Exclusive Interview with New Zealand Promoter Craig Thomson

By Charles White - Hello Craig, how are you doing today?

CT: Hey Charlie I am well thanks.

So you have a big show in the works for February. Tell us about this event. Where and when will it be and how much are tickets?

CT: Charlie thereís definitely some big plans in the pipeline for late February.. If we can get the nuts and bolts of it sorted out it'll be the first time I have actually promoted in my hometown of Glenfield, North Shore New Zealand! The idea will be to sell as many corporate tables as possible at a price that is affordable to all, as well as accommodate people after GA tickets.

Will you yourself be fighting on this card? If so, whom against?

CT: No, I wonít be lacing up the gloves on this one Charlie. As I mentioned earlier itís a large show with some big fights planned and the first time in my actual hometown so all hands need to be on deck.

Any idea yet who your fighter, Jameson Bostic (23-4 with 13 koís) will be fighting on that card?

CT: We hope to have Bostic in a title fight against a credible opponent, God willing we'd be searching at the very best but with the budget etc. it'll likely be against an Aussie or local lad. Someone like Daniel McKinnon or Adrian Taihia locally would be nice. Of course the big one would be Soulan Pownceby!

Bostic just won the vacant OPBF Light-Heavyweight Title by stopping Yuzo Kiyota (now 19-3-1 with 17 koís), a big win for him. Tell us about this fight and how Bostic looked in the ring.

CT: This was a big fight for Bostic, it was his coming out party really, he was put on the shelve for 13 months before he came to me and we spent 18 months building him back up fighting Cruisers and the odd heavyweight just to get him ring time to get that confidence back. I think putting him in with the bigger boys was a blessing in disguise, as he moved back down to his more natural weight of Light-Heavyweight for Kiyota and was brimming with confidence at the chance of fighting a smaller guy for a change. A lot of people donít know it but Jaime can put you away quick if you slip up for just a second and thatís exactly what happened in the Kiyota fight. Kiyota gave him a window and Jaime took it.

Winning this title will no doubt have opened up many new windows of opportunity for Jameson. I know that you and Jameson are gunning for a shot at the light-heavyweight, but until that time comes, who are some of the light-heavyweight fighters that are on your radar?

CT: Of course the ultimate goal for any fighter should be a crack at the top, and thatís exactly what we are looking at. Of course thereís a natural progression to the top and Jaime has taken another step on that sometimes slippery ladder. Right now the focus is on defending his title and we'd love fights against the likes of Aussie #1 Joel Casey, or local kiwi guys such as Soulan Pownceby, Daniel McKinnon or Adrian Taihia.

Another fighter of yours, heavyweight Clarence Tillman, will be fighting on this February card. Do you have an opponent lined up for him yet?

CT: Nothing is 100% set for Big Clarence just yet, but heís a guy willing to fight anyone and his record demonstrates this. Hopefully a rematch with Joey Wilson, if not then Thereís plenty of local guys willing to test the waters.

In his last fight, he was upset by undefeated knockout artist Sosaia Funaki (now 6-0 with 5 koís). What happened in this fight? Was it a conditioning issue on Tillmanís part, or was it that Funaki just caught him with a good shot?

CT: Funaki hadnít fought for a while but he's one of those guys who spars a lot and as you say is a true KO artist. Funaki is a BIG boy and both he and Clarence went at it for 2 rounds solid which had the crowd on their feet. Whenever you get two big guys like that willing to go toe to toe somethingís gotta give. Clarence just got caught, but itís one of those fights where they could fight 10 times and itíd be 50/50!

How confident are you in your fighters that they can come back and get back on the right track, towards winning ways after an upset or two?

CT: Of course a lot of it comes down to the fighter and whether they are prepared to get back on the horse and ride again! Clarence is back into training and hitting it hard, heís just as hungry as ever so I donít see it being an issue.

Any other fighters on this card that we should know about mate?

CT: Iím hoping to have a few young prospects on, one in particular being Gunnar Jackson. Heís currently 3-1-1 after a nervous start against (Joshua) Tai heís proven in his last 4 fights that heís someone to watch out for in the future. The kid can fight; heís smart and is dedicated. Expect to hear some good things about Gunnar in the near future.

As a young boxing promoter yourself, what words of wisdom can you offer to young readers looking to get into the promotional side of boxing?

CT: Itís certainly not easy, I'd suggest if you think of it as a way to earn some easy, fast cash, think again! However itís very rewarding and if you put the time and work into it, like any job or sport or hobby you can see some good results. Iím in this game for the long haul and Iím prepared to spend time building guys up properly so sometimes you promote more with the idea that your giving you guys fights as opposed to making money, however in saying that I've managed to do both reasonably successfully so thatís a bonus.

I was told I couldnít do it and I was too young and all of that, so my advice is if you really want it, start going to some local promotions, watch and learn. See what works and what doesnít and come up with something you can run with. Iíd also suggest starting out small and not trying to go too big too fast. Itís always easier to put out a small smoldering fire than to try to save a blazing apartment block!

Any final message to the readers Craig?

CT: Please keep supporting the sport of boxing, itís the most unforgiving sport of all at times but also one of the most rewarding.

For questions and comments, to schedule an interview, or to just chat about boxing, Charles White can be reached at or 360-333-5911.

Article posted on 20.12.2010

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