Tales From The Hard Side

boxingBy Ezio Prapotnich - Letís get one thing straight: Spencer Fearon is not a cocky guy. Itís not cockiness when you can back the things you say up with measurable and plain to see facts. And, so far, the Most Talkative Man in Boxing delivered the goods. But, he does like to have the last word. Especially about his own shows. So, here we are again to get his personal feedback on The Takover, the event organized by Hard Knocks Boxing at York Hall on the 4th of June, and some indiscretion on his future plans.

EASTSIDEBOXING: As pointed out in our report of your event, the atmosphere felt somehow closer to a rock concert or a musical than an average boxing match. It obviously has a lot to do with the crowd. Can you choose one word to describe the essence of the evening?

SPENCER FEARON: Diversity. Ethnic diversity, age diversity, sex diversity. Did you see how many pretty girls and young people around? Race relations have always been an issue in this country, but God made us different so that we can know one another. We live in the United Kingdom. UNITED. And what you saw was The United Colors of Hard Knocks Boxing!

ESB: How do you manage to get to a boxing match people of so many different backgrounds, especially considering that a high percentage of them have no technical/historical understanding of the game?

S. F.: Again, I can answer with one word: accessibility. What you did yesterday will come tomorrow. Basically, I am just reaping what I have sown. Throughout the years, I mean, as a fighter, as a TV pundit, as whatever, I have always been accessible to people. And I still am. You saw it with your eyes on the night: I shook everybodyís hand and thank them, and my thanks were all sincere. To be successful means to be content and happy with yourself, and when you are content and happy with yourself you are rich. All I am doing is being myself and share and pass on my true passion for boxing. Itís all there is to it. I am not a sell-out. The only things I sell out are venues.

ESB: Do you reckon you are creating a new market?

S.F.: Think only of how many tickets request I had from Deutsche Bank, or ICAP, and many others corporate groups. Thatís something new.

ESB: Did you see any improvements compared to your last show in Kensington Town Hall?

S.F.: It was Steve Bunce, last time, to say that we needed a bigger venue and so we moved to York Hall, but I still had to turn people down to avoid trouble with the British Board of Control. We are now looking for a bigger place, 3000 thousand seats at least, although I have to say that I like the York Hall, for many reasons, both technical/chorographical and historical. So I would not exclude the possibility of another show there.

ESB: Besides the sales figures, can you provide any other positive feedback?

S.F.: Michael Collier, the chairman of the Southern Area Council of the British Boxing Board, received 60 letters of people saying how good the show was.

ESB: The idea of marketing boxing as pure entertainment to a non-experts crowd is interesting, but soon or later you will have to deal with the reality of the sport, meaning titles and TV support. How do you feel about that?

S.F.: I am not worried about the TV angle right now, but trust me: itís coming. And, of course, I want my fighters to be recognized champions, but I am not compromising on that. There are not going to be meaningless titles on the way. I will bring them straight to the top with no stops in the middle.

ESB: What is the next step for Choi, Qato, Catchpole etc., then?

S.F.: Nathan Graham and Joe Catchpole will fight again on the 4th of July in an event organized in Sheffield by Concrete Promotions. Fingers crossed, we are trying to get Tony Salam on Prizefighter at the end of this month. And, last but not least, I want a world title shot for Choi before the end of the year. Also, soon I will bring Joe, Nathan, Tony, and Darren Hamilton to Jamaica for a training camp with our patron Lennox Lewis.

ESB: How did Lennox get involved with Hard Knocks Boxing? Is there any relation with the fact that his contract with HBO expired? Did you jump on the occasion?

S.F.: Not at all. They are two separate things. Lennox actually got involved with us before the deal with HBO fell through. He took part in a charity event at The Real Fight Club and liked it very much. He offered to endorse us and he is doing it for free.

And this is only a small portion of what Spencer Fearon had to tell us, but without a doubt there will be plenty of other occasions to hear more. Stay tuned for the next Hard Knocks Boxing eventÖ

Article posted on 11.06.2010

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