By Pattee Mak, RCM New England Boxing Correspondent
When I said professional boxer Lee “El Tigre” Ortega (5-2-0, 2 Ko’s) of Manchester, Connecticut was hungry, I just didn’t realize how hungry he actually was. Last time we both spoke, he had already signed “Jabbin” Joe Wilson (3-2-0) of Hartford, Connecticut and Douglas Okola (24-9-0) of Vegas to a 3 year management deal. Most recently on April 10th he signed his 3rd fighter Mike “The Machine” aka “Mike Mike” Oliver (26-5-1) of Hartford, Connecticut.
Oliver started boxing at the age of 6 and had over 300 amateur bouts. During his amateur days he held the titles of golden gloves champ and USA Champion.
Oliver is very well known in the New England and is the current WBA-NABA USA Featherweight champ and former USBO, USBA, IBO and N.E. EBA Super Bantamweight champion. Oliver is also part of season 2 of the reality TV show, “Knockout”.
Pattee Mak: Are you Oliver’s exclusive manager?
Pattee Mak: Oliver worked with Sammy Vega in the past. Will Vega be contributing in any way in Oliver’s career?
Ortega: Yes, probably as an adviser or on any legal issues. He’s looking to take the bar exam soon.
Pattee Mak: So, what happened with Vega? Did his contract expire or?
Ortega: He never had a contract with Mike Mike. It was a friendship thing. He was there to help him out.
Pattee Mak: It seems to me according to facebook Vega is fine and agreeable with you signing Oliver and Vega promoted you on his facebook as his new manager?
Ortega: Yes. We are all friends and doing everything on a friendship level. Yes Vega was the one that contacted me for Oliver. As soon as people knew that I was managing boxers, a few people contacted me. I even had someone from George contact me, 20 and something but I’d like my guys local.
Pattee Mak: I’m assuming you signed a 3 year contact with Oliver?
Pattee Mak: What’s your next step with Oliver? Can we see him defending his current WBA-NABA USA Featherweight belt?
Ortega: No nothing with the belts yet. I’m trying to get him a fight May 30th on the Prize Promotions card. I’m supposed to be calling them this week and to try and make a fight happen.
Pattee Mak: Oliver fought 5 times since 2011. Lost 3, by TKO, MD and UD, won 1 because of a disqualification in round 1 and had a draw on his last fight against Cornelius Lock. What are your thoughts on his record?
Ortega: He wasn’t focused like he was supposed to. When he fought Juan Manuel Lopez he got a good pay day. When you are young and you get that type of money, you’re young and not focused. I know that Oliver can fight.
Pattee Mak: A few months back I ran into Oliver during a taping of the reality TV show “Knockout” which was being taped at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut. Can you tell me who he will be fighting during his fight?
Ortega: I’m sorry Pattee we can’t talk about anything with “Knockout” at this time. But definitely once I know anything you’ll be the first to know.
Pattee Mak: Sounds like a plan and I’m going to hold you too it. Can you at least give me date when the fight will be taped for the show?
Ortega: Yes, July 18 at Foxwoods.
Pattee Mak: Oliver was placed with “Team Scully” during the TV show. Scully trained Oliver prior to him moving out of state. Who is training him now?
Ortega: It’ll be John Scully now.
Pattee Mak: I thought Scully was in Florida?
Ortega: Yes he’s in Florida, but currently Felix Cruz is training him.
Pattee Mak: From the management side of your business will you be keeping your fighters and their trainers together or could there be a time where you might pull the plug on their current trainers and place them with someone else?
Ortega: Mike Mike will stay with Scully. The rest will be with Rob Lee Velez and Hector Rosario.
Pattee Mak: I’m going to start calling you Mr. Popular. It has only been I believe a week and you have already signed 3 fighters under your belt. How does that make you feel?
Ortega: I feel good, happy and I got a great fighter, which is Mike Oliver. I got Joey and I’m going to build him and Douglas I’m going to try and get him a good come back.
Pattee Mak: How long have you been following Oliver’s career?
Ortega: Since he’s been an amateur.
Pattee Mak: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. I wish you and your fighters the best of luck and keep me posted on Oliver fighting on the TV show “Knockout”.
Ortega: Thank you.