The promotional evolution of Tom Loeffler
Tom Loeffler may only be known to some boxing fans as the man who promotes IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin.
However the soft-spoken Loeffler is known for more than just standing in the background anytime Golovkin is giving a post-fight interview in the ring.
Loeffler may not be bilingual like Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya, promoted as long as Top Rank CEO Bob Arum or have a law degree like Lou DiBella but he knows how to promote. The proof is in the pudding by the amount of fight cards in which he has been involved and with whom he has worked.
Now he is involved in another major endeavor, in which he is promoting the fighters of tomorrow.
One of those fighters is undefeated lightweight contender Ryan Martin (20-0, 11 knockouts), who will headline the inaugural “Hollywood Fight Nights” card tonight against Luis Eduardo Florez (23-8, 19 KOs) at The Avalon, in Hollywood, California.
The 10-round bout will headline the seven-bout card, which will air live on RingTV.com and on 360 Promotions’ Facebook page (9:15 p.m. ET/ 6:15 p.m. PT).
Loeffler continues to represent Golovkin, via GGG Promotions. As Golovkin may have another few years left in boxing, Loeffler believes the time is right to look at the next generation of talent that could wind up being stars.
“We’re excited to have Ryan Martin headline the inaugural Hollywood Fight Night card. We’ve been pleased with the progress he has made and we’re looking to having him fight for a world title belt later this year. Junior middleweight Serhii Bohachuk trains alongside Ryan and Gennady in Big Bear Lake and we just signed Brian Ceballos. We believe he is going to be something special in years to come.”
Loeffler has also worked with former world heavyweight champions Vitaly and Wladimir Klitschko but his run in boxing did not begin there. Loeffler used to manage the careers of WBC featherweight titleholder Kevin Kelley and welterweight contender Oba Carr and has also worked with three-division titlist Shane Mosley.
“I was able to secure Mosley’s (IBF) world (lightweight) title bout against (South Africa’s) Phillip Holiday in 1997,” Loeffler told RingTV.com last week.
It was not until 2000 when Loeffler met the Klitschko brothers, eventually forming K2 Promotions. Their first promotion took place on April 24, 2004, when Vitali Klitschko won the vacant WBC heavyweight title against Corrie Sanders of South Africa.
Since the Klitschko-Sanders bout, including tonight’s event, Tom Loeffler has been involved in the promotion of 47 fight cards.
“Whether it be selling out soccer stadiums in Germany with the Klitschkos or being part of Gennady’s recent sell-out crowd crowds in the United States, including over 20,500 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, I’ve seen and done it all,” said Loeffler, who resides near Los Angeles.
With the Hollywood Fight Nights series, Loeffler will again roll up his sleeves, so to speak. His 360 Promotions will promote a fight card once every two weeks at The Avalon, an iconic venue that will seat over 700 for boxing.
Then again, Loeffler knows about rolling up his sleeves, when it comes to promoting. With the exception of hardcore boxing fans and media, Golovkin was a virtual unknown after arriving to the United States in 2011. Loeffler did meet-and-greet luncheons with media, mostly to familiarize themselves with Golovkin and build his brand.
“It’s been a long road with Gennady but we have certainly reaped the rewards over the last couple of years, especially to see where he is at with promotional and marketing deals.”
Loeffler is putting his experience and knowledge in promoting and marketing to work, with the Hollywood Fight Nights series. Not only are tickets reasonably priced ($125, $100, and $65) but fighters are asked to mingle with boxing fans after their fights (barring serious injuries that prevent them from doing so), rather than leave the venue.
After the fight card concludes, one side of the venue will be cleared and will turn into a nightclub.
With the creativity to cater to boxing fans, both hardcore and casual, and promoting some of the best prospects in boxing, Loeffler is banking his new promotional company and the Hollywood Fight Nights series will be a success.
“With I was (K2 Promotions’ Managing Director) for the Klitschkos, they didn’t want to sign anybody to promotional deals. With 360 Promotions, we’re signing those that we believe will become successful down the line.
“Ryan, Serhii Bohachuk and Brian are just some of the young fighters that could become the next stars in the sport.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, BoxingScene.com and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.
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