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Prospect Row: An Inside Look at the Art and Science of Picking Fighters for Latin Fury 15

Prospect Row: An Inside Look at the Art and Science of Picking Fighters for Latin Fury 15

08/13/2010

When asked how you discover a prospect like, say, the Freddie Roach-trained Jose Benavidez, who's fighting on the undercard of tomorrow's "Latin Fury 15" mega-brawl between Julio Chavez Jr. and John Duddy, matchmaker Bruce Trampler says flatly: "I don't know."

A long, slightly uncomfortable pause follows. And then reality bangs you like a left hook from Manny Pacquiao: Trampler is joking. After all, if anyone knows how to select and then develop young fighters, it's Trampler. The guy just got inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, fer Chrissakes!

So really, Bruce, how do find quality fighters amid a sea of wannabe Pacquiaos? "You find 'em in different places," he says, no longer joking. Those places include: amateur tournaments, matches promoted by other people, and phone calls from respected sources.

"You don't care so much about personality or how they carry themselves," he continues of the qualities you're looking for in a fighter. And just because a guy can scrap, doesn't mean he's someone you want to take on. "There's a lot of good fighters. In addition to the fighting ability, [you want to know] do they have charisma?" 

To that end, populating the undercard of "Latin Fury 15" was as much art as it was science. Raul Martinez was selected in part because he hails from San Antonio, where the fight is taking place. The other reason he was tapped mirrors one of the reasons Salvador Sanchez II got the nod: to see if both "can impress enough" to gather up yet more fans. It's about helping prospects realize their potential both as fighters and as -- potentially -- boxing's next superstars.

Concludes Trampler of the main event and the co-main event: "In the end, you're selling two matches. The rest is something tagged on in hopes they'll acquire their own following." 

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