxing relevant this year Loeffler suggested, “Maybe not just a bunch of stay busy fights, but instead the best fighting the best and Champions being willing to unify their titles. For instance, we had the most challenging time when GGG was coming up and trying to get another champion in the ring with him. That’s why I always gave David Lemieux a lot of credit for unifying while all the other champions were not willing to unify with Gennady. These are the types of fights and shows that the sport of boxing needs.”

I don’t think it’s any big secret that I have been shouting from the rooftops that there is a simple solution to all that has been ailing boxing. But since no one is listening to me maybe you’d like to take the advice from someone who put together successful sold-out show after successful sold-out show in 2017.

“It’s really the responsibility of the fighters and the promoters to make these types of events happen,” said Loeffler.

So Mr. Fighter, the next time your promoter comes to you and offers up some has been broken down palooka for your next so called test, simply refuse it. Tell him you want to be a real champion so quit serving up the bums because no one is taking you seriously.

And as for you Mr. Promoter, stop the charade, no one is buying it. If you don’t believe me go take a look at ticket sales for that atrocity you have coming up in Las Vegas next month. Boxing fans are not as stupid as you think. No one is going to shell out a dime to watch you try to rehabilitate a fighter you singlehandedly ruined yourself.

But what are the chances of promoters really working together and putting on the fights boxing truly needs? Is it even possible that could happen? “I hope so”, stated Loeffler, “The sport needs the cooperation of the different promoters. I know sometimes that certain promoters are affiliated with different TV networks and then there is no cross promotion. The philosophy of my company 360 Promotions is to promote worldwide events and we are looking to keep putting on these types of shows. That’s what we are looking forward to do.”

I reminisced a bit with Loeffler reminding him that it was back in 2003 when we first met at the Lennox Lewis vs. Vitali Klitschko Heavyweight title fight. “It started with Vitali back at The Staple Center and we’ve built the product from there.” Loeffler chuckled to himself and quipped, “It’s funny you mention Vitali, we started with the Heavyweight Championship of the World and now we are here with the Flyweights at The Forum. It’s been a tremendous run. All the great fights with GGG that we’ve done, and then Chocolatito …and now we are just looking to build on that success.”

With his new company 360 Promotions and a highly anticipated fight to debut his company Loeffler is looking forward to being at the center of the biggest fights of 2018. With fighters like Gennady Golovkin in his holster that success he is hoping for is right at his fingertips.

For the rest of his promotional peers the message is clear…. “put up or shut up”.

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