Ben Shalom on... BOXXER's Olympians
5 targets; 5 signings.
I firmly believe that our haul of Olympians has added future box office stars and world champions to our stable.
On Saturday night, Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Joshua Buatsi got past Craig Richards in his first 50-50 since turning pro, almost five years ago.
It got me thinking…would I be prepared to wait as long for any of our 5 Tokyo Olympians to challenge at the top level?
No fighter's journey is ever the same. Joshua has been unlucky along the way too…
But I am very excited by our Olympians and believe they will all make it to the top level. And hopefully, not in the too distant future…
In signing 5 of Britain's Olympians, we are delighted to have made such a significant investment into the future of British boxing. I believe this is a real statement of intent and in all of these signings, we will see fruitful returns from our investment.
It’s been a challenge attracting so many of Britain's top talents but something I’ve relished. I am grateful for the chance to be a part of all their journeys through the pro ranks.
Without having the track record of some other UK promoters, yet securing the signature of all of our five Olympian targets, we have clearly demonstrated the pulling power of the BOXXER and Sky Sports platform.
Fighters are trusting us with their futures and I will make sure that we deliver for them.
Our most recent signing, Ben Whittaker, has an incredibly bright future ahead of him. Ben can go all the way to the top of the game. He was the one that everyone wanted. It was a big decision for Ben, which he mulled over for a long while before trusting us with his future. We are delighted to promote Ben, who will make his professional debut in July.
Not that he needs much promotion….
With his huge personality and scintillating talent, Ben has got it all. Add to the mix his trainer SugarHill…it all just screams box office. It is important to remember that Ben is only 24 and he has plenty of time on his side, but there are so many exciting fights out there for him at both super-middleweight and light-heavyweight. From our current stable, Ben could get in there with the likes of Germaine Brown, Dan Azeez and Zak Chelli (who beat Ben in the amateurs).
Unlike Ben, at 30 years old, Frazer Clarke doesn’t have quite as much time on his side. I am excited to see him back in the ring after injury and we will look to move him through the ranks quickly.
Frazer has been unlucky with injury and we would have liked him to be in the ring a lot more than once, since turning over… However, I’m hopeful that we will see Frazer in the ring at least three times before the end of the year.
What a time for female boxing. With Shields v Marshall set for early September and the success of Taylor-Serrano, there has never been such a buzz around female boxing. Having signed Caroline Dubois, Lauren Price and Karriss Artingstall, I believe BOXXER will be at the forefront of women’s boxing in the UK for many years to come.
In Lauren Price, we have one of Britain's most decorated amateurs; she even managed to beat Savannah Marshall…she’s that good! We’re not expecting her to campaign at middleweight in the pro game, but in the future, who knows… Maybe we could see Savannah try and avenge that defeat down the line.
We are blessed with an incredibly strong female stable; I can’t emphasise enough the potential in our ranks. Caroline Dubois, just like Lauren, has got it all. I firmly believe she can be the future face of women’s boxing. In fact, the same could be said for Karriss, who has a fantastic amateur pedigree and for a featherweight, has some serious power.
I think in securing all five of our Olympian targets, we have made serious progress in demonstrating that BOXXER will be front and centre of boxing in the UK for many years to come.