Ranked: Britain’s Top 50 Promoters

Criteria include: Existence of a television contract; reach of the television audience as defined by official BARB average viewership; quality of shows; revenue generated; profile of promoter; profile of promoter’s contracted fighters; quality of match-making; size of venues; history of selling out or near selling out venues; frequency of shows; larger influence (including managerial status/stature); history of dealing with sanctioning bodies & new media presence.

I trust this could form some sort of a ‘hit list‘ for young professionals & elite amateurs in the United Kingdom seeking the best promotional outlet for their talents.

The basis of this list is research I was commissioned to perform for a major ticketing outlet & focuses on the dual aspects of promotional reach & promotional success as denoted by tangibles such as revenue derived from live gates & intangibles such as influence & successful interactions with sanctioning bodies (the more major the sanction bodies, the more weight is given to a history of successful – and recent success especially – interactions with them). The ability to put on larger shows and/or put on shows at a higher frequency is rewarded.

Promoters do not have to hold a British Boxing Board of Control promoters licence – although this COULD be deemed preferential if other factors are aligned with a quality product offering. This is because the BBBofC whilst an important facet of professional boxing in Britain do not hold a monopoly on the professional game under European law. Additionally as of 3 September 2015 they also don’t have 50 licensed promoters – with just 43 – down from 61 as recently as the first quarter of 2015.

Of the 43 current BBBoC licence holders Rebecca Margel (last active in May 2009); Blain McGuigan (has never officially promoted a show); Kevin Spratt (last active in November 2014) & Joe Elfidh (one show promoted thus far with one coming) aren’t at the races yet leaving just 40 board licensed promoters still under consideration.

Please note that this is a dynamic listing that will be regularly updated to reflect the changing promotional landscape within boxing in the United Kingdom.

Most recent update: 16 October 2015

Please note that the ‘promoter of record’ and ‘shows since 1/1/2014’ figures are updated sporadically.

  1. Eddie Hearn. TV: Exclusive contractual relationship with SkySports until 2021. Average BARB Audited Viewership per show that ranges from 56,000 to 175,000 for non-PPV shows. PPV Buys that range from 275,000 to 900,000 per show in recent history. Crolla vs. Perez/Quigg vs. Martinez averaged 108,000 viewers whilst Luke Campbell vs. Tommy Coyle marked a recent high with an average of 210,000. Anthony Joshua – even at this stage of his career – seems to be a major pull for viewing audiences with his Fight Night appearances habitually doing an average of 124,000 to 139,000 viewers. The way Hearn seeks methodical cross pollination of Sky’s football fans with the boxing programming is a marketing masterclass. SkySports hold 1.29% of the viewer share of all UK television channels as of July 2015. This is of course disproportionately represented by avid sports fans & those with discretionary income to spend on sports entertainment that they enjoy. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 36 (18 in 2014 & 18 times so far in 2015). 28 of these 36 shows have been at major arenas/exhibition centers with a further 2 taking place at stadiums. That’s a 87% frequency of non-small hall shows. Promoter of record 75 times since January 2012. Tangible ♦♦♦♦ Intangible ♦♦♦♦♦
  2. Frank Warren. TV: BoxNation. Average BARB Audited Viewership per show that ranges from 2,000 to 4,000. It is unknowable what percentage of the viewer share Box Nation does or does not hold as the channel no longer submit to BARB viewership verification making sponsorship from anyone other than their main benefactor unlikely. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 33.5 (one co-promotion). 15.5 of these 33.5 promotions have taken place at major arenas/exhibition centers whilst 1 has taken place at a stadium. That’s a 46% frequency of non-small hall shows. Promoter of record 418 times since December 1980. Tangible ♦♦ Intangible ♦♦♦
  3. Steve Goodwin. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 6. Manages or promotes or both some 65+ professional fighters in the United Kingdom. This represents fully 7.2% of all active professional boxers in Britain. Matchroom FightPass partner. Promoter of record 22 times since March 2010. Tangible ♦♦ Intangible ♦♦♦
  4. Steve Wood. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 31. The Energizer Bunny of UK Boxing Promoters. Wood gets props for innovation & consistency within the small hall market. Manages 66 professional boxers. Promoter of record 129 times since March 1997. Matchroom FightPass partner. Tangible ♦♦ Intangible ♦♦♦
  5. Dennis Hobson. TV: Spike TV (UK). UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 14.5 (one co-promotion). Promoter of record 46 times since April 1997. Tangible ♦♦ Intangible ♦♦
  6. Barry McGuigan. TV: Payed placement on ITV & ITV4. BARB average viewership for that placement was 1,100,000. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 4 – critically two of these were at the 11,000 capacity Odyssey Arena in Belfast. Promoter of record 8 times since September 2010. Losing ground with inactivity of late. Tangible ♦♦ Intangible ♦♦
  7. Mick Hennessy. TV: Channel 5. Viewership has been slipping continually over the last 3 years & even Golovkin vs. Murray failed to buck this trend. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 7. Attendances at shows has been very poor in recent times. With the terrestrial platform there is no excuse for this promoter to not be in the Top 3 if not the Top 2 promoters in the United Kingdom. The Blackwell vs. Jones under-card averaged 101,000 viewers on Spike TV. A modest move in a new direction. Promoter of record 90 times since March 2002. Tangible ♦♦ Intangible ♦
  8. Carl Greaves. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 18. Promoter of record 82 times since October 2007. Scores well on frequency of cards. Enjoys good ties as a manager with the industry’s most viable promotional entity. Tangible ♦♦ Intangible ♦
  9. Dave Coldwell. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 10. Promoter of record 63 times since March 2003. Matchroom FightPass partner. Ice Sheffield, Coleridge Road most common venue for his shows. Tangible ♦ Intangible ♦♦
  10. Jamie Sanigar. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 9. Manages one world title holder. Promoter of record 25 times since December 2003. Rhydycar Leisure Centre is his most regular venue for promoting. Tangible ♦♦ Intangible ♦
  11. Errol Johnson. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 13. Promoter of record 40 times since September 2010.
  12. Alex Morrison. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 6. Manages one ex-world titlist. Has been a promoter/manager of influence for decades during which time he successfully negotiated TV deals for his promotions. Promoter of record over 50 times since the mid 1980s.
  13. Keith Mayo. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 6. Promoter of record 31 times since February 2009.
  14. Mark H Dunlop. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 6. Devenish Complex is his venue of choice. Promoter of record 12 times since September 2012.
  15. Tommy Owens. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 7. All at Aston Villa’s Holte Suite – a venue that holds around 450. Promoter of record 14 times since October 2012. One of not many on this list who are in the black – if only modestly – I expect him to remain viable for as long as he wants to be on the scene.
  16. Nisse Sauerland. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 1, but it was a sizable one at Wembley Arena. Promotes two high profile British fighters in George Groves & David Price. Promoter of record 34 times since November 2010. Only 2 shows in the UK but both in Arenas.
  17. Mickey Helliet. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 13. Also manages over 50 fighters. Sadly unbeaten prospect vs. 8(6)-15(5)-1 journeyman headliners do not a quality show make. Frequency & volume are no substitute for quality. Has secured a TV spot on barely launched London Live which does no more than 40,000 views on its most watched broadcast in a given week according to BARB. Average BARB viewership of 10,000 to 18,000 appear more probable given the lack of a quality product. Has jumped the gun in taking his product to television and you get the impression that being able to say he has a ‘TV deal’ was more important than the quality of the platform provided – £2,000 per show will barely cover the lost revenue from spectators not attending events which they can now watch on TV for nothing. Promoter of record 41 times since October 2008.
  18. Stefy Bull. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 7. Promoter of record 18 times since March 2012.
  19. Clifton Mitchell. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 6.
  20. Les Allen. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 8.
  21. Steve Wraith. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 5.
  22. Paul Graham. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 7.
  23. Iain Wilson. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 7.
  24. Mark Bateson. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 3.
  25. Robert Waterman. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 4, with none in 2015 thus far.
  26. Mervyn Turner. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 6. Above average matchmaking as small hall shows go.
  27. Ricky Hatton. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 2. For those expecting Ricky to feature higher on this list please note I don’t include his shows in Bulgaria, Australia or Belarus as this is a UK rankings list. Has not officially promoted a show in the UK since April of 2014. Promoter of record 63 times since September 2008.
  28. Tommy Gilmour. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 4; but none since June 2014. Manages around 35 fighters.
  29. Jane Wilton. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 6. Quality of headliners can be erratic.
  30. Mark Burford. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 4.
  31. Richard Poxon. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 2.
  32. Josh Goodwin. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 7. Mixed bag in terms of quality – long, long cards at times & is overshadowed in the influence department by others within the larger Goodwin boxing consortium. But he certainly has time on his hands. Has apparently taken out a professional boxer’s licence too.
  33. Lee MurtaghUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 4.
  34. Stephen VaughanUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 3.
  35. Chris Gilmour. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 3.
  36. Mark Prior. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 4. 10 of 11 of the fights on his last promotion were house fighter vs. opponent with a losing record – a model that simply won’t attract anyone bar the fighters’ mates to events.
  37. Phil JeffriesUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 6. Scores poorly on competitiveness of bouts in recent history.
  38. Chris SanigarUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 2. Manages an Interim World Champion.
  39. Kevin Campion. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 3. Right hand man to Steve Goodwin.
  40. Pat BarrettUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 4. Mediocre small hall matching quality thus far but this could be a promoter with legs. 
  41. Olivia Goodwin. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 5. 7 Ten Rounders & 27 Four Rounders over this span. 
  42. Oliver HarrisonUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 3.
  43. Miranda Carter. UK Shows since 1/1/2014: 3. Hasn’t been seen since September 2014 which is a pity because her shows offer novice pros a reasonable platform. Promoter of record 35 times since October 2008. 34 of those 35 cards have taken place at Bethnal Green’s York Hall.
  44. P.J RowsonUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 2.
  45. Scott WelchUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 1.
  46. Katherine MorrisonUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 1.
  47. Mark McCormickUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 2.
  48. Stevie McGuire SnrUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 1.
  49. Mark LyonsUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 1. Quality of show left a lot to be desired, gets the nod over his partner based on assumed seniority within the partnership (marginal & speculative call). Early days though as this was his first ever pro boxing promotion & has the potential to improve the quality of shows over time. 
  50. Johnny EamesUK Shows since 1/1/2014: 2. Secured Tommy Martin a promotional deal with Matchroom in his role as the fighter’s manager. 

With Eddie Hearn’s promotional mega-success has come a revitalization of the boxing industry in the United Kingdom & the creation of a generation of British stars who have every potential of achieving on the world stage. The 5 year exclusive contractual extension with SkySports means that Hearn will likely reside at #1 for years to come. He earned as much as 68% of all boxing event ticket revenue in the United Kingdom in 2014.

Frank Warren is a distant & on an historical level at least fading second. What television exposure does exist for his fighters is limited to – perversely – the fight industry itself – with as little as 2 to 3% of the audience SkySports offers being made up almost entirely of professional/amateur boxers, family members of professional/amateur boxers & the ultra hardcore of what has been traditionally marketed as a mass public sport.

Barry McGuigan edges out the ever enterprising Dennis Hobson – although look for this situation to reverse itself as Hobson builds on his Spike TV presence & the false dawn of the paid for infomercial that was boxing’s ‘return to terrestrial TV‘ falling into the bud bucket drains the former’s wider influence in the sport.

Perhaps the most informative (for young professionals or elite amateurs) is the #5 through #15 ranking placements – largely without television – these are the guys knocking on the door & provide the best opportunity for career advancement outside of the name brand promoters. The progression of these promoters has largely occurred organically – bar Hennessy & Sauerland – who both enjoyed legacy within the sport – & should display to sub-Hearn level fighters the most lucrative paths to take at this time.

Social Media Presence

Total Twitter followers of Matchroom’s stable 2,215,506; Warren’s stable 385,799. Fighters with over 10,000 followers: Matchroom 20 Warren 10; over 20,000 followers: Matchroom 18 Warren 6; over 50,000 followers Matchroom 12 Warren 3 & over 100,000: Matchroom 8 Warren 0.

Matchroom 2,215,506     Warren 385,799

  1. @anthonyfjoshua 624,576 v @bjsaunders_ 67,554
  2. @SpecialKBrook 290,514 v @LiamBeefySmith 58,785
  3. @TonyBellew 195,638 v @derrymathews23 50,407
  4. @luke11campbell 126,918 v @TheRealEnzoMac 30,983
  5. @NathanClev 109,649 v  @ThomasStalker1 27,909
  6. @ant_crolla 109,173 v @FrankBuglioni 24,166
  7. @scottquigg 104,862 v  @1PaulButler 18,766
  8. @PaulSmithJnr 101,330 v  @BradleySkeete 12,601
  9. @CallumSmith23 83,461 v  @JazzaDickens10 11,876
  10.  @ricksterko 75,450 v  @JoeSelkirk69 10,128
  11.  @SwiftySmith 57,100 v  @terryflanagan5 9,823
  12.   @Rocky87Fielding 54,432 v @MitchellSmith92 9,052
  13.   @frankiegavin1 44,916 v @1georgiekean 6,968
  14.  @TommyCoyle89 43,327 v  @jack_catt93 4,796
  15.  @Brian_Lion_Rose 40,719 v  @LewisPettitt 4,399
  16.  @ScottyCardle 27,040 v @LiamdullW 4,234
  17.  @J_Warrington 26,836 v  @steormond 3,990
  18.  @JamieMcdonnell1 26,573 v  @Tommy_Langford1 3,704
  19.  @_John_Ryder_ 11,803 v  @mattyaskin 3,600
  20.  @CEdwardsBoxing 10,285 v @Kev_Satch 3,184
  21.  @Gamal_yafai 9,831 v  @OvillThe1 3,063
  22.  @bigtwinnygav 8,267 v  @gomez_jnr 2,325
  23.  @eggington_sam 7,741 v @ryanfarrag88 1,973
  24.  @MartinJWard1 7,476 v  @joshleather91 1,874
  25. @OharaDavies 6,643 v  @John_Thain 1,466
  26. @Tommy_DaGun 6,021 v  @FaganMatthew 1,445
  27. @JWHIBBERT 2,725 v  @LewisReesBoxer 1,379
  28. @bradsaunders_ 2,200 v  @AGBoxing 1,293
  29.    v @GaryCorcoran21 1,290
  30.     v  @ste6lewis 903
  31.    v @sidbarcs 836
  32.  v @rhysevans44 413
  33.   v @louis_adolphe 368
  34.   v  @GarveyKirk 246
Note
Retired: @KevinMitchell6 80,128; @mattmacklin 57,390
Signed to Al Haymon: @leeselby126 49,046; @jamesdegale1 119,260
No longer with Writ: @RonnieHeffron 2,395