Media review: Boxing’s schedule conflicts aren’t good for anyone


While it’s easy to criticize promoters, their job is a tough one in the current climate. However, it is undeniable that they make it harder for themselves to host rival events at the same time. Even worse when they are in the same city. Such was the case on Saturday night when Matchroom hosted a show at Wembley Arena hosted by Dillian Whyte (TV DAZN) and Queensberry went to the O2 Arena with John Ryder against Zach Parker (BT Sport).

It should also be noted that Boxxer and Sky Sports participated in the match in London the following afternoon at Alexandra Palace. At all three shows, the number of empty seats equals the number of tickets sold. There is also an event at York Hall (Wasserman’s Harlem Eubank show on C5) on Friday nights but it’s not uncommon for that old and relatively small venue to showcase boxing the night before the shows. Larger shows take place in the capital.

Perhaps the lack of interest could be explained simply by the recession and the punters deciding not to buy tickets. After all, nothing is cheap to attend. But three big hands played within 12 hours – and even less than miles apart – highlight how a tighter scheduling system will benefit the sport.

Ticket buyers interested in both Whyte-Jermaine Franklin and Ryder-Parker have to make a decision. Furthermore, unless there are any money concerns, there are not particularly many people who can afford to attend many events. If there was only one event in London last weekend, it would certainly have been better attended than any of the three events in fact.

Fans at home keep busy with their remotes or watch one event and record the other. Those hoping to watch the main event at O2 then switch to watching Whyte will be disappointed to discover Franklin was striding around the time Ryder defeated Parker. We accept that this isn’t exactly a life-changing problem and that advertisers’ attempts to schedule alternate start times isn’t a solution, but it’s a problem that fans of the sports have to offer. Other sports are not encountered due to schedule rules.

But who is to blame for poor planning? We know it’s too much to ask promoters to talk to each other about issues like this. Their priority is to make sure their fighters are active and paid. Finding the right venue isn’t as easy as it looks either. One wonders, however, whether the British Boxing Control Board can enforce a rule that prevents major events from conflicting with a simple first-come, first-served system. While we all want boxing to go on as much as possible, diminishing interest is something we should definitely seek to avoid.

It’s a shame, because the boxing on display is often of a high standard. Perhaps the most memorable performance of the weekend went to young Adam Azim as he beat the usually solid Rylan Charlton in two innings on Sunday afternoon. However, it’s not everyone’s taste for Boxxer to notice musicians performing a track or two during outings. Moreover, it is not fair that Charlton has to stand in the ring for a long time when the female singer shows her full range of voice. Only when she finished speaking could Azim enter the ring.

Rylan was not the only one to be hanged. Shannon Ryan waited in the ring for several minutes before her opponent, Ivanka Ivanova, found a suitable groin guard. And after the main event, Sky Sports filled the time when it became clear that there were no ambulances on site before the heavyweight match between Jeamie Tshikeva (TKV) and Joel Ducille. What followed was very interesting as Sky commentator Andy Clarke flaunted his knowledge of London traffic and fellow travelers Matt Macklin and Natasha Jonas skimmed their notes just to see that that particular topic is not on them.

It’s no surprise to find Mike Goodhall fast asleep in the background. Mike is one of the best boxers in boxing and he and his team should have been responsible for setting up all the rings last weekend. He’s definitely earned his nap.


It is deeply saddened to read about the death of Reece Newcombe, just 31, after he was stabbed in the streets of Richmond in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Reece is a very skilled amateur boxer who worked alongside his father, John Holland and grandfather, Harry Holland, at the Westside Boxing Gym on Whitton Road.

Newcombe’s death left his 6-month-old daughter, Misse, orphaned.

Newcombe’s close friend James Dobson set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Misse. More than 1,000 people have donated.

Dobson said of Newcombe: “He had no bad bones in his body. “He made an impact on everyone he met… I wanted to raise money to give Misse her first Christmas and start the life her father wanted.”

Reece’s family said: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our son, brother, niece, nephew and cousin. Words cannot describe our pain. Our family fell apart and would never be the same without Reece’s larger-than-life personality. As a family, we will make sure that his beloved daughter, Misse, knows all about her dad and how much he loves her and how much he loves her. What a lover.”

Police are calling for witnesses. They believe the incident that led to Newcombe’s death was filmed by several viewers.

Our thoughts are with Reece’s family and friends.


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