DENVER (February 19, 2018) Next Saturday night, February 24, AIRTIGHT BOXING (Steve Mestas) presents ‘RECKONING’, at the Eclipse Events Center, 2155 S. Sheridan Blvd. in Denver. Mestas has gone out of his way to produce a fight card featuring young as well as veteran talent that will be entertaining. The main event has veteran Rob ‘Red Hot’ Frankel (35-18-1, 7KO’s) taking on a tough Antonio Flores (4-0, 2KO’s) in a scheduled for 8 rounds bout contested in the lightweight division.
Rob Frankel is coming off a 10 rounds unanimous decision loss to Top Rank (Bob Arum) prospect Mike ‘Yes Indeed’ Reed (23-1, 12KO’s), back on August 19, 2017, on the Terence Crawford vs Julius Indongo, IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO World Super lightweight title unification bout undercard, held in Omaha, Nebraska.
Soon turning 38 years-old, the Albuquerque, New Mexico, native Frankel, was scheduled to take on Johnny ‘Punisher’ Rodriguez (8-3-1) for the vacant USA Mid-American lightweight title but Rodriguez suffered an injury forcing the search for another opponent. Ruben Jacoby was thought to be a solid replacement, that a no-go after contract talks fell apart. Tony Flores stepped up to the plate and the fight was contracted at 8 rounds, no title on the line.
Frankel bristles when the conversation begins with talk of Rodriguez suffering that alleged injury, composing himself saying, “The water got too hot and he (Rodriguez) jumped out. He can say he’s injured but I didn’t see anything that would prevent him from fighting, especially since it was him who called me out”. This fight was a scheduled rematch from their first fight where Frankel won by 10 rounds unanimous decision back on April 4, 2017. “I’m upset”, begins Red Hot, “we had out of town offers we declined just to make the rematch AND shut Rodriguez up. We decided this fight was one the Colorado boxing fans wanted and deserved. Like I said, the water must’ve gotten too hot or too serious for Rodriguez, so we move on. He claims to have a shoulder or hand injury but I don’t know which shoulder or which hand”.
Tony Flores is a tough young kid who has no quit in him as evidenced by his last fight on September 30, 2017, against hot Colorado prospect Jonny ‘Drama’ Jarabek (5-2, 2KO’s). Flores was down in round one, coming back strong to stop Jarabek in round 3 of a scheduled 6 rounds bout. “I’ve seen footage of Flores” says Frankel, “and he’s definitely a tough fighter who comes straight ahead. I like guys I don’t have to chase, so this should be interesting. I saw a few things, but I’m way too smart to look past this guy. I had been preparing for Johnny Rodriguez and the same mentality is there, to go in and take Flores out”.
Dropping back down to the lightweight division has not been tough at all for Frankel who comfortably campaigned at 140 lbs. throughout his career. “I’ve strangely been unable to gain any weight, that a tribute to the healthy meals my wife Crystal Frankel prepares for me. I’m no big fan of kale but she makes kale taste delicious”, says Red Hot. “I feel good, get plenty of rest and I’m ready to fight. I’ve had a good, solid camp with limited sparring that focuses on me being sharp. We do nothing to physically wear me down. Sparring at my House of Pain Gym and Genesis Gym (Jake Ramos) has gotten me prepared. Steve (Coach, Mestas) and me pretty much know what we’re doing after having done this for so many years”.
Frankel is now a full-time employee of Split Rail Fence Company in Littleton, the job physically demanding with great people and a positive atmosphere something he relishes. Frankel was previously a mainstay at Jose O’Shea’s Restaurant for 10 years, him now at Split Rail Fence since early November 2017. Red Hot freely admits the time is nearing to hang the gloves up but not before a few more fights that can financially help his family. “I’ve been in lots of wars during a pro boxing career spanning some 50 fights. I’ve now got a great job that demands my full attention and a family that has always been supportive. My enthusiasm for heading to the gym is slowing down. Steve and me will carefully choose our fights from here on with fights paying well a strong probability”, says Rob. “I’ll never stray too far from the gym, the House of Pain family will always be my family, me willing to help out as needed”.
This Saturday night Rob ‘Red Hot’ Frankel has family coming in from out of town specifically to see this fight. His wife and all of his kids will be there in support as well. If you hope to see him in what could be his last fight at home in Colorado, call 720-266-8772 or 720-298-1954, to check ticket availability. The undercard will have on display Tommy Roque vs Gregorio Perez, Amorena Baca vs Darci Vigil and the USA pro debut of Elijah Uribes taking on Dominic Blanco, all part of the action.