BOXING ON BT LOOKS THE BUSINESS
By Frank Warren
I’ve been around the business of boxing for a very long time now and, as such, have attended personally and viewed more shows on TV than I care to remember.
So I think I am pretty well placed to judge on the broadcast presentation of a promotion and, I have to say, I believe the quality of BT Sport’s production of our Manchester show on Saturday was first class.
It was BT’s first entry into live professional boxing and probably the biggest compliment I can pay them is that it looked like they had been doing it for years.
For the fans in the arena and viewers at home, everything was nigh on perfect. It was slick and it is only going to get better.
Of course, you can have the finest sound and lighting systems going but, as always, the proof of the pudding is in the punching and our fighters certainly didn’t disappoint on the night.
There are plenty more top fights in the pipeline and BoxNation’s partnership with BT Sport will go from strength to strength.
BT were also very efficient in getting the word out that there is a new show in town and the digital series they produced, No Filter Boxing, provided excellent viewing.
BT pledged when we joined forces that it was their intention to tell the story behind the boxers and give the fans a glimpse into their lives outside of the ring.
The characters of the featured fighters really shone through and this can only help in boosting the profiles of our stable of talented boxers.
There is much more of this to come and I have also been delighted with the positive feedback we have received from our own promo films, that have so far involved Liam Smith and Williams, Liam Walsh and Gervonta Davis and, of course, our unbeaten world champion Terry Flanagan.
The increased awareness via online platforms does serve a number of purposes, not least with ticket sales and there were certainly more than 400 people in house!
It is not an avenue we have chosen to ignore previously, but with having the additional backing of BT Sport on board, we now have greater resources and time to channel into digital projects.
The kind comments on these excellent short films have been much appreciated and we will continue to deliver on this.
Beyond the headliners on the night, there were other eye-catching performances on Saturday and some statements of future intent were made by many on the undercard.
Nicola Adams embarked on her professional journey with a shutout points victory over Virginia Noemi Carcamo. The Lioness was probably a little over-eager to go for the kill and impress a new audience, but Nicola was impressive in her work once she settled into a rhythm.
I don’t suspect there will be any holding Nicola back once she really finds her feet in the pro ranks and I believe a world title challenge will be quickly on the horizon.
First things first though, I am looking forward to seeing her return to the ring on May 13 when she gets to perform in front of a home crowd in Leeds for the first time since she was 13 years of age.
That should be some night, with Josh Warrington seemingly on a mission to personally sell-out his home fortress.
I wrote last week that I wanted to see Jack Catterall shift through the gears in his potentially awkward fight against Martin Gethin.
Well, he didn’t disappoint and he managed to shift straight into top gear and a level of performance that Gethin simply couldn’t handle.
Jack absolutely took the fight out of him in the forcing of a third round stoppage. I was really pleased with him, he is a young guy of immense promise and the fight I want next for him is Tyrone Nurse.
It would be an intriguing clash of styles and another fight where you would be hard pushed to confidently predict a winner.
That is what it is all about.
Daniel Dubois will have tougher nights ahead following his 30-odd second clubbing of Marcus Kelly on his debut.
Unfortunate circumstances dictated that we wound up with an opponent who was not in the finest physical condition and this can happen when you are in a race against time to find a late replacement.
His amateur record told us that Kelly had won 10 out of 16 amateur fights, with him also winning his first as a pro – so the mismatch wasn’t immediately apparent.
However, he came out swinging with plenty of heart, but I admit I was not happy with the match-up or the disparity in conditioning. It will still serve as an experience for Daniel who, remember, is just 19 and isn’t coming into the pros off the back of winning an Olympic medal.
There were a few wise guys and sages of the written press who chose to be heavily critical, but these same experts – until recently – wouldn’t have recognised Daniel Dubois if he walked past them in the street.
I can’t think of too many heavyweights who haven’t knocked over a duff opponent or two in their first few fights and we have no intention of putting Daniel under instant pressure.
He has got the first one out of the way and it will now be onwards and upwards. Daniel has got plenty of learning to do and he will achieve this by fighting on a regular basis, which he will do.