Chatting

Max Boxing – News – Chat with the champion: Hector De La Cruz

With boxing appearing on so many platforms and the social media powering the media operating 24/7, the competition for the eyes is tough. You must have plenty of sizzle for steak in today’s sports world.

He’s one of the best boxing outlets for all those great shots that fight fans can enjoy on all the social sites leading up to some of the sport’s biggest events.

Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York – it’s everywhere. If there’s a big event in boxing, chances are he’s the guy providing a lot of the media, promotional and fan-targeting swag, up-to-the-minute photos, eye-catching posters , – you name it – before, on, and after, fight night.

Fantastic graphics adorning posters and on-site merchandise? Stunning action photos, sent in real time? He’s your man.

The day before he boarded a plane for New York to compete in a recent Top Rank show featuring undefeated puncher Edgar Berlanga at Madison Square Garden, MaxBoxing had the chance to chat with one of the top graphic designers and editors of boxing photos from his home in Coachella, California.

On this episode of Chatting with the Champ – Hector De La Cruz.

Bill Tibbs: Hector, thanks for taking a minute to chat; I know you are busy.

Hector De La Cruz: Hi Bill. No problem.

BT: People have probably seen a lot of your work. But, as a more “behind the scenes” guy, talk a bit about what you do? And for whom?

HDCL: Well, I mainly work as a graphic designer, anything related to graphics – posters, T-shirts, fight site merchandise. I work for Top Rank Boxing, 360 Promotions with Tom Loeffler, World Boxing Council, Roy Jones Jr., and many other smaller promotions. When working with Top Rank, I mainly do photo editing as they have their own in-house person for the design work.

BT: There’s so much media content available now, across a million different platforms, which is great for fans. But fan attention span is tested for print and visual media. Does the loudness make it harder to see your work in any way?

HDCL: There’s a lot of stuff there, but there’s a lot of young fight fans who have their devices on all the time and they’re commenting seconds after something happens. They see it immediately and they comment right away. You get feedback very quickly and they let you know they like it. Young people watching boxing see everything as soon as it’s released and you get immediate feedback, people see it because you hear about it right away. Yes, there is a lot of content out there, but there are a lot of people watching it all the time.

BT: How did you get into boxing?

HDLC: I worked years ago, I mean around 2012 for Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. I did stuff for him and people saw my work and it all started from there. I started working for Top Rank afterwards and it went from there too.

BT: The Top Rank fan experience is fantastic in my opinion. Interviews, video shorts, profiles, interviews; the fight week coverage is amazing. I know you work on some of the biggest events in boxing. What does a typical fight week look like for you?

HDCL: Usually go to town the day before the press conference, start editing photos, photo shoots with all the fighters. Weigh-in day is always busy, must shoot all fighters for fight night. So the night of the show, it’s always lively. Arrive at the show, maybe an hour and a half before the first bell, settle in, ready to go. We have to upload photos for Top Rank, Getty, Instagram, Twitter, everywhere. We like to get new moves every two rounds. It’s a busy night.

BT: What are some of the big events you’ve worked on?

HDCL: I did some big HBO events, Super Fly 2 and 3, GGG vs. Steve Rolls and Vanes Martirosyan and worked on the latest HBO boxing show. I have done great events, these are just a few.

BT: I have to ask while I have you. As a true camp insider, is “Chocolatoto” (Roman Gonzalez) amazing or what? He looked great in the last fight; he’s back on top. Since coming back after the Sor Rungvisai defeats, he’s undefeated in my opinion, and he’s so easy to support. How did you come into contact with him?

HDCL: I met him in 2015. A veteran named Randy Caballero, who I was in high school with, said to me, “You’ll never guess who’s going to practice at Coachella?”. So, I went to the gym, and it was Gonzalez. We met and got along and I became good friends with him and his manager. The last fight he invited me to be in the locker room, in his corner, we hung around a lot after the fight. But, I originally met him at the Lee Espinioza Coachella Valley Boxing Club and it went from there.

BT: He seems like a really nice guy, too nice to be a fighter (laughs).

HDLC: (Laughs). Yeah, he’s a real good guy. Quiet, but he was a bit more outgoing this last camp. If he knows you, he’ll be more talkative, but he’s normally shy. We went to the gym and talked to the kids, we went to lots of places. But yeah, he really is a great guy.

BT: And what a fighter. He looked fantastic in his last fight. I’ve been a big fan for a long time.

HDCL: Yes, he looked really good in his last fight. He still has it for sure.

BT: Where is the best place for people to see some of your work?

HDCL: At the moment, my creations are on my Instagram page – @heczar

BT: Hector, thank you for taking a minute to chat. It’s always great to get to know some of the people who play such a big role in live events. Have a good trip to New York.

HDLC: Thanks Bill, no problem, anytime.