Born into an entertainment industry family in Las Vegas, Raquel Vasquez is drawn towards drama in her career in the bail industry and her pastime following and covering boxing.
“I think boxing is on FIRE right now,” writer and bail bondsman Raquel Vasquez tells me with enthusiasm as our multi-layered conversation moved to the current boxing scene.
“I've always thought it was on fire though. I don't know if that's just because I have such a passion for the sport.”
By this point, I knew I had made a good decision asking Raquel to chat with me about her career, writing and love of boxing.
I discovered Raquel's prose last year. Her current writing project, Bail Tales, is available to read on the popular culture website Legsville.com. Each tale documents an experience Raquel has had as she goes about her daily job as a bail bondsman in Los Angeles. After being presented with the seedy side of LA by Raquel's beautifully detailed writing in the eight chapters that have so far been shared online, I was interested to get to know the writer behind the work.
As an added bonus, Raquel is a passionate boxing fan. It made sense to schedule a conversation. It was a positive experience talking boxing, writing and work and how they combine to keep life interesting.
Background, Boxing Writing and Bail Tales
Raquel had a different start in life to most people. Her father, Ray Vasquez was a popular singer, musician and actor across many decades. Her mother is actress Renee Victor.
Raquel told NYFights, “I grew up in an entertainment indusrty family. It was a lot of travelling, a lot of planes and airports, movie and television sets and people from all cultures. It helped to know a few words in many languages – as it does for people who work within boxing.”
With her dad's influence, Raquel Vasquez developed an appreciation for boxing from an early age. “I fell in love with boxing, initially through my dad. My father introduced me to Muhammad Ali, he loved him. He used to quote things Ali had said – he really got a kick out of him. He also introduced me to Joe Calzaghe who I became a big fan of. I loved the beauty of his boxing.”
From living in different parts of the world, Raquel landed in Los Angeles and got a start working in the bail bonds industry, eventually setting up her own business – Raquel Queen of Bail – in the Hollywood area of the city.
“I was doing a lot of copy writing for my business,” Raquel said when asked about her beginnings in writing. “Then I started a blog writing about my career in Los Angeles which was really well accepted. That's what got me into writing on boxing.”
Raquel's boxing coverage featured in the pages of LA Canvas Magazine.
“I covered boxing for LA Canvas from 2018 right up until we had the lockdown for the pandemic. LA Canvas used to be really big. It was started by a prominent family in Los Angeles. They own a winery and are very well known. Their son started the magazine but everything changed with the lockdown. Suddenly my outlet was gone.”
With many boxing gyms close to her, I wanted to hear about Raquel's writing assignements for the pop culture magazine.
“My angle was bringing boxing to the UFC fan, to the baseball fan, to the Laker fan. The readers of a pop culture magazine might have believed that boxing was dead so I was bringing the sport to them, letting them know that wasn't the case,” said Vasquez. “I was able to cover some big fights as well as up and coming boxers. Back in 2018 I paid a lot of attention to Jason Quigley, Jaime Munguia and Serhii Bohachuk. I felt the readers needed to know about the newer faces coming into the sport.”
From there I needed to know more about Raquel's current writing – namely Bail Tales. To me, a reader who knows nothing about the bail industry, or crime in large American cities, the series has skilfully drawn me in to that world. I asked Raquel if it is intended to be a book one day?
“The book is in the can,” Raquel informed NYFights. “The hard part is getting it published. These chapters on Legsville are pieces of the book that I'm choosing to publish online. I don't want to give it all up, but on the other hand I really want to get as much attention as a writer for the book.”
Raquel Vasquez continued, “It's a difficult industry to tap into. I'm trying to find myself a scrappy agent. I'm not looking for a giant publisher, I'm looking for more of an independent. I'd like to work with people that are up and coming, like I am. I try to support the little guy in everything that I do and try to stay away from corporate as much as I can.”
Linking Bail Bonds and Boxing
With her work bringing her into contact with some characters who may be on the outer edges of society, and boxing having always been viewed as some kind of renegade sport, I was curious to know if Raquel felt there was an association between the work that she does and her appreciation for boxing.
“There is a little of a gangster element to boxing, a criminal element and a Las Vegas entertainment element that has been solidified in the boxing world,” Raquel stated after giving me a nod of appreciation for the question. “That's the connection between bail bonds and boxing, that gangster element. It's kind of funny to think about my background and somehow finding my way into a crime career, and having this passion for boxing which has kind of a criminal element deep down at the very bottom. It's like, if there isn't crime, and a little bit of lights and action involved, I can't do it.”
She elaborated, “Bail bonds is a very thuggish, gangster industry, just like boxing. Of course for me, being born in Las Vegas and being from a showbiz family, it just seems to align perfectly. You may notice, boxing more than any other sport is called entertainment. I believe strongly that comes from the Las Vegas element that has always been there in boxing. That's my theory and I'm going to stick to it.”
In keeping with the entertainment theme I wanted to gather some thoughts from Raquel on the mass appeal of the upcoming Gervonta Davis – Ryan Garcia fight.
“They are modern era rockstar boxers,” Raquel Vasquez began. “It's kind of an aesthetic really. Take a look at Gervonta Davis – you can see his fashion sense and his walkout music – he's appealing to a younger demographic. People eat that up. Ryan Garcia really relates to a young crowd and he also has the talent and the charm to bring in the older generation of fans. Being beautiful, like he is, does not hurt. Women love him, my mom loves him because he is a pretty boy. It works. It doesn't have to be that way but it definitely helps. It definitely goes a long way towards getting rid of the ‘boxing is dead' stigma also.”
Boxing Training, More on the Current Scene and Pride in Mexican Heritage
Boxing, in the main, is enjoying a positive start to 2023 so it made sense to use up the final minutes of our allocated Zoom time discussing the current state of play in the sport.
I asked Raquel for an early year highlight and what she is looking forward to moving forward.
“Mauricio Lara, what he did last month was absolute fire, that fight was insane,” Raquel told me, referring to Lara's seventh round TKO win over Leigh Wood in England which netted the Mexican boxer the WBA featherweight world title. “Mauricio Lara right now is my favourite boxer. I love Mexican boxers. I'm second generation American, but watching Mexican boxers really ignites the Mexican pride in me.”
By way of underlining how much she appreciates those who glove up, Raquel told me: “I should also mention that I have been boxing myself for eight years. I grew up a dancer – people don't realise that dancing is an athletic practice – and after meeting a boxing trainer at my regular gym I tried it. I fell in love with the training and I can't get enough of it. To do it physically yourself and to realise what these athletes are really doing is important. People might think hitting the double end bag is easy – but it's so hard. It makes you realise just what a difficult sport boxing is.”
In terms of looking forward this year: “I want to see what happens next for Jose Ramirez. (Read recap on Ramirez win over Commey Saturday night.) I'm also really excited about Devin Haney and his future in boxing. When you watch him box – that's the sweet science. His angles, his footwork. All beautiful. Then let's not forget about the most un-talked about boxer – Dmitry Bivol. He's soft-spoken and quiet and that's kind of the opposite of what we were talking about with Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, but he is so talented. An amazing boxer.”
The final word was on Canelo Alvarez. “It's going to be big,” Raquel Vasquez told me in reference to boxing's biggest star returning to Mexico to defend his undisputed super middleweight crown against John Ryder in May at Estadio Akron in his home state of Jalisco. “I think it's his first time being back in Mexico to box in almost 11 years. It can not be boring. It can't be a boring fight. If it is, the audience won't take that lightly. They will boo. With it happening the day after Cinco de Mayo, which is a huge holiday, it keeps that Mexican tradition within boxing going. It will be like a holiday after the holiday.”
Read Bail Tales by Raquel Vasquez at Legsville.com
Follow Raquel on Twitter @BONDGIRLRAQUEL