Exclusive Interview with Salt Lake City House of Rep. Greg Hughes (Green Gloves Management)

03.07.07 - By Vanessa McConnell: When boxing issues crossed the legislature in Salt Lake County, Utah, State House Representative Gregory H. Hughes took a special interest in the sport. He met Ricky "Flash" Newman and started training for health purposes. He began to familiarize himself with the sport in Utah and the Athletic Commission and his love for the sport led him to become a manager for upcoming prospect Chris Fernandez (13-3). Along with his partner Gary, they formed Green Gloves Management and positioned themselves to take Fernandez to the top of his game.

Greg and Gary flew to Vegas last week with Flash and Fernandez to see for themselves the possibilities of their investments in Fernandez. When asked about his management responsibilities for Fernandez, Greg said, "It’s an expensive hobby (managing), but it’s a good opportunity for Fernandez. He wouldn’t have to try to train or work on his own, he can concentrate on boxing full time."

"Fernandez is humble and works hard. He has the best work ethics. He actually works at his craft and he’s not playing. When I go looking for him, he’s always at the gym working hard. Flash has done a great job getting him fights with different challenges and skills for Fernandez. Out of the last 8 fights he’s had, he’s won them all. In his last fight with Las Vegas fighter John Lewis under Sweat and Blood Promotions, Fernandez knocked Lewis out in the 4th round."

"Go on Utube and type in Chris Fernandez or Kid Kayo and you can see him knock Lewis out yourself," said Greg. Being the humble fighter he is, he’s not looking to take over the world. Fernandez just wants his fans to know that he is a "humble man" and wants to be the best in his weight division. He’s won the last nine fights of his career and one day would love to be labeled one of the best of all times. He doesn’t mind getting hurt, he’s actually "willing to die" for the sport that he loves so much.

Fernandez has three loving sons back at home in Utah. After taking a few years off, the 31 year old boxer has every intention on staying with boxing for as long as he can. With Green Gloves Management and Ricky Flash Newman on his side he can’t ask for a better team to help him reach beyond his goals. Flash is no doubt one of the best trainers/managers Utah has yet to see. His eye to spot prime fighters and fight cards is one reason everybody loves and respects him so much.

The love and respect that both Greg and Gary has for Fernandez is out of this world. Greg said it best when he said, "I think the world of Fernandez. I would love the opportunity for him to fight for a major belt and be a champion fighting top contenders in his card." And that is one of the reasons they brought him to Vegas. This past week he’s had great training sessions with Roger Mayweather at Top Rank Gym.

"It was fun to fly Fernandez to Vegas and see him in the gym working with some of the best. Flash knows a lot of top trainers and everybody was impressed with Fernandez. Tyrone Boone and Roger was excited about Fernandez and we got rave reviews from them about Fernandez. We plan to bring him back to Vegas a lot more now," Greg concluded.

Green Gloves is not looking for a lot of fighters at this time, right now they are content with just being successful, "but if we see another boxer that has prospect we would work with him." They really believe that they are backing Fernandez for a good cause because he is a great fighter and has tremendous potential, not to mention the fact that they could recoup their cost. "I think Fernandez has a lot of talent, he needs the opportunity and we are going to see that he gets just that," said Greg.

"I would like to see Fernandez fight a lot of the top prospects and be able to take on whatever and whoever comes his way. Right now Ricky Hatton is at the top of the class," Greg said before Gary jumped in and said "We will take him (Hatton) anytime, anywhere." Greg continued to say, "Hatton by far fought is strongest performances in the United States. I say that as an American fan. I haven’t followed his career but his fights in the past, he seem to lack luster, but he’s had impressive wins. He has American appeal."

"We would love a Vegas fight. Our last fight was in June and we are looking for the next opponent." Flash added, "The next fight will be August 18 on the David Tua vs. Greenberg card scheduled to be televised on Pay-Per-View, but Fernandez’s opponent is yet to be announced." Greg said jokingly, "Green Gloves Management is a legal entity created to help Fernandez but we can only do it with the host of ceremony Rick Flash Newman." As Greg continued to humor me he said, "you are the boss (directing his attention to Flash). Everything is what Flash want to do. You’ve been in the game so long, your really a catalyst."

As we joked around the dinner table Floyd Mayweather Jr came up in the conversation. The world wants to know if he’s really in retirement or was that just another media tactic to keep the fans begging for more. "Mayweather is scheduled to fight in November but the opponent has not been announced yet," Flash said. Greg jumped in and suggested that maybe Hatton will be the opponent and joked about him being a slow methodical fighter compared to Floyd. Gary added, "Little Island. Welcome to America, America is big."

"Floyd is not a boxer, he is a slugger. Everybody loves a fighter who don’t get hurt," said Flash. "I was disappointed to hear about Floyd’s retirement," said Greg. Flash added "Sometimes people say things to make the public want more, some to feed to the problem. He picked up $35 million from his fight with De La Hoya and he’s gonna retire? No other fighter has ever done what he’s done, pound for pound in the last five years." What it all boils down to as they all concluded is that you need a high profile fight to make more money. That’s what the boxing game is all about, the big purse.

"I was at the Floyd and De La Hoya fight and I’ll tell you, when I watched it on television at home it was almost like I was at two different fights. When I was in the arena watching the fight I thought it was a much closer fight than the results." When questioned if he thought Floyd was being disrespectful about his entrance in the arena with a sombrero on and wearing the Mexican flag colors he said, "I think there is an entertainment side of boxing."

"A rematch would be good business sense. I think it was more theatrics with Floyd than disrespect. Where I was sitting in the stand and Floyd came out in the sombrero, I seen so many fights break out in the crowd against De La Hoya and Mayweather fans. I point to theatrics and the promotional side of boxing. Floyd set the tone for the fight when he stepped in the ring. Overall I think it was more of a business tactic than disrespect. The fight was the biggest non-heavyweight fight and a rematch would be much bigger than that one."

As they left to catch a flight back home to Utah, Greg and Gary was overall pleased with their fighters presence in Las Vegas. Without a doubt they made a wise choice by getting behind Fernandez and have all the confidence in the world that he’s going to reach the peak of his career in boxing. It takes more than a trainer and ring to make a great fighters. The support and financial backing is more important because it lessens the fighters chance of failure. Fernandez has all of that and more with Flash and Green Gloves Management. You can plan to see a lot more of Fernandez in the years to come as we bring you up close and personal with him every step of the way.

Article posted on 04.07.2007

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