What FPU Graduates Are Saying About Their Fight Promoter University Experience…
“FPU graduate, Donna English, was awarded female promoter of the year by the NABF and one of her fights was NABF fight of the year.”
“Networking was very important in attending FPU. I fell I have made some great contacts”
“The knowledge I gained was tremendous. I see I would have missed a lot of key parts of coordinating/promoting fights if I was to do this with no prior experience.”
“I feel as though I have made some lifelong friends and business associates.”
“Roy really had all the expertise and then the other speakers reinforced the overall concepts. It is evident a lot of planning and thought went into the curriculum.”
“I can’t stop telling my family and friends about what I have experienced at FPU. I can wait to starting promoting boxing and mma in Austria.” Henry Lewis, Vienna
Thanks for offering such a course as FPU, it has changed my life!” Fred Vallejo, Toledo
In my 30 yrs of business I can LOUDLY say the four days spent at Fight Promoter University was the best ‘investment’ I could have made.” Lloyd Collins, Los Angeles
“The caliber of the speakers was second to none, especially Bruce Trampler, Jackie Kallen, Marc Ratner and Ray Mancini. These are the biggest names in the business and the fact that they took the time to come out and talk to us and really made us feel like they wanted to be there was completely unbelievable. I came in thinking that boxing was a big almost unreachable world, but these people made me realize that everyone works together, and that you can make something happen even if you are not a Bob Arum or Oscar de la Hoya. Roy Englebrecht is an unbelievable teacher and unbelievable guy. I would recommend this experience to anyone, the whole thing was thorough, totally professional, and worth every penny.”
Gillian Armstrong, Vancouver, Canada
“I would highly recommend Fight Promoter University to anyone interesting in being a fight promoter. Overall, I think this was one of the best seminars I have ever attended in my career. I went to several local fights recently and could not believe how many things were done wrong! If you need a reference anytime, you got it!”
Mike Battaglia, Kansas City
FIGHT PROMOTER UNIVERSITY GRADUATE GREGG HOLTZMAN DOING BIG THINGS WITH HIS FIRST MMA PROMOTION IN PITTSBURGH
Pittsburgh, PA June 9 – Over the past five years, the explosion of mixed martial arts has led many to see this exciting sport as the “in” thing to invest in when it comes to fight promotion. Most have failed in their attempts. But looking to break that mold and show how a rookie fight promoter should do things is Pittsburgh’s Gregg Holtzman, who’s UCFC (Ultimate Cage Fighting Challenge) company makes its debut on June 27th with Rumble On The Rivers!
Not only is this the first pro MMA show in Western Pennsylvania, but it’s being held in the prestigious Mellon Arena, and Holtzman has pulled out all the stops in bringing the best in the game to that arena. Former UFC and WEC standouts like Rich Clementi, Steve Bruno, and Micah Miller fill the card, former Pittsburgh Steelers great Carlton Haselrig will also be in action, and the legendary Tito Ortiz will be in town all week to help promote this event. Holtzman also made sure tickets were affordably priced from $30 to $70.
So, how did Holtzman get up to speed on the promoting business so quickly? He attended Fight Promoter University V last November.
“Following my five days at Fight Promoter University last November I knew without a doubt that I wanted to be a fight promoter,” said Holtzman. “What I had just learned at FPU gave me the knowledge, and more importantly the confidence, that I could be successful.”
Not bad for the Pittsburgh native, who sold his Texas-based internet company a few years ago and moved back to his hometown in search of a new challenge. Being a huge MMA and UFC fan, he knew he wanted to get in the business, but didn’t know how to go about it. Surfing the internet last summer he came across a website for Fight Promoter University and in less than 24 hours had twice talked to FPU founder Roy Englebrecht and immediately signed up for FPU V.
And Holtzman has learned his lessons well, with first weekend ticket sales bringing in over $125,000. And with sponsorships closing in on $50,000 and the show still four weeks off, Holtzman’s first event launch will be huge. But as with any venture Holtzman’s success thus far couldn’t have been achieved alone.
“This has really been a team effort with my brother Kenny Holtzman and his wife Tiffany as my partners, with a great matchmaker in Paul Andres’ Domenech, and with the almost daily input from Roy Englebrecht, we have Pittsburgh not only buzzing about the Penguins but about Rumble on the River,” said Holtzman. “This first show on June 27th and the launching of my promotions company has been a dream come true for me, and to be able to do it in my hometown is just awesome.”
The combination of the class sessions and us working the Battle In The Ballroom show on the second day was pure genius.
“The combination of the class sessions and us working the Battle In The Ballroom show on the second day was pure genius. It really gave us all a sense of what it takes to realize an event. It was the first professional fight that I had ever seen, and was totally great. As a matter of fact, I went to Las Vegas the next day for the Mosley-Vargas fight, my first Las Vegas big time pro fight and I actually thought to myself, this isn’t much different than what Roy is doing, in fact, Roy’s event might have been even more fun!”
Gillian Armstrong, Vancouver, Canada
I learned a great deal, and would highly recommend your class to anyone wishing to learn how to become a SUCCESSFUL and HONEST fight promoter.
I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your time and advice during my visit to the Fight Promoter University last week. I learned a great deal, and would highly recommend your class to anyone wishing to learn how to become a SUCCESSFUL and HONEST fight promoter. Everything from the wonderful selection of speakers to hotel accommodations was planned and executed great. I am looking forward to seeing you again soon!!
Heavyweight Boxing Promotions Inc.
I still haven’t slept since receiving my MBA. In fact on the way home from FPU I went to the Friday night fights at the Morongo Casino. I witnessed how not to promote a show and lose money to boot. Afterward ! had dinner with Dean Lohuis, Ed Holmes and the guys from All Star Boxing Promotions. I Told them they’d have to spend some time & money with you @ FPU if the wanted to know the details. I shared only that “It was a first class operation and there is a new team in town!”
“First of all let me say it was a great time at FPU and your seminar was packed to the rafters with information, another “sell-out”, for Engelbrecht Promotions! Your speaker line up was the best in the business, your staff helpful and courteous, the accommodations and food 1st class, the Marriott Hotel no less! After attending your seminar it is clear to me why you are successful in all your endeavors; you work extremely hard to provide a superior entertainment value. Thanks for doing a great job.”
Double F Management
Just wanted to say Thanks again for all of the good advice! I came to FPU because there was so much that I didn't know and didn't feel so confident in speaking with venues, selling sponsorships, etc. The day after I came home I did everything you taught and guess what??????????
Just wanted to say Thanks again for all of the good advice! I came to FPU because there was so much that I didn’t know and didn’t feel so confident in speaking with venues, selling sponsorships, etc. The day after I came home I did everything you taught and guess what?????????? We now have BUDWEISER ON BOARD as a sponsor! Yeah! And the venue gave me 3 more dates for this year and am close to having a deal with another casino! We are adding the $1000 KO Promotion to our next event, the beacon lights, implementing all of your fantastic ideas! I’m so excited! thank u thank u thank u!
- Jen Childers-Campbell
Then after the show…
Roy, The show went great; expected to sell a few more tickets; we are getting a feature story in the Indy Star Paper and starting to get publicity, surely will help. Sold 4 sponsorships this show (I have never sold one before attending FPU, you taught us well). We had Budweiser, ClearPath Technologies, a computer service co. and a CPA. We used your bout sheet templates and they were very impressed with them! We built a data base of approx 600 by giving away a big screen tv (we will do the KO promotion soon, want to have a sponsor for it) The matches were good although one figher didn’t show and one didn’t make weight; still have 5 bouts so the length of the show was perfect. My husband was the main event. He is 7-0 now (a middleweight). He’s british, a personal fitness trainer and everyone in this town loves him, he usually sells $10-12,000 worth of tickets alone. He is on the picture on fightnews; the fans drank lots of beer (I had the alcohol) and ate lots of pizza (had the concessions too). Was a good night. Our next show is Oct. 28th, same venue; YOU HELPED ME BIG TIME! THANKS AGAIN.
- Jen Childers-Campbell
We stuck to all of your suggestions and operating procedures and it worked out well for us. The commission and other promoters in attendance complimented the show. We are now going to try and look for more sponsors because,...
We stuck to all of your suggestions and operating procedures and it worked out well for us. The commission and other promoters in attendance complimented the show. We are now going to try and look for more sponsors because, Abraham and I pretty much bank rolled the whole thing on our own. Roy I have a question for you why would all those promoters like Ed Holmes and Willie the Indian Show up at our show? Just curious? Roy once again Abraham and I would like to thank you for everything. We owe you alot for the opportunity of a lifetime. Even if we never did another show again it was all worth it. Once again thank you.
- Sal Ramirez
Canuck attends Fight Promoter University
Written by Gillian Armstrong
The inaugural session of Fight Promoter University took place this past week at the Irvine Marriott in Irvine, California. Run by Southern California boxing promoter Roy Englebrecht, the course, the first of its kind, was created to teach would be fight promoters the basics of the business.
Roy Englebrecht has been a club fight promoter in Southern California for over 20 years. His “Battle in the Ballroom” fight show is the longest running boxing series at one location in the sport’s history. His philosophy is that he wants to teach everything he has learned in his career to new promoters who are interested in starting their own shows across the United States and Canada.
Says Englebrecht, “Pretty much everything I have learned and experienced over the past 21 years will be presented over this three day course, because I don’t want current and future fight promoters to continue to make the mistakes so many people have made in the past” And he delivered on this promise. The course covered everything. Starting with the basic costs of putting on a fight, and ending with a lecture he called “selling the sizzle”; Englebrecht divided the course into one hour segments, each with its own expert guest speaker.
The speakers were big names in the boxing world. Mark Ratner, the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission was the keynote speaker. As one of the most reputable officials in the business, in charge of the biggest boxing market in the country, he gave the class what he called a “promoter’s checklist” which provided a general overview of every detail you would need to put on a fight. He was a bit rushed, as he had to fly back to Las Vegas for the Vargas – Mosely weigh in but was nonetheless an impressive presence.
He was followed by Executives from the HP Pavilion, a large venue in San Jose, California who spoke on the topics of marketing, ticketing and booking for large venues.
Steve Springer, the featured boxing writer for the Los Angeles Times and Fred Sternburg, one of boxing’s premier publicists, did a dual lecture on publicity and sports writing in the boxing world which was highly entertaining. Note to readers: it really is all about creating the buzz, Sternburg was the one responsible for the recent buzz created around the supposed “Manila Ice” punch that was Manny Pacquiao’s secret weapon for his first fight with Eric Morales. Turns out, it was all a publicity stunt. Even HBO’s Larry Merchant believed it, according to Sternburg. Jackie Kallen, the first female boxing manager, and a trailblazer for women in the sport, was one of the highlights of the course. Her topic, along with Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions (the Klitschko Brothers promotional company) was the relationship between managers and promoters. Speaking frankly on the challenges of being a manager, she talked about taking fighters from club fights to the arenas of Las Vegas, and how, as a manager, you almost need a degree in psychology. She stressed the importance of working together in the business, saying that she wished she had had someone to learn from when she was starting out. It was interesting to note that she had a young prospect in the “Battle in the Ballroom” event the same night.
Englebrecht also covered the brave new world of promoting mixed martial arts, which was recently legalized in California. Turi Altavilla, the VP Production of Pride, lectured passionately on the merits of the cage versus the ring, which had the MMA enthusiasts buzzing. On a more serious note, Armando Garcia, an Executive Officer of the California State Athletic Commission, shared his concerns about the current unorganized and unregulated state of the sport.
The most high profile speaker in my opinion was Bruce Trampler, the head matchmaker for Top Rank, who described his job as “… Enticing a series of people to agree to hit each other on the head on a certain night for a certain amount of money.” Trampler exudes the aura of a perfect boxing insider. He has been in the business for over 30 years and you get the sense that he has been a part of boxing history on more than one occasion. He thrilled the class with behind the scenes observations and anecdotes about some of the world-class fighters that Top Rank has promoted over the years, including some speculation on the future of the best pound for pound fighter in world right now, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
And then there was the commencement speaker, whose identity was kept a secret until the last minute, an example of the Englebrecht “sizzle”. It turned out to be Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini. He seemed thrilled to be at the podium as the guest of honour, and was animated as he gave this advice to the first graduating class. “If you came here with any common sense, you will lose it quickly.” Good advice as far as I can tell for someone trying to get into the crazy, convoluted and complicated world of boxing. The genius of the course (for both the students and Englebrecht, as it turned out) was that the second day of the course was opening night of the “Battle in the Ballroom” season. In addition to working at the weigh-in the previous night, students were required to work at the event as ushers, ring card girl attendants (which turned out to be a big hit with the men in the class), glove men, and accompanying the fighters on their ring walks. By doing that, Englebrecht gave us all a sense of why his events are so successful. We saw what it takes to organize and execute a live professional club show.
He also saved a lot of money on labour.
The class was made up of 33 people from the United States and Canada. They were a varied bunch, ranging from a husband and wife team from West Virginia who already had a successful promotions company, to a college student studying sports management, to a former assistant trainer for Winky Wright, to a representative for Manny Pacquiao’s new promotional company who was sent down by Pacman to learn the ropes. The thing that everyone had in common, regardless of background or experience, was an incredible dedication to and enthusiasm for the fight game, whether it was boxing or mixed martial arts.
There were two Canadians in the course. We both remarked on the fact that some of the issues specific to Canada weren’t really addressed, as the course caters to the American market. The details on State Athletic Commissions and requirements for physicals, insurance, doctors, referees, immigration and the like were not specifically outlined for Canada.
What the course did do was give everyone a true helping of that American can-do attitude. Everyone who graduated (and we all passed) really believed that anything was possible. In fact, Englebrecht stressed the importance of the dream. That was number one on his 10 Steps to Live By list, which kicked off the curriculum. Number two was do not be talked out of it, and number three was believe in your dream. You’ll have to take the course to get the other seven, but I will assure you that Englebrecht really embodied the passion that boxing brings out in people. He had more energy than a field full of California windmills, there were times when I actually thought he might take off flying. Canadians need a little more of his pragmatic, glass half full type of talk. It might help make boxing the vibrant, important thrilling sport that it deserves to be in this county.
Thanks for everything Roy!!! I really feel that attending FPU II is gonna make a BIG change in my life. For starters
Thanks for everything Roy!!! I really feel that attending FPU II is gonna make a BIG change in my life. For starters, I have received my MBA at Fight Promoter University in the summer and I will receive my Bachelor’s degree in Communication/Public Relations this December 06′ from The University of Toledo. What a 1-2 punch!!! I should let you know that I just mailed out my applications for the surety bonds in the state of Ohio that is required before you receive a promoter’s license. After the approval process, I will then travel to the Youngstown/Columbus area and make if official and register with the Ohio State Athletic Commission. I plan on keeping you updated on my progress as I get closer and closer to putting my first show on. Thanks again Roy!!!
- Alfredo (Fred)
I'm working on securing a venue for 6 dates in 07 starting in February in Atlanta, calling it the Atlanta Fight Club.
I’m working on securing a venue for 6 dates in 07 starting in February in Atlanta, calling it the Atlanta Fight Club. How do I find a mixed martial arts match maker any ideas? I went to some other fight shows and really saw the difference in your event and theres, they had sponsors presenting the belts but they had so much more to sell that they weren’t. I feel so confident but just need practice. Thanks again roy and do you have discounts for former students to come for a second time? Maybe after my first event I would like a refresher…
- Will McAlister