The newly-formed Top Tier Boxing present their inaugural show ‘The Statement’ at the Brentwood Centre in Essex on March 17th which will be streamed live on BBTV’s Youtube channel.
The promotion is headed up by Johnny Clark, a former salesman who recently acquired his promoter license and is looking to make waves among the domestic scene.
Clark spoke to BBTV from his office where he spoke of his passion for wanting to promote his shows, a tradition he believes has dwindled at small hall level in recent years.
“I’m very excited for the first show. I’ve been around the boxing scene taking notes at shows like you wouldn’t believe, seeing the bits I like [and] seeing the bits I don’t like and thinking, how can I change the parts I don’t like to be working in my favour.
“I believe that all people do at the moment is put on the shows – they don’t promote in the small hall.
“There’s a couple [who do] don’t get me wrong, but what I see is most people get a ticket, give it to the boxer, take a couple of photos and then hopefully the sales do well.
“I thought I need to come in a little bit higher than a small hall show, so straight away we went to the Brentwood Centre. I want high production [at the shows], not just two lights in the neutral corners. We want you to come in hyped.
Small hall shows provide a bedrock for professional boxing on British shores but are often criticised for being overweighted in favour of the home corner.
Clark expressed his desire to move towards an enjoyable experience for fans in what they witness both inside and outside of the ring.
“I sit there at night thinking, ‘How can I do this? How can I get 50/50 fights on my shows? How can I get people to trust me and believe in my thoughts?’.”
“Then I thought, well let’s do a knockout tournament. Not a massive one, but that way I knew I could get three 50/50 fights straightaway by doing two semis and a final.
“And in my head I’m thinking now I can promote, because it’s very hard to promote a journeyman, who I’ve got a lot of respect for, fighting a prospect. It’s quite hard to get people enticed into buying tickets [for that].”
The experience is already proving a learning curve for Clark but he remains undeterred in his goal towards achieving his aims amongst an already packed domestic promotional scene.
“I’m learning along the way. [Putting on] a show on a Friday night is hard because journeyman can’t fight if they’ve fought the Saturday before, I’m learning, I’m stressing. I’ve got a little bit more grey hairs come through but the skin fade hides that.
“I believe I have a fresh take on boxing and I believe I can bridge that gap. I want to fill the gap between small hall and big hall. My job is to get a boxer on my show and if they perform I’ll get a tournament on the next show based on them if they make a statement, hence the name.
“And then I’ll media train them. I’d help them, build them, [help with] interviews and promo videos. But for me to spend all that money and time, I have to have a little back with a decent scrap.
“So I’m happy with journeyman for a certain level but I think there has to be where, [in order to] make a small hall show a little bit better, we’re gonna need the 50-50s.”
Clark has signed a deal with the Brentwood Centre to hold four fights at the venue in his first 12 months but also plans to branch out further once he gets his feet under the table.
The first fight will see a four-man tournament, with two semis and a final, at super-welterweight.
Kyle Paevie will meet Angelo Antonio on one side of the bill. Ryan Maycock and Kevin Revel will clash on the other. The two winners will then trade blows in the final to declare an overall winner.
Paevie overcame Antonio in a narrow four-round contest in November, with Clark certain the history between the pair will only add fuel to the fire come fight night.
“I can tell there’s unfinished business. Angelo wants to come back and get that back, and Pat [Paevie] thinks he has the upper hand.
“And on the other side there was a lot of needle in here. We had Kevin Revel and Ryan Maycock. Ryan is a cheeky chap but I really like him. He speaks so well and will help sell this fight.
“But Kev got rattled and in their promo videos I put on for them, they’re going for each other. I thought they’ve definitely hit a nerve there.