Christian Printup is an unusual promoter. He actually makes a habit of featuring women as main events. He is, for the most part, responsible for building the careers of Carina Moreno and Jessica Rakoczy; and more recently, Terri Blair and Ana Julaton.
Jill: Do you love boxing or is it just a business?
Christian: My grandfather Guido Bernasconi from back in Niagara Falls, NY where I grew up. He wasn’t in the boxing business but he taught me what it meant to have integrity and to treat people fairly.
Christian I was really surprised and greatly humbled by the award, it really isn’t what you set out to accomplish but it’s a tremendous honor. I believe that fans when introduced to quality women boxers truly appreciate the skills they possess. We have done very well with Jennifer Alcorn, Jessica Rakoczy and now Carina Moreno. These women are the best at what they do in their weight classes and they deserve to be main events.
Christian: Painfully no. I don’t, .but that doesn’t mean that I and my fellow promoters shouldn’t do all we can to put together the best fights possible for women’s boxing, work to get them more exposure and help develop the talent and not just use them as “special attractions” or take some good looking girl and put some gloves on her and tell her to fight. That’s disrespectful to the sport and harmful to the sport and the athlete. But I am a firm believer that if more promoters across the country would take 2-3 talented, dedicated women under their wing and help develop them the sport as a whole would grow.
Christian: I think that even after both have won multiple championships Jessica Rakoczy and Carina Moreno have yet to receive the amount of credit and exposure they deserve and that their talents merit. We plan on getting them both on national television in 2008 if not sooner and helping them to continue to flourish. On the men’s side we’re very high on two young guys right now Saul Lomas (6-0) and Joaquin Marquez (2-0-1). Both have what it takes to be World Champions. Marquez in fact is the last guy to ever beat Andre Ward when they were amateurs, and he beat Andre three times.
Christian: I believe that the sport can grow but we need television networks to be more proactive in showing the best possible fights. I also think that more emphasis needs to be placed on the amateur end; we need to use the amateur ranks to develop quality female fighters. I hope the days of the local hair stylist putting some gloves on because the local trainer says she can make an easy $800 are over with. Overall, emphasis on the amateur programs, including the Olympics because everyone needs an ultimate goal to strive for and acceptance by more television networks to show competitive bouts between skilled women can only help.
Jill: You also promote MMA & UFC – do you feel they are steeling the audience from traditional boxing?
Christian: I run the Palace Fighting Championship (PFC) www.palacefightingchampionship.com and www.myspace.com/tachipalacefights on behalf of the Tachi-Yokut tribe. I have been promoting MMA for about five and a half years now and though I don’t see it stealing audiences away I think that boxing needs to be proactive and realize that if MMA is considered a threat now be careful because when the next wave of kids grow up wanting to be the “next Chuck Liddell” and not the “next Oscar De La Hoya” then boxing will be in more trouble, because the 18-34 year olds for two generations will gravitate more towards MMA. The current crop of 18-34 year olds are already there by and large. I really believe that our adolescence shapes our likes and dislikes. I grew up sitting in the living room watching boxing with my uncles and grandfather. I was hooked. Now kids are sitting in living rooms across America and watching MMA with their families and those memories will always be cherished and those rituals will continue.
Jill: A perfect match — who would it be?
Christian: Men’s side? I’d say Hopkins vs. Joe Calzaghe. Women’s best fight out there now aside from Rakoczy vs. Saccaruto on 9/27, is Carina Moreno vs. Regina Halmich.
Jill: Tell us about your role in developing the Tachi Palace.
Christian: I’m the Director of Entertainment, which includes every aspect of entertainment one minute I’m working on a boxing show, the next I’m negotiating with Brooks & Dunns agent, then I might be on a conference call in regards to the PFC. I am a sort of jack of all trades in-house Promoter and I am truly blessed and honored to work for the Tachi-Yokut tribe. I have the absolute greatest staff and associates in the business and we produce and promote about 40 events a year from concerts to boxing, to PFC, to car shows, comedy shows etc. It’s never ending and it’s stressful but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m different from normal casino entertainment guys who just want to pay a site fee and sit back and act like they played a significant role in something. I am involved in every aspect, I have driven hundreds of miles putting up fliers and posters, and I am a promoter. I know who I am and what I’m here to do.
Jill: Unlike other sports, in boxing, the bigger the event the less people see it – do you agree? If so, can this be remedied?
Christian: From a live event stand point sometimes that seems the case, I think that really mega fights like Hatton/Mayweather could be made bigger if it were in England. They’d sell out Wembley Stadium I bet. but we know Floyd’s not gonna go there and the Vegas casinos pay huge site fees, it all comes down to who can make what from each venture and if all sides feel like they’re expectations are being met–we get the big fights.
Jill: Pretend you’re the Commissioner of Boxing; name the one change you’d make in the sport?
Christian I’d make sure that all matchmaking and bouts are approved as soon as they come in and not 2-3 days before the event when promoters have already spent money on transportation, medicals etc.State Regulation is great, but a Federal Regulatory body to ensure each state acts accordingly would be better for the fighters in the long run.
Jill: Best moment?
Jill: How would you like to be remembered?
Christian: I believe that who you were is more important than whom you are presently and I really believe that we can go through life helping others or harming others. I’d rather be a helper.