LAST year was decent for VIP Promotions. Brian Rose fought for the world title, Josh Warrington won the European, Terry Flanagan emerged as one to watch, and we put on some good shows and fight-of-the-year contests. This year though I’d like to see promoters working together more.
I couldn’t be sure but, at the very top level, I feel like promoters do things to hurt rather than help each other, and that should stop. At the end of the day it’s the fans that suffer, and there could be some great fights and shows made.
At my level, I’ve spoken to other promoters and rather than us do shows in areas near the same time, it’d be better if we did one together. We’ve got to start doing this or we’ll get to the stage where we’ll lose lots of money. Everyone needs to say ‘there’s enough pie to share’ rather than trying to pinch it.
There’s always been politics. When I first got involved Nat Basso said to me ‘nothing changes apart from the names’. There’s only really me in Manchester, I’ve been doing it 20 years and there have been many others since but they don’t last long because it’s too hard.
Terrestrial TV could change things. It’s great that ITV will be showing Carl Frampton’s next fight. Carl’s a very good fighter, Barry McGuigan is a great personality and it gets boxing back in the national spotlight where it belongs. I’d really like to see the BBC involved too. When you look at Channel 5 getting over three million viewers, I’m sure the BBC would do numbers like 15 million. It doesn’t make sense; maybe someone at the BBC doesn’t like boxing! The sport is booming, the stadiums are full, sponsors are getting behind it and the public are missing out. It’s the only pay-per-view sport, which shows how popular it is. The BBC should take a gamble; if it’s done right they won’t be let down.
Matchroom having the Sky monopoly isn’t a healthy thing either. It’s healthy for Matchroom Boxing, and it’s a situation we’d all want to be in so you can’t be envious, but it’s not a good thing. I’m a feeder now to Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren. I get kids to a certain level and they take over. I’d love the chance to develop them further myself. It’s frustrating, but something I’ve got to work with. Hopefully things will change, but I can’t see it in the near future.
We’ve gone down the route of streaming our shows free at vipboxing.tv and it’s gone better than anticipated. It’s really helped us, we’ve got sponsors on the back of it, the feedback is good, and we’ve got an audience from about 50 different countries worldwide.
Our next big show is a 10-fight card on February 28 in Preston. Ricky Skelton tops the bill fighting for a title. Rick Godding returns from injury, is undefeated in 20 and will be in the British title mix, and Luke Blackledge and Ronnie Heffron are also on. I’m looking forward to it; it’s a good card that deserves some TV backing.
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