Call me Russ L

Blocking punters from boxing

Posted in Combat Sports by Russ L on 30 June, 2007

Boxing took place at Dudley Town Hall (I gather we’re supposed to refer to it as Dudley Concert Hall nowadays, but I doubt anyone will) on Thursday the 28th of June, as promoted by PJ Rowson.

For a full write-up courtesy o’ Tom Podmore look here. A few assorted and non-complete vague thoughts from me: Sam Horton looks better every time I see him fight (and I’m not just saying that ‘cos he’s left comments on here before), this time using his jab effectively to outbox the very scrappy Ernie Smith; I felt sorry for Richie Collins, who had no chance at all to look good against the spoiling/grabbing/running-away tactics of Mark Phillips; Dean Harrison vs Johnny Greaves was the fight of the night, and Deano looked magnificent (some comical abusive chants towards Greaves made me laugh, too); Darren McDermott is a beast.

(Edit: Unbeknownst to me until today, Stourbridge News has some videos: there’s an interview with Macca and clips of his fight here, and an interview and some clips of Sam here, amongst other things).

Here comes the customary moan. All those that try to come up with reasons for boxing’s (exaggerated, but existent nonetheless) decline in fortunes might do well to consider how much of a pain in the arse the sport makes itself for your everyday punter to get into. I’ve been faintly puzzled before about the fact that you can’t get a ticket-in-advance for these local-level shows unless you know one of the boxers to buy it off (I understand why, in that the whole economic basis for these shows is founded on local fighters selling enough tickets to pay themselves and the journeymen they’re facing, but it still seems faintly bizarre to me), but since you can generally pay on the door this isn’t a massive problem. Consider, however, the upcoming Young Mutley vs Ted Bami fight (for the European title) at The Civic Hall in Wolverhampton on the 20th of July. Despite the fact that this will almost certainly sell out, no tickets appear to have been put out for sale to the public at large. The most obvious absence would be the fact that they aren’t on the Civic’s own website. I emailed the Civic box office enquiring, and was told “We might be selling them but the promoter is still deciding whether or not to give us an allocation. As soon as we are selling for them they will be on the web site, however it is a case of the promoter deciding at the moment.” “Never mind,” I thought to myself; “I bet I’ll be able to get mine at the Dudley card.”

Well, yes, theoretically I could have done. A few times, the MC announced that they were on sale there but going quick, so get ’em soon. I’d have been happy to do that if he’d told me who to get them from, or this person had announced himself (N.B. – leaving a comment saying “You could have got them from the promoter P.J. Rowson” won’t help me in the slightest. If you’d have pointed him out to me on the night then that might have been useful. I asked a few people, none of ’em seemed to know).

It really feels like you have to be in the know before they’ll let you get towards being in the know. I’m aware that I’m just sounding bitter now, but it is quite irritating. I realise there’s already a solid ‘business model’ (ugh. It’s like brushing your teeth with a stick. I hate talkin’ ’bout da bidnith) in place that ensures local cards at Dudley Town Hall will always be more-or-less full, and clearly the Mutley fight at The Civic will sell out too, but I can’t help but feel that a much, much bigger venue could be packed out for a big fight like that if only a bit of effort could be made towards making it accessible for the ordinary man on road.

Ah well. Me whinging won’t change anything. Those who would grossly exaggerate reports of boxing’s demise might do well to think about the subject, though.

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