Presents an interview with British promoter and manager Steve Wood
Hi Steve, on behalf of RingNews24.com and our readers, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. As well as our own, we have included questions provided by fans on the RingNews Forum.
We hope our readers enjoy the interview
In boxing one of the key men involved in getting fights made is a manager and promoter. Here Ringnews24.com talks exclusively to one of Britain’s foremost boxing managers, Steve Wood, who helped guide the career of Jamie Moore to the European Light Middleweight title and is currently in charge of some of Britain’s hottest talent.
Hi Steve, thanks for your time. I’d like to open by asking you how you got into boxing, and why the managerial side of the sport?
I was a fan going to the shows and then sponsored Steve “The Viking” Foster and that started me off getting involved helping a few other lads. I took out a promoter’s licence to help get them fights and then a manager’s licence to look after them – I couldn’t and still cannot believe how poorly some of them are cared for.
Editor’s note: Steve “The Viking” Foster is a former Commonwealth Light Middleweight champion who challenged for the WBO world title against Ronald “Winky” Wright in 1997. His son Stephen Foster Jr was European super featherweight champion until being dethroned in February.
Is it particularly hard for someone like yourself to get fights organized and arranged, or did the great working relationship you seem to have with TV promoters make it easier to get your fighters the necessary bouts and exposure?
It’s a lot easier for me as I do a lot of my own shows. Having contacts with the TV promoters helps, and as well as having good fighters and ticket sellers it helps that they all know they can trust me.
Talking about TV, do you feel the sport would be better served being showcased more on terrestrial TV rather than solely on Sky Sports and other subscription services in the UK?
The more TV the better. Sky do a good job but the lack of dates means that you can do the hard work to get a champion and instead of being easier it is harder as even then they cannot get fights. A genuine nightmare at the moment
Editor’s note: Live boxing in Britain is limited to Sky, Eurosport, Primetime and Premier Sports, with Channel 4’s KOTV the only regular terrestrial coverage of the sport.
Along a similar line would you ever put your shows online for free, following the example of the upcoming Michael Oliveira fight in Brazil and the WBC’s decision to stream several of Saul Alvarez’s recent fights? Or do you feel this would cost the promoter more than it would be worth?
At our level it would not be practical but in the future you never know.
Now some questions about specific fighters: Did you think Jamie Moore retired too early and do you feel he’ll return to the ring? Are tickets still available for the testimonial being held for him?
Jamie will not return and his time was up – injuries and queries on medicals called time on a great career, it was just a shame we never got the World title fight he deserved. Tickets are available for his testimonial night.
Sky seemed to suggest that Karl Place was one of the top young talents in the UK – how far do you think he can go? Could he eclipse the European success of Moore?
I would like to think so, but only time will tell. As well as talent it is timing and a lot of luck in this game – a lot of worse fighters than Jamie Moore have fought for and won world titles.
As well as Place you seem to have a host of other young talents; who would you single out as the ones to watch and why?
Because of the way TV has gone, VIP have opted to invest in young talent and hope TV is back at full strength in boxing when they reach their primes. We have four or five genuinely talented kids who could make it if they dedicate themselves. No names as we like to bring them through unannounced!
Did John Kays surprise you in his recent fight against Liam Walsh by putting on an impressive showing until the stoppage?
Was made up for everyone involved with Jon Kays as he was 1-10 on and that shows you the task he had, but he delivered and was close to a very big upset. He stepped up to the plate where a lot of bigger names have failed in the past , he shown he has balls as well as neat boxing skills.
How do you rate Carl Dilks’ chance in the upcoming Prizefighter? Also your fighters have a knack of appearing on the one-night shows, is this by chance or strategy on your part?
Carl has as good as chance as anyone tonight but this Prizefighter could be won by anyone , it is the most open yet. VIP lads have done well in these and if it is the right stage of their careers then I encourage them to have a go at it.
Editor’s Note: Prizefighter: The Super Middleweights will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 tonight (March 23rd) from 8pm.
And a few more general questions:
We know a lot of boxing promoters and managers have varying views of the Internet – most notably some British promoters have threatened legal action against one of the most well-known online forums. Do you deem the Internet an evil force in boxing, or has it helped the sport to grow to its present level?
It is good for boxing and you cannot take the idiots seriously or you’re as mad as them.
Of course everyone in boxing seems to be looking forward to certain fights, so who would you back if (or when) these bouts take place?
Wladimir Klitschko v David Haye: Haye just.
Vitali Klitschko v David Haye: Vitali just.
Manny Pacquiao v Floyd Mayweather: Draw – cannot separate them.
Ivan Calderon v Giovanni Segura II: Calderon.
Yuriorkis Gamboa v Juan Manuel Lopez: Gamboa.
If you could make a dream match between any two fighters from history, who would you choose? Ali v Tyson.
Who was your favourite fighter and which is your favourite fight? Sugar Ray Leonard, Benn v McClellan.
Thank you for your time Steve from all us at Ringnews24.
More information on VIP Promotions can be found here http://www.vipboxing.com/.
For details of Jamie Moore’s testimonial night visit http://www.vipboxing.com/vip-news/jamie-moore-testimonial-evening/
Other notable dates for VIP include:
26th March at Robin Park Centre in Wigan (as part of a Hatton Promotions card on Sky Sports 1)
Jamie Dickens v Anwar Alfadli
The televised card features Denton Vassell and Matty Askin in 2 exciting looking bouts
28th April at the City Hall in Hull
Tommy Coyle v Mark McCullough (British Masters Lightweight title)
John Quigley v TBA, Aaron Michael Jr v TBA, Josh Warrington v TBA,
May 13th at the International Centre in Brentwood
Brian Rose v Martin Welsh (English Light Middleweight title fight)
20th May at the Municipal Hall in Colne
Shayne Singleton v TBA