Liam Smith – Just as Beefy as his brothers…. By Paul Ready

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Liam Smith could be tarred with a “forgotten man” brush as he stands alongside brother Paul, Stephen and Callum. His fights are not shown on Skysports and through no fault of his own, few casual fans would even know that he existed.

“Beefy” is the only brother who is not a Matchroom Sport promoted fighter instead working with Frank Warren; regardless, the 25 yr old is just as talented as his siblings.

 

The Light-Middleweight is renowned as more of a technician than a big puncher; sporting a record of 16-0 with only 6 KO’s. With a resume that includes Erick Ochieng, hard-hitting Mark Thompson and on Saturday evening at the Phones4UArena he faces Jason Welborn for the British Light-Middle title.

Viewing this fight as a springboard in to some higher-calibre opposition Smith spoke recently to the Liverpool Echo regarding his future plans:

“I am ranked by the WBO but it is the IBF route I want to go down,” Smith said. “I think I would beat Carlos Molina in my next fight.

“Styles make fights and if someone offered me that next then I would take it.

“But I was speaking to Demetrius Andrade’s (WBO champion) dad the other week in Liverpool and he said: ‘once you go through that door you can’t go back’.

“I could beat Molina but I’m then world champion and can’t avoid anyone. I am not ready for Canelo Alvarez, for example.

“I don’t want to be there just for the occasion and lose. I want to go there and win. Molina is fighting Cornelius Bundrage next and I would beat the both of them.”

 “I have been asked before, how far I am off a world title shot,” he said.

“I am only tomorrow away from that.

“How far am I off Brian Rose? I would beat him tomorrow but I am a good couple of fights off Demetrius Andrade.

“Rose went seven rounds against Andrade, who is a skillful southpaw, and I could go in there tomorrow and do a better job. But I want to go in there and win it. I’m a couple of fights off being ready for that. But I would go there now and give Andrade a great fight.”

A trait I admire in all the Smith brothers is their down to earth attitude; it would be easy to be consumed with the justified hyperbole that surrounds them, but Liam in particular appears to be relishing his progression out of the main stream limelight, but like his brothers it will only be a matter of time before the majority country are aware of them.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

End of Season review by Paul Ready

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As many fighters and those involved in the boxing industry enjoy a well earned rest with their nearest and dearest, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on what has been an eventful 2014 thus far:

the_good__the_bad_and_the_ugly_movie_poster_by_designguy89-d6tk60o

The Good

Froch Groves 2 at Wembley watched by a partisan crowd of 80,000. On a night that saw Jamie McDonnell, Kevin Mitchell, Anthony Joshua, James De Gale all in action.The curtains were brought down in spectacular fashion by Carl Froch with a brutal 8th round KO of George Groves.

Darren Barker winning the IBF Middleweight title in August 2013 was for me one of the highlights. The dedication of the victory to his late brother Gary was moving and the celebrations at the end will live long in the memory of those who tuned in.

The thawing of relations between American Promoters Goldenboy and Top Rank potentially is a huge turning point, with both Oscar De La Hoya and Bob Arum back on speaking terms.

Miguel Cotto became the first 4 weight world champion from Puerto Rico when Sergio Martinez retired at the start of the 9th with Cotto capturing the WBC Middleweight title.

Curtis Woodhouse beating Darren Hamilton on points in February to win the Light-Welter British title another dedication to a late relative, this time his father.

Paul Butler winning the IBF Bantamweight title against Stuart Hall in Newcastle last month on points.

2x time Olympic Gold Medallist Vasyl Lomachenko winning the vacant WBO Featherweight title against Gary Russell Jr in only his 3rd professional bout.

Gavin Rees v Gary Buckland in February was arguably the British “Fight of the year” so far, both men threw the kitchen sink, fridge and any other item they could find at each other with Buckland taking a close split decision.

Rees could have quit after but like tough bastard he is, chose not to and opted instead for the rematch. The decision was vindicated with The Rock taking a split decision in his favour.

 

 

The Bad

Inactivity continues to be a concern for me, it is a fighter’s worst enemy.

Andre Ward has fought twice since his 2011 win over Carl Froch, his last outing coming in November 2013.

Mikey Garcia hasn’t fought since January this year in what was intended to be a busy one for the Mexican/American. Expected to be in at least 4 fights, moving up to 140lbs, then possibly 147lbs against Manny Pacquaio in November have been seriously derailed.

Both Ward and Garcia are currently in contract disputes with their respective promoters, neither showing any signs of improving which is worrying.

Ricky Burns’ has had a 2014 to forget so far, with 2 back-to-back defeats against Terence Crawford and Dejan Zlaticanian, something is not right with Burns and his team are determined to resolve it. A move up to 140lbs for me would make sense as he looks drained making 135lbs.

Kevin Mitchell lost out on his IBF mandatory position due to check-weight issues on the day of the Ghaslain Maduma fight. Matchroom are reportedly working on tying up a voluntary defense from Miguel Vazquez in October.

 

The Ugly

In Enzo Maccarnelli’s defeat against Jurgen Brahmer the Welshman inherited a gruesome injury above his right eye that resulted in trainer Gary Lockett pulling him out at the end of the 5th.

Questionable score-cards in America continue to be a frustrating subject. CJ Ross has become a long-standing joke for her scoring of Mayweather v Canelo as a draw. Another ridiculous score was 117-111 on one card of the recent Canelo v Lara bout, it was tight and could have gone either way but never in a million years was it that wide. It is something that will need to be addressed ASAP before a catastrophe occurs and fighter is robbed blind of a title.

Tyson Fury is in hot-water with the British Boxing Board after being hit with a misconduct charge following comments made at the recent Chisora v Fury 2 press conference:

“If you don’t like the station, change the channel bitch.This is my show, I do what I want. This is boxing, it isn’t tap-dancing. If anybody doesn’t like that they shouldn’t be here.

“I’m in fight mode, kill-mode. I don’t apologise, it is what it is.”

Chris Eubank Snr’s comments that his son Chris Jr could beat every boxer in the world between 160-168lbs bar Andre Ward were met with wide ridicule. In his next fight, Chris Sr stood in the middle of the ring between rounds soaking up all the attention. It was embarrassing for his son and he needs to let him be his own man without constantly hogging the limelight.

Danny Garcia has been heavily criticised for cherry picking opponents this year. After his sublime victory against Lucas Matthysse in September, Swift narrowly beat a gritty Maurico Herrera in March and faces unknown Rod Salka in August. I felt after Matthysse the 26 yr old would be thrust to super-fights with Adrien Broner, Marcos Maidana and of course Floyd Mayweather Jnr.

 

So taking all things in to consideration it has been a superb season, plenty of highs, lows and forgetful moments. With the new season right around the corner in August kicked off with Shawn Porter v Kell Brook for the IBF Welter title, the sport could not be in a better place in Britain and I look forward to seeing some huge fights made as we close the year out.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

 

@BarryHearn Interview – Part 3 by Paul Ready

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Elite Boxing:

You have still got your marathon time over Eddie don’t forget and he may struggle to beat that

 

Barry Hearn:

I think my marathon time is unbeatable he’s never going to get close to that 3hrs 21 minutes, he couldn’t break 4hrs, he did 4hrs 9 mins but he did his best.

 

EB:

Taking boxing to the current day, from your perspective outside of social media what has been the biggest change in the sport?

 

BH:

The change in the end of “slave-trade” being replaced by proper representation is important because the transparency where fighters like Carl Froch know they own a percentage of the show, George Groves owns a percentage of the show, they have their own advisors, their own accountants & lawyers, they can go to bed at night knowing that no one is ripping them off.

We take a percentage of the show so the effect of that is on the bigger shows we never lose money. Sometimes in the past I have lost money on big shows as most promoters have as you take a punt on it, those days are gone but you never make the zillions you could have made when you get it right.

But then again the business is like that, 800 event days a years, 40,000 hours of television a year and you don’t have to kill yourself in 1 sport to do that. It works better to have lots of little earners.

For us business is a game in the same way as any sport; you play to win. You train hard, you play within in the rules and you don’t give an inch. We don’t win belts, cups, trophies or medals we have balance sheets and P&L accounts but it’s still the same principle it’s about winning.

 

EB:

Something that I struggle to understand as a fan is the criticism levied at yourselves and Eddie in particular for sending fighters over to America, what are your views on the subject?

 

BH:

Our job as promoters is to give opportunity whatever the sport. We can’t influence the decision, the economic necessity has to be taken in to account.

Ricky Burns is a good example, he could have gone to America and faced Terence Crawford earn double what he got out of fighting him here.

We work for the fighter not the other way around, we sit down with them and their advisors presenting them with the options.

Home advantage is X, fighting in America is Y. He chose home advantage.

Kell Brook is another example, he is very confident of beating Shawn Porter, the deal he has ended up with is 3 times as much as he would get fighting in the UK if indeed you can get the fight in the UK on a 75-25 split.

But that boils down to people not understanding the mechanics of boxing.

 

EB:

So on to Eddie now and the future of Matchroom, what do you think the future holds with him at the helm?

 

BH:

I think it’s pretty good. I’m enjoying watching him develop as he is an extremely good operator he comes from a background that has been involved in the sport and of course been very fortunate. But any father would do what they can for their sons, I don’t care if I spoil him I do what I want with my money.

What he has brought with him is the same work ethic I have had for the last 30-40 years. It is down to the love of your job, he is working his nuts off which I am very pleased about and already been very successful which I am proud of .

I like his independence of thought; he’s not unpleasant but he’s not taking any shit off anyone and he’s being honest with them, be it fighters, opposition, rival broadcasters.

We are in the position to be able to build anyone globally because of the size of Matchroom and our profile so Eddie has the benefit of that.

He is the one getting up at 3am going away and working, boxing is a 24hr sport, when you want to go to bed someone from California wants to talk to you.

If you’ve got no passion there is absolutely no point in you doing anything.

Eddie had the choice of doing whatever he wanted and I would have backed him; he chose boxing.

The interesting one will be is how long he can sustain this type of work-rate and pressure and he is building a very good squad of youngsters around him to help him out.

I gave him a start, but he has taken it to another level that is undeniable, he is the future.

I can’t relate to the fighters the same way he does, when I was young they used to stay here and I would train with them outside, we’d go on runs it was great. But those days have past and fighters now will go:

“Yeah he’s Hall of Fame but he’s getting old, he’s got grey hair” and be suspicious of me.

The success he is having with Sky and of course the success of Froch Groves 2; my business couldn’t be in a better set of hands.

 

Article written by Paul Ready

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

 

@EddieHearn Fighter Update By Paul Ready

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Having attended the Matchroom end of season BBQ today, I managed to catch up with Eddie Hearn post-press conference to get an update on a variety of his fighters and possible future match-ups.

 

Elite Boxing:

Thanks for your time Eddie, if we can discuss Ricky Burns initially; naturally a very disappointing result a few weeks ago and he’s taken some time out to spend with his family.

For you personally you mentioned the possibility of him fighting outside of Glasgow to release some pressure, Tommy Coyle spoke earlier about the match-ups in the Lightweight division that can be made in house, what is next for Ricky?

 

Eddie Hearn:

I think firstly what we need to do with Ricky Burns is find out what the problem is because he’s training in particular the last fight better than ever, he sparred better than ever, he got in the ring and looked terrible.

I think it is two-fold; one is the weight and the other is the confidence, expectation and pressure.

He sparred at 10st 3/4oz looking great; strong and powerful then he fights at 9st 9oz and he looks like a shell.

So when he gets back we’ve got this nutritional guy we work with Advanced Nutrition who is doing all this analysis on his body to see if he can make 9st 9oz and I’m not sure he can.

So perhaps we look at 10st (140lbs)

Maybe we box him at 9st 11/12oz September 13th in a 10 rounder, in a relatively easy fight which will be a confidence booster. He needs that and needs to look good.

I like the fight with Tommy Coyle, he can move to Light Welterweight. I like the fight with Scott Harrison. There’s loads of fights out there for him at 140, it’s just frustrating that I don’t know what the answer is at the moment, I want to find it and I don’t want to give up on him because he looked great in that camp.

EB:

From seeing Ricky in the gym and speaking to the guys down there, they all were impressed with how good he looked and gelled so quickly with the others.

I think people were a tad harsh to suggest he should finish working with Tony Sims, it’s a relationship I’d like to see them both persevere with.

 

EH:

I think so. It’s difficult as they were so confident it was going to a great performance, everyone was so buoyant and then were asking; “What happened there?”

The answer was he got caught cold, he didn’t listen and it took him 3 or 4 rounds to recover.

I thought he won the back-end of the fight, if there was a few more rounds he would have nicked it.

 

EB:

If we discuss the Super-Middleweight division. Excluding Froch and DeGale you’ve got Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding potentially heading towards one another.

Would you look to avoid what happened with Groves and DeGale by slinging them in together so early?

 

EH:

Someone asked me on Twitter the other day;

“Why don’t you just make Callum Smith v Rocky?”

It’s got to be the right time.

Callum Smith without putting too much pressure on him looks like a phenomenon in the division, he is massive for a Super Middleweight. He’s level headed, he’s got a nice fight against Vladine Biosse and Rocky has a tough fight on Saturday against Noe Gonzalez.

Fielding against either Smith (Callum or Paul) is a big fight for Liverpool it would be good to try and make it.

 

EB:

Is the WBC route the way you are looking to go?

 

EH:

I think so, they were the one’s who took a shine to him initially and made a beeline for him. He’s already number 15 in the rankings we are already looking at the WBC Silver belt potentially for September.

We keep stepping him up and he keeps doing the same thing, if he keeps going, keeps going, keeps going he’s going to find himself there in 12mths.

I hope he is in a difficult fight where he gets cut, he’s under it; but maybe he is just that good, I don’t know. I appreciate he isn’t world level yet but everything that is being asked of him he is delivering very quickly.

 

EB:

Moving on to Wadi Camacho, I thought he started well against Simmons but it was another disappointing result in the end.

 

EH:

He boxed ok, I thought they were both disappointing because the talked the talk of doing this & that with neither of them doing a lot of it.

A lot of it was nerves and pressure, they both semi-froze, I had Wadi a round up. If Simmons would have done what he did in the 10th earlier in the fight he would have had more success.

But Wadi couldn’t hold on, perhaps British title is his level and we can grab a belt. He’s had a decent pay-day and having a rest now we can see what he wants to do with his career.

 

EB:

Scott Quigg when are we expected to see him out and who will the opponent be?

 

EH:

He will be out on September 13th at the Phones4U Arena alongside Crolla and obviously we want Santa Cruz.

I don’t think Santa Cruz fancies Quigg and I don’t think he fancied the Frampton fight either really. They definitely tried to make that. We will go there (to America) 100%, so we are just trying to find a big-name opponent and waiting for the Frampton fight as it’s the one everyone wants to see.

Fingers crossed Frampton beats Martinez again which I think he will.

 

EB:

So you could be in a situation where Brook beats Porter then faces Amir Khan and would you look at two separate PPV fights towards the end of the year with Quigg v Frampton as well?

 

EH:

I don’t feel like Frampton v Quigg is yet, the rematch might be. I would look to do a two-fight deal because they both would be world champions and it makes sense if the first fight is a great fight which I think it is.

Brook v Khan is a PPV fight, it’s a huge fight, it’s a stadium fight and does huge numbers. So there is a lot of fights on the cusp which you would have seen today so it’s going to be a lot of fun.

 

EB:

Finally Eddie if we discuss Anthony Crolla is the target Abril?

 

EH:

Yeah he is the target, it’s really frustrating as we were really close a few months ago and he’s got some legal issues at the moment that is really difficult.

Lots of different people popping up;

“Oh I’m here” etc so we are starting to run out of time. We need to make sure Anthony is in a big fight we are looking at a number of other options currently.

 

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@BarryHearn Interview Part 2 by Paul Ready

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Elite Boxing:

I saw an interview with Eddie on IFLTV recently where he was answering a fan’s question regarding the possibility of Chris Eubank Jnr joining Matchroom.

Eddie made some valid points for me that up until now he hasn’t been promoted well.

 

Barry Hearn:

It is very difficult for Chris Snr as I’ve been in a situation where I’ve had to encourage my son to follow his career, he is now doing the same for his son.

I think it is a burden on the son to some extent having him in the background.

I remember the first time Eddie put on a set of gloves and I went to watch him fight and they introduced him as “Eddie something else” as he didn’t want the Hearn name.

Eubank Snr as a personality was fascinating to work with; I would not have swapped a minute of it, but he was hard work and I think the idea of someone like Eddie who has seen that appreciates it is a big bit of baggage to take on.

So the answer is he like most fathers has a high expectancy of his son, there is no doubt his son has some ability.

If i’m brutally honest that ability has yet been tested. So you are in a situation where you ask yourself (Matchroom) do you want to be involved with the boy?

Yes. If it was any other surname…

 

EB:

So if he was Chris Smith for example…

 

BH:

Correct.

You would say we could do a job, but you know the expectancy from Eubank Snr and the level of involvement will be different.

When you are running a business you can’t have that.

If the manager has enough sense to understand the boxing business, which Eubank Snr in the greatest respect doesn’t.  

I feel he is coming from it at the wrong angle; Christopher, young Christopher needs exposure, he needs a PR job done on him but that can’t involve his dad because it detracts from the PR job on his son.

Now I’m seeing Eubank Snr in the ring with his son. Which was amusing for about 15 seconds and then it became embarrassing.

Eubank Jnr may end up being a really good fighter then you would almost have him no matter what the obstacle.

At the moment I’d rather see him fight a John Ryder, a Billy Joe Saunders, a Nick Blackwell someone who can tell me how good he is.

Eubank Snr said to me the other day;

“He is the best now, he would beat Andre Ward”

Once you start saying that, it’s not good. In time maybe that caveat will be built in but at the moment it puts too much expectancy on the youngster.

He’s been matched extremely well up until now and to be discussed in the same breath as those top fighters at 160lbs & 168lbs is disrespectful.

Chris Snr needs to stop mentioning these names as it makes him look silly.

Mentioning Carl Froch, George Groves, James DeGale.

It’s a relationship where promoters need good fighters and great promoters need great fighters to make it work.

I haven’t seen enough of him (Eubank Jnr) yet to be convinced that he can punch. He could be a great domestic fighter, but if you want to go on to be a European fighter and beyond you need to be able to bang and have concussion, not enough British fighters have that.

At world-level if you can’t punch, you will get found out sooner or later.

But Chris Jnr has potential and it’s a compliment for me to say that but he needs to be his own man.

At the moment he is on BoxNation without being disrespectful to BoxNation, I think they do a fantastic job but there is no one watching it.

It’s tough enough putting them on Sky.

When I was doing shows I was getting 10 million viewers on ITV, you can build people very quickly on that platform.

Today on Sky it takes 4 times as long to build them.

 

EB:

If we take the recent Glasgow show a few weekends ago, what was the viewing figures?

 

BH:

Peaking anywhere around 400,000 – 500,000 viewers that’s a big success on Sky.

When Eddie started they were 100,000, so now they’ve double and trebled in the past couple of years so it is going the right way and there is a long way to go.

They still don’t get anywhere near the darts figures, nowhere near.

Darts world champion peaks at 1.5 million. If you got 1.5 million for a fight, people would fall over.

It’s ok because every broadcaster has a different attitude.

On ITV they were cherry-picking the odd show. Channel 5 don’t do too badly; around 1 million.

Sky is a sports broadcaster with lots of different sports that part of it is boxing.

BoxNation is a channel for the hardcore fans; which frankly there aren’t enough of them.

What you see with Froch Groves is the game being taken to a wider audience.

The Klitschko’s have done a good job of that in Germany with the big shows.

There aren’t enough great fights to go around currently so it’s not really worth the money for the TV companies for the ratings they achieve.

So you either drop boxing which would be a disaster or you build the fanbase which takes time and takes a competitive youngster like Eddie to achieve.

 

EB:

Back to yourself Barry, was there any fights that you wish you could have made but didn’t?

 

BH:

Benn v Eubank 3 was the only one that I wish I could have done but it slipped out of the net which should have never been the case.

Especially coming off the draw of the second fight, pay-per-view around the corner that was the one everyone wanted. It would have cashed in with something very serious and would have made lots and lots of money.

Froch Groves was big, this would have been as big if not even bigger in the early days of pay-per-view.

If you get 7 figures out of a broadcaster that is a lot of money for one night, it is a lot of money for ITV, huge amount of money for BBC and huge money for Sky.

The pay-per-view model gives the opportunity for everyone to make money but it costs the individual customer more.

Not to do Benn v Eubank 3 and to have to draw-a-line under it as they were both great fighters is a shame.There is a case for both of them of who was better; both such different styles, both such different personalities the perfect promotional mix.

But for one reason or another it didn’t happen which is why I was so happy we done Froch v Groves again as I don’t like unanswered questions, no one does.

The 3 greatest fights you would say you have seen in your life are Micky Ward v Arturo Gatti they were great great fights, you needed to have 3 of them.

Frazier v Ali needed to have 3.

Who knows, we may get a 3rd fight in 18 mths if Carl is still around and Groves wins a world title you can’t ever say for sure but that is what keeps the public’s interest; great personalities.

 

EB:

In terms of the Hall of Fame induction for you this must rank as your greatest accolade. Tell me how you felt when you found out and how the weekend there was.

 

BH:

It’s a huge compliment as I never expected it. I’m not just a boxing promoter I got in to it after Snooker and after Matchroom Sport was born in 1982 I’m a sports fan across a whole range of sports.

To be inducted alongside Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya and Joe Calzaghe it doesn’t get any bigger than that.

I think a lot of people didn’t know who I was alongside those legends but I was very happy to be a part of it.

I’ve been there, seen it and got the t-shirt and was told that I’d be surprised at how many people are there which I brushed off, but I was genuinely shocked when I arrived.

(Canastota, New York) A little town of 5,000 people and 30,000 descend on it and you are walking around staying in this tiny hotel with all your heroes around you.

Vito Antuofermo I always had a soft spot for and was robbed a few times, Irish Mickey Ward I sat there for half hour talking to him, it was just surreal.

Just being alongside that company was a complete one off. It’s bizarre as we all live in goldfish bowl and think we are important but that put it in to perspective.

I was walking down the street shortly after in New York and had 2 people come up to me who said;

“Excuse me, is that a Hall of Fame ring?”

In America this is like a super bowl ring.

It was a huge compliment for me and despite Eddie thinking they had they wrong name on the envelope when it arrived!

It’s given me my last one up on him (Eddie) and I wouldn’t swap it for the world.

 

**Tune in tomorrow evening for the final extract of the interview where Barry discusses the future of Matchroom Boxing**

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

@BarryHearn Exclusive – Part 1 by Paul Ready

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Barry Hearn is a man who needs no introduction.

Unless of course you live under a rock and haven’t watched any snooker, darts or boxing on terrestrial TV in the past 40 years.

Having grown up in the 90’s Matchroom and Barry in particular played a huge part in my weekends.

Most Saturdays I was taken to Leyton Orient by my grandfather who was born in the area.

In the evenings like most of my generation, I would settle in front of the telly and watch the Super-Middleweights battle for supremacy in an golden era; the likes of Nigel Benn, Steve Collins and of course Chris Eubank.

In light of his recent induction to the illustrious Boxing Hall of Fame, I caught up with the Barry Hearn at Matchroom’s HQ to discuss why he started in the boxing industry and it took me on a fascinating journey to the present day where the baton has been passed to his son Eddie:

 

Elite Boxing:

Barry, it is great to finally meet you. You have been promoting sport in this country for over 40 years.

What made you make the transition in to boxing?

 

Barry Hearn:

I’ve always been a fight fan. I’ve often flirted with the idea of being a fighter but god never gave me the ability, which was a bit of blow if I’m honest!

I enjoy confrontation, 1 to 1 stuff I’m very competitive by nature so I joined Waltham Forest boxing club, Garden City boxing club and it was quite clear early on it wasn’t going to be a long term career!

As a fan I used to watch all the shows Micky Duff, Jarvis Astaire, Terry Lawless I knew well, in the middle 80’s the way the sports promotion was going I thought to myself;

“Let’s have a go at boxing promotion”

I didn’t know a lot about it I had lots of enthusiasm. I knew I wanted to do competitive fights, I knew I wanted to do big fights.

Terry Lawless convinced me to try a couple of small shows topped by Gary Mason at Cliffs Pavilion in Southend and of course once you do 1 or 2 shows, you get a bug for it.

I remember the first show I done; Andre Van Der Oetlaar v Gary Mason at Cliffs Pavillion I think the show made £659.00 profit and I was hooked.

So I did another one which lost about £6,000 or £7,000 and by then it was too late.

The adrenaline rush I experienced by love of what I was seeing was great.

My 3rd show I went for gold and did Bruno v Bugner at White Hart Lane that made millions pounds.

That was it, it was over for me. I still didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve been a promoter irrespective of the sport.

But with boxing you have got to pay your dues, which I did.

I learnt that it’s a unique business with unique people. You always appreciate the skills, which I never had myself.

There is nothing quite a big show, nothing like the atmosphere that is created in boxing.

It is a sport I’m passionate about.

I think I understand enough about it now to know the up’s and down’s; which there are plenty of them.

It’s a tough business inside the ring and sometimes it’s tougher outside the ring.

It is a sport that has made a major contribution in my life over the past 30 or 40 years.

I don’t regret a moment of it.

 

EB:

I think what differentiated you in the early days was your accountancy background. You have always striven to be upfront and honest with people, displaying transparency in how you went about your business.

BH:

When I first went in to it from my mother down, they thought you were turning in to a gangster because boxing had that “tough-guy” image.

The game has changed, if you go back to the 20’s, 30’s and 50’s there was definitely a lot of influence around tough-guys not legitimate tough guys.

I think there is a certain appeal to this being the real men’s world and all macho but most promoters are run by accountants & lawyer these days and broadcasters.

Even in my time in the game, it’s changed so much.

The promoters were like the “slave traders” we used to get people on contracts forever.

If we failed; we lost money. If we won; we made a load of money.

The emphasis now has entirely shifted in-line with the rest of professional sport:

That star is the boss; the athlete is the guvnor.

And we work for them now and not the other way round.

Initially it was definitely the boxers worked for the promoter. Now it is an entirely different world every big-time of boxer has his own team of lawyers and accountants and I welcome that as it always follows the transparent approach that I have always followed.

There shouldn’t be any secret, it should be totally transparent between you and your client, which is what your boxer is.

In the old days it was more like your dog!

Micky Duff’s famous comment:

“If you want loyalty, buy a dog”.

Which is something still prevalent is in today’s industry. It is coming in to line with most other sports because we are all relevant on television company contracts, sponsorship contracts so it is a legitimate business.

Me as an accountant, I get criticism for being an accountant but accountant’s run proper businesses and isn’t that what you want boxing to be?

It is a dangerous game and you can’t afford to mess about with it; you have to do it properly.

 

EB:

You’ve promoted over 600 shows (I said 500 until I was corrected) from your perspective the 90’s was your pomp

 

BH:

I think there are always shifts of power in boxing, at the end of the day you can be the worst promoter in the world, if you have the best boxer; you become the best promoter in the world.

It is a bit like trainers; great fighters made trainers great, not the other way round.

And great fighters made promoters powerful; and not the other way around. We have to understand that.

So we’ve seen a shift in power in my time, started off with Soloman and Levine; coming in to the Duff, Lawless, Astaire; coming in to the Warren era, to Hearn Snr back to Warren and obviously it’s “Fast Car’s” era (Eddie Hearn) as no one can live with him because he is the best I have ever seen.

The power shift changes based on the raw material; and the raw material is the fighter.

 

EB:

We will move on to the 90’s. Christopher Livingstone Eubank, a legend in British Boxing. How did you first come across him?

 

BH:

I had a phone-call from Len Ganley a very famous snooker referee. “Ball Crusher Ganley”, dead now unfortunately, but his son (Mike) works for me at World Snooker which is nice.

Len said:

“There is a boxer up here asking to see you. Next time you are up here at the world snooker championship in Sheffield I’ll make a meeting”.

In swans Eubank much the same, even though he had nothing, he had style and charisma. His first words to me were:

“Good afternoon, I’m a professional fighter and I know my worth”

 

 

EB:

What was your initial reaction when you first saw him?

 

BH:

I loved him to death as soon as I saw him. I love characters that are different, in my world that is what sells tickets, that is what gets media attention.

You can be the best in the world but if you are a secret, no one is going to know you and no one is going to reward you.

When he walked in I thought;

“Oh, I like this bloke!”

I’d seen him fight a couple of times; I knew he could hold his hands up.

I never knew how good he would be in the same way I never knew how good Steve Davis would be in the early ‘70’s so you need a bit of luck.

So we signed him on a 3 fight deal, £200,000, £250,000 and £300,000. I think I paid him about £300 a week in wages and he said:

“If I ever get beat, you can stop paying me my wages”

I said:

“I’ve got a better idea; if you get beat twice I’ll stop paying your wages”

We had 19 title defences, a wonderful roller-coaster, he drove me mad, he was crazy, eccentric and an enigma but he is a fascinating man.

I think he threatens to be intelligent, I’m sure he swallowed a dictionary when he was younger.

He used to have a dictionary on his desk and he used to learn 6 or 7 large words a day, you know and he would try to use them somehow or the other.

That was all part of his personality; he was what people didn’t expect.

If you analyse Eubank’s boxing from a technical view, he wasn’t the most exciting boxer in the world. He had a good chin, was a great counter-puncher he always had problems for me going forward with his feet. He could bang a bit, not concussive.

Basically I was never fully sure he wanted to box.

He once said to me:

“If I draw that means I keep my title. If the other bloke doesn’t hit me and I hit him occasionally”

He was a tough guy, had a natural ability, had a tough chin, was a warrior etc.

He would always love to give the impression he never trained but behind closed doors he would train like a dog. You don’t get to look as good as he did without training.

He would say:

“My road work is 400 yards running backwards”

He was completely off the planet he made it in to an over-complicated science. He used to confuse everybody by descriptions that went on for hours.

Eubank has never ever used a sentence when a paragraph would suffice.

It’s not a criticism as we used to laugh all the time, it was a great deal of fun we made a load of money, he spent his, and I kept mine.

Unfortunately that is the same with Ronnie Davies.

But he was always his own man; you have to let characters like that be themselves.

Most people don’t know that he styled himself on the old comedian Terry Thomas, he wanted to be the English Gentleman, hence the monocle, it was a plan to get noticed and accepted.

He was a ballsy character; no one goes in to Berlin to face (Graciano) Rocchigiani  to a crowd chanting “Kill the black man” a right-wing Nazi crowd and Eubank was walking round the outside of the ring.

I’m shouting at him;

“Get in the ring, get in the ring”

He responds;

“I’m just soaking up all the hate”

On the perverse side of that when Steve Collins told Eubank he had been hypnotised it completely threw Eubank out of sync as he thought it was Black Magic.

I told him; “You can’t hypnotise a chin”

“No but its not right Barry” he said

The Michael Watson tragedy affected him deeply; he is a deep, deep thinker. Sometimes irrationally deep. He has a big belief in himself and his ability to create situations, argue out situations and sometimes that is unfounded in terms of intelligence.

 

**Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 where we discuss Chris Eubank Jnr, what fight he wish he made and sending British fighters abroad**

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

 

Boxing Update 03/07 by Paul Ready

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This week in July 1921 – Jack Dempsey KO’d George S Carpentier in 4 for heavyweight boxing title 1st million dollar gate ($1.7m) boxing match. I’d love to know what modern day equivalent value of that million dollars would be. Last weekend proved to be a disappointing one for Ricky Burns in Glasgow, but before I discuss that card let’s look firstly at the man who took his WBO Lightweight title away from him; Terence Crawford in Omaha, Nebraska.   Crawford v Gamboa Terence Crawford (24-0: 17 KO’s) stopped Cuban Yuriokis Gamboa (23-1: 16KO’s) in the 9th round of a cracking fight Saturday evening. Crawford, 26, made his first defence of his WBO title in his hometown of Omaha Nebraska, which ended a 42 year exile of championship boxing in the state since Joe Frazier defended his heavyweight title against Nebraska’s-own Ron Stander in 1972. Crawford hadn’t fought in his Omaha since 2011 demonstrated that there is really no place like home by announcing himself as a world-class fighter. Gamboa started quick winning the first few rounds until Crawford took over boxing beautifully from the 5th dropping the cuban with a great left. Terence-Crawford_Farina Other knockdowns followed in the 8th before finally the ref waved the fight off in the 9th with two minutes remaining. “I told Gamboa he picked the wrong fighter and the wrong city and I was right,” Crawford said. “I never felt any danger in the fight.” “It means a lot,” Crawford said of his long-awaited homecoming fight. “This is what they’ve been waiting on since I turned pro.” Crawford is now the main man at 135lbs and talk of a move up to 140lbs is natural progression in the near future.   He Who Dares, Glasgow Burns v Zlaticanin Ricky Burns lost to Dejan Zlaticanin on points Saturday evening and as he failed to recover from a shock 1st round knockdown. The 31 yr old had to come from behind against a big punching Montenegrin and despite a late rally from the Scot, it unfortunately wasn’t enough. Burns now will be taking some much needed time off with his family to reflect on this defeat. I would like to see him continue working with Tony Sims, you can’t instantly dismiss the foundations they have laid in the past 11 weeks as a complete failure, the relationship is in it’s infantry and needs time to develop. Burns is perhaps too “long in the tooth” to make drastic changes to his style at this stage of his career, only a few minor adjustments need to be made for me and the key in all of this is his desire to continue. Promoter Eddie Hearn spoke to Skysports post-fight; “He’s devastated, he had a nightmare start. I thought it was a very close fight and could have gone either way, without the start and a couple of rounds to get over that, I thought it was fairly even.  “He’s got to go away and we will look for a big domestic fight, if that is what Ricky wants. It will be too raw now for Ricky to decide what he wants.”   Simmons v Camacho Steve Simmons stopped Wadi Camacho in the 12th round of their hotly anticipated grudge match. “Macho Man” was winning on the scorecards when a late surge from the Scot in the 11th and then in the stoppage in 12th retained the WBC Cruiserweight Silver title. Camacho boxed well, got behind the jab & displayed composure from the outset. Credit must be given to trainer Peter Sims for the training camp & change in mentality he has made Wadi adopt. You have to congratulate Simmons for finishing strong when in the mid-rounds he looked physically shot to bits. Chasing: Simmons settled his grudge match with Camacho in Glasgow The 28 yr old Southpaw frustrated Simmons early on and had to contend with various headbutts throughout, one which was noticed by the ref and resulted in a warning for Simmons. It was great to see both men at the end “bury the hatchet” and agree to put their differences aside. It wasn’t the barnstormer we had hoped for, but often grudge matches rarely are as both fighters tend to be even more cautious with punches than box gung-ho. Limond v Woodhouse Willie Limond made it 3rd time lucky in his pursuit for the British Title by beating Curtis Woodhouse convincingly. Limond floored Woodhouse twice to win on points and can look forward to facing English Champion Tyrone Nurse in the foreseeable future.   Kell Brook The date and venue have finally been announced; Kell Brook will FINALLY face Shawn Porter for the IBF Welterweight title at the StubHub Arena (Formerly the Home Depot Centre) in Carson, California on the 16th August. On the same bill we see a rematch of the December 2013 bout between Sakio Bika and Anthony Dirrell for the WBC Super-Middleweight title. For Brook it will be almost exactly 12 months to the day (17th August 2013) when Darren Barker beat Daniel Geale to lift the IBF Middleweight title in Atlantic City. Let’s hope it proves to be a lucky omen for Brook….   @PaulReady @EliteBoxingNet http://www.eliteboxing.net