“Heading to Argentina,” Michael Reyes of Reyes Boxing Promotions texted me, on Tuesday, a bit after 5 PM ET.
The Marblehead, Mass. man, who has come far, fast, in the boxing promotions game, said that he would be jetting to Argentina to firm up a deal which will bring his company to next level.
Specifically, the 44 year old deal-maker, who owns a fitness gym and juggles a home life with a sweetheart of a wife and two rambunctious children, has set up a pipeline of talent from Argentina. He’s working in concert with the establisher player Raul Camacho, a fellow promoter.
Camacho’s hitters, and there looks to be some more than decent pugilists in the mix based on tape I’ve seen, will do their thing in America, on Reyes Boxing Promotions shows.
And Reyes’ talent will also travel to southern South America.
Fighters will get rounds, thrill local fight fans who get to watch prospects turn into contenders, then maybe champions…and Reyes’ impact on the sport will expand as he fulfills dreams pre-pondered and aimed for.
Michael Reyes Grew Up Needing To Be Tough
Reyes came from a certain place, and it probably helps him as he scours for talent and signs athletes to his squad.
Born in Boston, to a mom who was just 16 years old, he kept his nose clean by taking up boxing.
Reyes had skills, he went 64-4 as an amateur, and kept fighting as he went the armed services route. He’s a proud Marine, which sets him apart in my eyes, straight up.
Reyes will tell you he’s a cliche, in that boxing kept him from a grim and self destructive path.
The military branding is in evidence as I message with Reyes Tuesday.
We’d been communicating more than a bit the last few months; I’ve admitted to myself that I like Reyes’ personality in the game, and I’m there for keeping track on the progress enjoyed by Reyes Boxing Promotions.
That’s maybe a bit curious, I admit, because here’s the thing. I’ve been doing “this” a long time. Long enough to be at a place where I not infrequently wonder if it’s truly been long enough.
You get it, a bit, right, that “journalism” has changed so radically in the last 20 years that it’s a brittle shell of itself, and not a welcoming vocational station.
I’m attracted, though, despite an overhang of vocational regret, to Reyes’ enthusiasm.
Also, I came to understand that I care more about supposed “lower stakes” content, so called club fights, even, when I am aware of the participants’ existences.
When calling fights for Facebook Fightnight Live, my juices would flow to near Tessitore levels calling the action between an 8-3 and an 9-17 guy.
Reyes, as I noted, is on the ascent. Meaning, he’s not Eddie Hearn with a stable which ranges between magnificent and solid.
Reyes Boxing Promotions On the Come Up
His home base is Massachusetts, and he’s done six shows in the region, beginning with his August 14, 2021 “Down and Dirty” debut in Portland, Maine.
Two shows in Melrose, Mass, both at Memorial Hall (10-29-21, 2/19/22), then one in Braintree, Ma. (7-16-22).
His last two were in that fabled fight town, of Lowell, Mass. (10-29-22, 1-28-23).
Local pugs like Gabriel Morales, Harry Gigliotti, they get work and exposure, vets like Brazilian lightweight William Silva and Argentine battler Jorge Martin Garcia, the welterweight, ply their trade.
Yes, Reyes is a fascinating mix to me.
He trains fighters, works their corner on fight night, and then takes that scally cap off and smoothes his hair to hash out something like this deal with Camacho.
Reyes told me it’s something along the lines of what Hall of Fame talent scout/promoter/advisor Sampson Lewkowicz has done, and still does.
Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world, space-wise, Wikipedia tells me.
Sampson Lewkowicz An Influence
I asked for more deets on the plan, then. “Expanding, buddy,” Reyes said.
“Doing these signings, and planning the shows we are going to do down here. We are going to get to the point like Sampson!”
For those unaware, “like Sampson” means along the lines of the Uruguayan talent evaluator specialist, Lewkowicz, who is known for having rough diamond types excel to championship level.
He steered Sebastian Fundora to a crown and is in a catbird seed repping David Benavidez, as well.
He’s headed to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, basically; so that’s a good role model for Reyes, I think.
Reyes then remembered to doff his pure promoter hat, and sent me a poster for an August 18 card at Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with Reyes’ guy Rodrigo Coria challenging unbeaten Marco Garcia with the WBO Latino 154 pound crown up for grabs.
Challenging, and succeeding; Kid Coria won an SD10, Reyes told me:
Coria is now 12-5-0, 2 KOs, while Garcia drops to 12-1.
Reyes Boxing Promotions’ Champ Rodrigo Coria Weighs In
I asked Coria for his thoughts on the fight and the thrill of winning this title: “Good evening everyone, I am happy and grateful for this great opportunity to fight in my country and in the Luna Park stadium!
“In a great fight against a rival willing to take risks,” said the 24 year old, “we knew it was going to be a tough fight, and that we have the necessary tools to carry out a fight of this level. We are going to continue working hard, there are things to correct and to learn in each confrontation.
“I think that a lot can be learned from these fights, let's go to the next fight in search to continue adding and make us more achieve our goals!”
The trainer/promoter Reyes gave his take, soon after the victory was achieved. “We knew Coria was in a fight but he’s been with the better completion and sparred with world class fighters at our camp,” Reyes said.
“He went out and controlled the punch count. And made the other fighter tired. We are coming for the top of the world next.”
So you know, and I point this out because I didn’t, check out this activity level for boxing in Argentina.
That night, August 18, there were three separate pro cards taking place in Bueno Aires. They love and respect their boxing in Argentina.
Reyes, all told, spent most of his time in Santiago during this trip, he shared.
He actually put me on with Raul Camacho, puffing me up as a heavy boxing media guy, having been at RING, Bad Left Hook, ESPN Magazine and ESPN.com, etc.
I asked for names of some of the talent involved in this alliance, he said that Sergio Daniel Rosalez and his big bro Sergio Damian Rosalez as well as Aguatin Chavez and Luis Borques are in the mix. “Those boxers are the ones who can make the contract with a work visa, who are talented, and have a future,” Camacho said. “There will be plenty of talent and tough boxers going to America!”
Reyes sent me a clip, see below, which ran in Nuevo Diario:
“American Promoter Michel Reyes,” the headline promised, at Coliseo Stadium in La Banda, on site and cementing a partnership with Raul Camacho.
Ariel Basconscel, the ex fighter/ current trainer/manager, is referenced. He spoke highly of Reyes Boxing Promotions, and mentioned hitters Luis Santillan, and cruiserweight Ivan Cisnero as being world class athletes.
Celebrating likely occurred after the Coria win, which certainly did give this trek a cherry-on-top flavor, as Reyes counted down to the flight back to Boston.
And, as we tick down to the end of a successful summer for Reyes Boxing Promotions, it’s a good time to ask, what’s on the agenda for the rest of the year?
“The second half of the year I’m expecting RBP to do two more shows in the United States,” Reyes told me, “and three shows in Santiago Del Estero in Argentina. Also, finish the year off with at least two more major body titles, for Gabriel Morales and Joe James.”
I wanted to know more about Jones, but held off on quizzing Reyes, being that he’d returned to Mass, and was getting some makeup time with the fam.
It’s OK, I’ve been covering the game for 30 years now—I can predict fairly well who is going to “make it.”
Work ethic and humble ambition are the top traits needed to excel, and Michael Reyes has them.
He’s in this for a long haul, there will be the opportunity to hear more about a talented prospect fighting under the Reyes Boxing Promotions banner.