Boxing manager Frank Espinoza has been in the boxing game for more than 32 years and there’s nothing else he’d rather be doing. “I truly love this sport. It’s my passion. And I love helping young fighters succeed. I love fighting for them, making sure they get the best deal possible for their work,” he says. “I identify with these young fighters. They’re from humble upbringings like mine and they’re literally fighting to make it.”
Espinoza has not only managed ten world champions he’s also a successful retail businessman and commercial property owner. He signed his first fighter in Isidro “Chino” Garcia who became world champion unexpectedly. He remembers it like it was yesterday. “It was December of 1999 and I was scouting a fighter at an event with Isidro Garcia and the challenger for the main event fell off. So they offered Chino the fight while he was in the audience eating a hot dog and he accepted. Garcia won the fight by decision and I had myself a world champion. It’s not something I expected but it was a terrific surprise.”
But it’s more than just good fortune that has helped Espinoza succeed in the difficult boxing industry. Espinoza is an energetic and extremely hard worker. “At the end of the day, just like boxing, it’s all about discipline. It’s about doing whatever you have to do to get it done. It’s about getting up when you don’t want to get up. After you get up, you have to focus, plan and execute,” Espinoza said. “I knew as a young man I wanted more. I was running with the wrong kind of people and I knew that If I continued down that path it would lead me nowhere.”
Espinoza is a self-educated man who rose from humble beginnings in East Los Angeles. His formal studies never went beyond the eighth grade. “At the time my father was disabled, my brother was in Vietnam and my other brother was too young to work so I started working to help my mom out who was a factory worker,” he stated. “And I hustled. I did everything from selling newspapers to working in a warehouse. But even at the lowest point in my life, I had a dream and a desire to succeed.”
According to Espinoza, anyone can succeed if they have the will and the right attitude. “What I want the younger generation to know is that no matter what disadvantages you grew up with, if you hustle and outwork your competition you’ll overcome any obstacles and achieve your dreams. I didn’t have a formal education but you have to make up for that by putting in the work. Be willing to work harder and smarter than the next guy.”
Espinoza, the grandson of immigrants from Aguascalientes and Durango, Mexico made it. He’s living the life he always dreamed for himself. He’s been with his wife Candy for over three decades. “She’s an amazing woman and an amazing mother,” he said.”I’m very blessed.”
What’s the most important lesson he’s learned over the years? “Work and achievements are important but family is what truly makes a man wealthy. Having my kids and grandchildren together is a beautiful and humbling experience. Having them around me fills my soul.”
Life hasn’t always been so perfect, assures Espinoza.
“My life has been full of ups and downs. But I believe in fighting for your dreams. Even if it’s a little bit at a time. A little progress eventually turns into a lot of progress. Keep a positive attitude and don’t let your emotions cloud your thinking,” he says. “With time you’ll see the light at the other end. You can do it. Get up earlier, make more calls, network with people who have succeeded or want to succeed like you do. I know it’s easier said than done, but that’s where the discipline comes in. You deserve the life you always dreamed of. At some point you need to ask yourself, what am I willing to do to achieve my dream? If the answer is ‘whatever it takes,’ then you’re on the right path.”
Will Espinoza ever retire? Not likely. “I love what I do. I’ve been influenced by boxing legends like promoter Bob Arum,” he says. “Here’s a guy who could’ve retired decades ago but he’s still working and still at the top of his game. He’s the type that will never retire and I’m the same way. I love to work and I love my life and I’m here for it as long as I possibly can.”
Great article! Never really knew much about Espinoza other than him being really loyal to his fighters. Inspiring!! Need more people like him in boxing!!
A strong worth ethic will take you a long way, but is largely forgotten today.