I’M really pleased to be working with Spike TV who are televising our show live and free this Saturday (May 30) in Rotherham because it’s healthy for boxing in this country. I was introduced to them by Linea Sports, a sports management company, and with Spike having previously covered MMA, we’ve come on-board to showcase some boxing with a view to maybe doing something more regular in the future.
The show’s headlined by Ross Burkinshaw fighting for the WBO Inter-Continental title, which is perfect because I like making history and working with kids who might not normally have got anywhere near a world title. Ross has got a great story, and since teaming up with us and trainer Ryan Rhodes he’s won the Commonwealth and WBO European title, and is now ranked number nine in the world.
We’ve still got a relationship with BoxNation but it’s great to be working with a freeview TV platform, and the major thing for fans is that it’s free. Boxing should be much bigger than it is. It should be filling the back pages, and one of the reasons it isn’t is because it’s not on terrestrial or freeview TV.
Our two main fights [chief support is Josh Wale vs Dai Davies in a Commonwealth title eliminator] are maybe not marquee names, but they’re potentially cracking contests and free to watch. It’s proven that when boxing is free that’s when the brand grows, when the exposure grows, it’s when more advertisers get on board because there are hundreds of thousands watching rather than just a few thousand. And we know that being showcased on terrestrial or freeview TV can turn a fighter a household name, which they aren’t these days.
Of course, it’s early days but I think Spike TV are capable of eventually competing with Sky. They’re a major organisation, and for us to be working with them is something that could develop into something very big. They’re already doing something major in the States with Al Haymon and hopefully they’ll do the same over here. One thing I want to stress though is that there’s too much politics involved in boxing and I’m willing to work with others. If a fight makes sense then I’ll make it as long as we’re all getting a piece of the action. If I’ve got access to a platform, my phone is always ready to be answered. If a match makes sense, then let’s forget about the politics.