New York- Boxing fans, get prepared for Bergen County Fight Night presented by Abella Boxing Promotions. The action-packed night is set to take place on Saturday, April 2nd, at The Terrace in Paramus, New Jersey. The behind-the-scenes preparation has been far from easy. The woman who has made for this historic night to happen is matchmaker, Diana Rodriguez. She is a veteran matchmaker and one of the first female Latinas with that role in boxing.
Matchmaking is an incredible industry of its own. There is tons of information that most people do not know about what a matchmaker does. You would generally think “yeah, they schedule the fights, big deal.” That’s only one minor of countless tasks matchmakers must process properly, officially, on orderly time frames, and much more. Majority of individual matchmakers must book travel for boxers, send out medicals, and do licensing properly along with scheduling each match. People from the outside have no idea what behind-the-scenes work must be done to have a boxing event take place.
Rodriguez was born in Lackawanna, which is located outside of Buffalo, New York. However, she lived in West Seneca and moved to Orchard Park around the time of high school in the 10th grade. Diana takes pride in her Latina roots. Her father was born in Comerío, Puerto Rico, and Dianas grandfather, on her mother’s side, was born in Mexico.
I got the opportunity to interview Diana, in depth on the upcoming boxing event, Bergen County Fight Night, her career experiences, and much more. She emphasized her passion for being part of boxing events coming together.
Her career began in 1994 by managing and working with female pro-boxer “Downtown” Leonna Brown. Boxing was one sport Diana could never seem to back away from. She stated, “When I got involved with Leonna Brown, oh my god, I got attached. Just being there, the competition, just everything about it. I loved it.”
Diana embraces and takes honor in being one of the first Female Latines with the matchmaking role within the sport. “I watch a lot of fights. I study. I research. And that’s another thing. I don’t just pick a name. I’m looking up videos. I’m looking at who they fought, who the guy fought previously. I’m not doing this just because.” She added that “people think it’s easy or they can just throw you a name.” Overall, matchmaking and the boxing industry as a whole does not work like that.
She has worked alongside the top promoters and managers out there throughout her career. “I worked with Oscar De La Hoya. I worked with Roy Jones Jr. Even the rapper, 50 Cent, while he was promoting boxing fights.” Diana mentioned that she pretty much has worked with everyone in the industry in some way, shape, or form along the way.
Diana’s passion for boxing goes beyond these matchmaking obstacles. She stated “I love sports. I was always a sports fanatic. When I was younger, I played most of them. My two favorite sports right now are football and boxing.” Now based in the Poughkeepsie region, Diana is constantly working within the industry or viewing boxing and football live in person.
To add to her fandom of the sport, Rodriguez takes pride in having a part in the boxing industry. “My favorite part of it is the day of the show, and I can sit down and watch a match. And hear everyone say oh yeah, that’s good. Or after the show, everybody says that’s a great show. And I know I was a part of it. That’s what gets me. That’s what I enjoy.”
Diana added: “That’s my satisfaction to know that I was a part of this. Sometimes, if it wasn’t for me, this would have never happened.” She has constantly been behind-the-scenes working on the phones, traveling to make sure every single precaution and sign-off is done properly.
Former fighter and event organizer, Rob Park, recently stated, “Diana’s experience is the backbone of this card taking place.”
The debut boxing card is sold out with VIP seating. Fans can view the Abella Boxing Promotions event that will be televised on Fight Night PPV Pass for a one time fee of $25.00 and can log on to register. First fight begins at 7pm that follows the VIP Banquet cocktail hour meet and greet.
Scott Abella and fighters on the card are available for interviews. There is limited seating for media due to the venue but those wishing to attend and cover will be accommodated.
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