By Richard E. Baker on December 4, 2020
Manager Ray Frye is starting to establish a stable of solid boxers. (Photo: Richard E. Baker)
Finding fights in the time of covid is tough. Fights have gone the way of the blacksmith, the party line telephone, and silent movies. Many gyms have been closed. Boxers are growing fat, losing their edge and timing and, with no certain fights in the future, their motivation. Many who occasionally find fights resemble either Two Ton Tony Galento or Two Ton Tony Gelato. An assortment of pastries occasionally hit the small screen, but even these snacks are few and less than satisfying. For boxers who have not yet reached the pastry cart, fights simply do not exist.
Manager Ray Frye, understanding that boxers need to fight, has been making a big investment in his team. Although not the promoter, he has been sponsoring fights in Mexico. Mexico has the same rigid standards as the U.S. for events during covid: masks and tests required of everyone involved and no audience. With no television coverage the bouts are a total monetary loss, unless one is attempting to build his boxers. Fry figures the events will pay in the long run through better prepared boxers.
Fry has spent most of his life building a successful construction business while working in the boxing industry as manager, promoter, and matchmaker. He built the careers of several prospects including Tim Shocks, Alex Bunema, Antwun Echols and Dewey Welliver. They all amassed remarkable records under his guidance but often fell on hard times when they switched managers.
His boxers have fought for the NABF, USBA, IBF, IBA, NABA, WBF, PABA, WBC, WBA INTERCONTINENTAL, WBC INTERCONTINENTAL, and WBC CONTINENTAL AMERICA titles, a pretty decent record for a Washington resident. He has promoted nine successful boxing events in the Northwest and has held a matchmaker’s credentials in Washington, California, Nevada, and New Jersey, for 26 years.
As he has slowly been turning the management of his construction over to his son-in-law, Fry will be devoting more time to boxing. He is starting to establish a stable of solid boxers including Patrick Ferguson (17-2-1), James Browning (7-0-0), Jesus Saracho (5-0-0), Al Stanton (1-0-0), and Jose Antonio Sampedro (9-1-0).
Since he sponsors the bouts in Mexico one might think he only chooses inferior opponents to build his boxer’s records. He understands that is no way to build a quality fighter. He insists on matching his fighters with quality competition. On his last show in October Saracho (4-0) faced David Alegria (10-5), Browning (6-0) battled Carlos Acosta (8-2), and Sampedro (9-0) was knocked out by (7-3) Eliot Chavez. A bad opponent makes for a bad fight and teaches a boxer noting. There is no sense attending school if one already knows the answers. Fry believes in school and he makes his students attend on a regular basis.
He will continue to sponsor fights in Mexico until the covid problem can be solved. Until then he is planning to increase his stable and is making plans to bring his Mexican fighters to the U.S. to train in the Jose Benavidez gym in Washington.