Necessity is the mother of inventionPlato, Philosopher, 428-348BC
For the millionaires in boxing, the pandemic has been difficult, preventing as it does the furtherment of their wealth and for those who punch for pay, it has pried a year of their short career from their grasp. Those not blessed with the talent and opportunity to secure such affluence have been punished much harder by inactivity.
The numbers may be smaller but they represent a greater portion of the whole and they were disproportionally affected as they operate at the end of boxing spectrum where margins are at their tightest. Narrow margins mean less tolerance for absent fans. Ultimately, without television, shows became unsustainable despite the clamour to box by those who frequent these smaller bills.
Dennis Hobson opted to innovate to try and keep his fighters active and preserve their form and standing. This resourcefulness came to prominence twice, firstly in the inception of Drive in Boxing, or Straightener in the Car Park to give it its full title, a format which saw spectators remain in their cars to watch boxing. It was as bonkers as it was brilliant and though the sound of a symphony of car horns distracted more than enhanced, fighters fought, fighters got paid and their career’s ticked on.
Secondly, in his most recent promotion, one of his up and comers, Tommy Frank, endured two change of opponents, the last of who, Rosendo Hugo Guarneros, came in on just a day or two of notice and was himself, a late replacement for a late replacement. Though disappointing, the fact Hobson found an opponent good enough to beat Tommy Frank on short notice was a testimony to his contacts, faith in Frank and determination to reward the loyal fans who paid to come. For Frank and Hobson the loss will have felt like a cruel conclusion to a difficult week.
I admire Frank for being willing to take a fight against the third opponent of the promotion, never an ideal scenario for any fighter. How Hobson will hustle his way through another lockdown is unclear but in his latest press release the Yorkshire based promoter revealed the signing of three unbeaten Scottish prospects. A move which suggests his creativity is being rewarded with the faith of younger fighters keen to be busy when limitations permit.
Below is the full press release.
Dennis Hobson and Steve Crump have signed up a trio of undefeated Scottish fighters, as they look to build their Fight Academy stable this year.
With the likes of former Commonwealth Super Flyweight champion Tommy Frank and heavyweight prospect Kash Ali already on the books, the Sheffield-based promoters have now added the signatures of Dean Sutherland (pictured), Calvin McCord and Billy Stuart.
Super bantamweight Stuart, from Macduff, and Aberdeen welterweight Sutherland are both currently 10-0, whilst Ayr lightweight McCord is sitting pretty at 8-0. With all three men in their early twenties, and having already completed their journeyman apprenticeships, Hobson says this next chapter of their careers will prove exciting as he looks to build a hotbed of Scottish boxing, and steer all three towards title shots.
“I know [manager] Sam Kynoch and really like him, and Jason McCrory – who has joined us at Fight Academy – has had dealings with him too. Sam’s really switched on, is from a legal background, and has a few good kids. He came down to Sheffield and we talked about co-promoting up in Scotland. By working together, and with my track record of moving kids into world title opportunities, it’s a great team-up.
“Dean, Calvin and Billy are three smashing prospects with bright futures, and I think we can help create an exciting situation up in Scotland. We’ll be going after Commonwealth and British titles with them and I think, very quickly, we’ll have them on the international scene. I want to make them household names, and get some meaningful titles back in Scotland with these lads.
“I’ve been in this game for 30 years, and I only want to work with good people. I’ve got Steve [Crump] with me now, and I’ve never had a better team around me than I currently have.
“We’ll be looking to stage shows in Aberdeen and Glasgow when we can. I’m hoping that by March or April, we’ll be in a different place with this virus, and the boxing world will be in a better place, as long as everyone adheres to what the government is asking. I don’t want a lockdown, I’m fed up of it. There’s all these conspiracy theories, but I can tell you this virus is for real, and I wouldn’t want anyone close to me getting it as bad as I had it, or worse.
“So, I’m optimistic that things will look different in the next couple of months. I think this will be the first time in 30 years that I’ve worked North of the Border. I’ve a lot of good friends up there, so can’t wait to have some great nights.