Over a decade at Matchroom Boxing
Frank Smith looks back on over a decade at Matchroom Boxing Photo credit: Instagram @franksmith“I went from making cups of tea and coffee, helping out at events, selling tickets, overseeing event production, developing events. It was a fun race and we are just getting started.They say everyone has to start somewhere and for Frank Smith, […]

Frank Smith looks back on over a decade at Matchroom Boxing Photo credit: Instagram @franksmith
Frank Smith looks back on over a decade at Matchroom Boxing Photo credit: Instagram @franksmith

“I went from making cups of tea and coffee, helping out at events, selling tickets, overseeing event production, developing events. It was a fun race and we are just getting started.

They say everyone has to start somewhere and for Frank Smith, CEO of Matchroom Boxing, it was no different.

In his 11th full year, the 27-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise and now presides over Matchroom's biggest boxing events, including the lucrative Anthony Joshua Stadium fights and everything in between.

However, Smith worked hard to get to his current position, paying his dues in different and unique roles, after first entering Essex Base at the age of 14.

“I was 16 when I started full time,” said Smith proboxing-fans.com

“I first met Eddie when I was about 14, I think I was and I harassed him for a work experience, so he gave me jobs this summer.

“Basically I didn't have much to do so I would come to the office, when you're in school and you have to do a work experience, I think it's a two week period.

“I spent a week at my dad's business, then a week here and basically learned how to throw poker chips during my week here because I didn't have much to do so in between play poker chips and go swimming. pool.

“When I was 16 and came here boxing was always there for us, but it wasn't as big a part of the business as some other sports, so I literally worked on everything, darts, billiards, golf, fishing.

"Whatever we do, I would just go help out, I wasn't doing anything special, I was just making teas and coffees for everyone."

Smith's versatility and willingness to work across the board even led to a mascot spell at Leyton Orient, of which Barry Hearn served as president until 2014.

Now fully focused on boxing, Smith admits having seen all the unpredictable business has to offer and despite the unsociable and prolonged work days, he admits his drive for the sport and his commitment to growing the business remains unwavering. .

When asked what the hardest part of his job was, Smith replied, “The hardest part is it's literally 24/7, it's just our job. .

“But I wouldn't say it's difficult as a complaining, because I love it and I'm lucky to do it. A lot of people, especially in the time that we are in now, it's a tough time for people, so I'm very lucky to be in the position I'm in.

"So I don't think anything is difficult, I think it's a stressful business and you can just get sucked into it and kind of become like Eddie and other people have said before. say it, get bitter, but you just have to walk away and do what's best for business and sport.

"Nothing really scares us anymore, because we've been through it all."

Smith was instrumental in overseeing the production effort in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia for Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title revenge against Andy Ruiz Jr. last December.

After months of continuous and round-trip travel to the area, which previously had not been seen even remotely as a place capable of hosting an event of this magnitude, the Diriyah Arena provided the perfect setting for Joshua to recover. his belts. and become a two-time heavyweight world champion.

However, that was almost not the case, with Smith revealing that all the hard work was almost in vain after treacherous conditions nearly threw the main event in jeopardy.

“People don't see much going on,

“Saudi Arabia, for example. We go there for months and months and months, good weather, amazing.

“We arrive at night for the show and there is thunder and lightning, it is raining, there is wind and if the lightning is getting close, the event was about to be fired before the main event, you don't see these things.

“Wembley Stadium, it takes three, four, five months of planning to organize an event for 90,000 people with hundreds, hundreds and hundreds of people involved.

“Nobody sees the work associated with it, but ultimately nobody cares, but they want to see an event and it's our job to deliver it.

“We've been through last minute withdrawals, issues with cards, issues with fighters, issues with venues, issues with the crowd, so I think you just need to be calm and get through it. "

Despite the complications behind the scenes and months of sustained planning, Smith considers Matchroom's adventure in Saudi Arabia to be his most satisfying moment in his decade-long career.

“I would say Saudi Arabia has been one of the most rewarding events.

“Where we're very fortunate to do what we do, there aren't many businesses or jobs that you can have where you see the starting product and the end product.

“I flew to Arabia from mid to late August and they take you to this site which is just sand and rubble from which they were preparing everything.

“I remember looking and thinking 'we're supposed to have this event in four months. There is nothing here.'

“I went back and forth, 15 to 16 times, and going from there to see what was then created is just amazing.

“It's a good feeling to go out and say 'you know what we were doing, we made it happen.

“If we have a good event and people like it, it gives us a good feeling.

“We don't want to make a shit night of substandard quality because we go out and feel it's not good enough.

"If it's a good idea, it's Eddie's idea, if it's a bad idea, it's mine."

Joshua was joined by promoter Eddie Hearn as he celebrated his victory over Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia Photo Credit: Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing
Joshua was joined by promoter Eddie Hearn as he celebrated his victory over Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia Photo Credit: Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing

In May 2018, Matchroom Boxing signed a $ 1 billion deal with streaming service DAZN to host 16 shows in the United States to compete with the major broadcasters of the time, Showtime and HBO, the latter of which was more involved in sports.

Matchroom's roster in the United States is growing with Devin Haney, Daniel Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin leading the subscription service, while unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua fights on the platform, although it is not exclusive, with a host of young talent supporting the protagonists.

And Smith believes Matchroom has made strides with their US business on DAZN in a short window and with growing competition from ESPN, Fox, and Showtime.

“I think it went really well. To think that we've only been in the US for a little over two years now, I think it's a big success so far, ”Smith added.

WBC Lightweight World Champion Devin Haney became a Matchroom Boxing USA star on DAZN Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom Boxing
WBC Lightweight World Champion Devin Haney became a Matchroom Boxing USA star on DAZN Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom Boxing

“DAZN has done a great job so far as a brand entering the largest sports market.

“It will always be difficult when you prepare something from day one, but I think it went really well.

“I think there is still work to be done, for sure. It took us many years in the UK to get to the position we are in now.

“So ultimately, in a country where there is a lot more competition, there will still be work and effort to do, but I am happy with the progress we have made and DAZN has been a great partner and we will continue in the right direction.

Smith works closely with promoter Eddie Hearn, the “face and voice” of the company, who sadly gave him one final warning when he started out at Matchroom.

However, any call for him to take over if Hearn decides to step away from boxing in the coming years and focus on other areas of the business, Smith says, is premature, not least because that he doesn't expect Hearn to quit the sport. time soon.

“I'm not Eddie Hearn, I'll always be compared to him. I'll never be Eddie Hearn, I don't want to be him.

“He's the best at what he does and I think I'm very good at what I do.

“We have very different strengths, which is probably why we work so well. He focuses on what he's doing, I focus on what I'm doing, and I guess it's a natural progression over time.

“But honestly I know he says it but I can't see it anywhere, he loves the sport of boxing, he's an expert.

“Maybe in five, seven, ten years whatever it is, I could be a lot more natural and think 'this is what I want to do.'

Smith says he's not considering taking over from promoter Eddie Hearn Photo credit: Instagram @franksmith
Smith says he's not considering taking over from promoter Eddie Hearn Photo credit: Instagram @franksmith

“But I think right now I'm enjoying the position I'm in, sitting in the background and getting things done.

"We're always joking, it's like Eddie will go up there and sell it and then turn around and be 'fine, you're going to deliver it' and there's a great team of us making that happen."

Smith has seen the ups and downs of the sport in just over ten years at Matchroom Boxing and while he may not see himself taking over from Hearn as a promoter, Smith also remains dedicated and determined to keep going. to break boundaries and its bigger. The challenge might just be around the corner, with potentially the biggest fight in British boxing history, in Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury on the horizon in 2021.

Watch Frank Smith's full interview below:

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A quick list of 16 basic boxing tips your se reproduire should have told you. These boxing tips will improve your boxing training, boxing punching, and boxing defense. Good luck !

Stay calm and punch lighter on the bag so you can last more rounds, keep your form together, and punch sharp. This will allow you to get in more minutes of quality bagwork. You want to have energy to hit the bag with acceptable form and keep your punches snappy, instead of spending most of your bagwork panting and huffing to show that you have “heart”. Don’t waste energy showing off on the bag – nobody cares.

Don’t workout till complete failure. Get tired, break a sweat, and just push yourself a little more each day. If you go until failure everyday of the week without a reason, you’ll probably overtrain and quit boxing very soon.

Drink lots of water. One cup every hour peu ! Make friends in the gym, be humble, and ask people for boxing tips. When another frapper beats you, ask him how he did it; you may be surprised at how helpful he might be at showing you your own weaknesses.

Turn your whole body into the punch. If your feet are slow, ( most people have slow feet at first ) you will find that punching a little slower actually hits harder than punching faster. So in other words, punch as fast as your body can turn so you won’t sacrifice power. Again, use your whole body instead of just the arms to punch. Throw bermuda hooks, bermuda uppercuts, and short rights but long jabs. You don’t always have to throw one knockout punch after another. Combo light and punches and use head movement to fake out your opponent. Remember that the harder you try, they harder they will counter, and the harder you will get hurt. Calm down and throw the hard punches when you know they’ll land. Never forget to go to the body. Try a jab to the head, and right hand to the body. When you’re in real close, lean your head inside to smother him and throw 2-3 body punches. Throw 3-5 punch combos maximum. You don’t need 10-punch combos – all those do is sap your energy and leave you open to counters. Don’t even practice these for now. Breathe out when you punch and always look at your target when you punch. Don’t hold your breath and don’t look at the ground. Learn to keep your eyes open during the heat of the battle ! Let your hands go ! Don’t wait around forever to let your opponent hit you all day. Throw something even if it doesn’t land. Keep him thinking and keep your eyes open for more punching opportunities.

Stay calm and never stop breathing. If you’re starting to panic, ask the other guy to slow down so your mind and body can catch up. Hold your hands high, elbows low, and move your head. Don’t waste energy course around the ring, just take one step and pivot out of the way if your opponent is overly aggressive. Think of yourself as a matador pivoting out of the way as the bull misses. Don’t forget to hit him back. Don’t lean back and don’t take your eyes off your opponent when you’re taking punches ( this is especially hard for most beginners ). Establish your ground and defend it with counters. Pivot so that you don’t get countered. Don’t always wait for your opponent to finish punching before you start punching back. Interrupt his combos and hit him ! Too many speedy fighters get caught up in trying to block all the oncoming punches that they never get to counter. Let your hands go !

When starting out, boxers will usually first be taught how to fight at a distance, also known as ‘outfighting’, rather than getting in close where they are more likely to be hit. The skills used here include arm’s-length punches and quick footwork to enable the vous défouler sur to deliver a blow before their opponent can respond. It is the best way to tire out and attack an opponent, and lessens their chance of a counterattack.

The following boxing techniques are described for right-handed boxers ( if you are a left-handed or a ‘southpaw’ boxer then use the opposite arm or leg to what is being described ).

The importance of a good stance cannot be stressed enough. A good stance provides balance, and is a key to both attacking and defensive techniques. Boxers should be able to throw a punch without losing their balance. Being off balance allows an opponent to get in with their own blows. to assume a good boxing stance, you need to do the following :

Stand sideways to the target, so that you lead with the shoulder opposite that of your strong punching hand. A right-handed puncher should point their left shoulder toward the target. Feet should be kept shoulder width apart, then step forward one pace with the left foot and line up the heel of your left foot with the toes of your other foot. Turn both feet at a 45 degree angle to your target. Your weight should be evenly distributed to provide a firm, steady platform. Bend your knees and hips slightly, keeping your back fairly straight and lift your back heel off the floor, no more than about 7. 5cm ( 3in ). Tuck your elbows in close to your sides and raise your forearms so that they shield the chest. Hold the left glove out at shoulder height and keep it far enough out to attack, but close enough to draw back quickly in defense. The right glove should be held underneath the chin with the wrist turned inwards.

The golden rules of boxing footworkGood footwork is important to enable the puncher to defend or attack from a balanced position. The golden rules of boxing footwork are as follows : Keep the weight balanced on both feet. Keep your feet apart as you move to maintain good balance. Move around the ring using bermuda sliding steps on the balls of your feet. Never let your feet cross. Always move the foot closest to the direction in which you want to move first.

The key to good footwork is speed, and this can be enhanced by improving sport, with particular attention to the legs. One good activity for improving sport, used by many boxers, is skipping. PunchingThere are four main punches in boxing : Jab — a sudden punch. Cross — a straight punch. Hook — a short side punch. Uppercut — a short swinging upward punch.

The Jab ( Left Jab ) This is the simplest but most-used punch in boxing, and likely to be the first punch any beginner would learn. The jab can be used both for attack or defense, and is useful to keep the opponent at bay to set up bigger blows. Hold your left hand up high with your elbow in close to your body. Aim for the opponent’s chin with the back knuckles. Rotate the arm so that the punch lands with the thumb making a small clockwise turn inwards. Slide the left foot forward before impact and snap the hand back ready to deliver another jab. The chin should be dropped to the shoulder to protect it, and the right hand held high ready to block any counter punches.

The CrossA ‘straight right’This is the most powerful and damaging punch, but it may leave the boxer open to a counterattack if it fails to connect. It is best used in a combination of punches, usually after the opponent’s defense has opened up after being hit with a good left jab. Drive off the back foot and pivot the hips and shoulders into the punch for maximum power. Straighten the right arm so that it is at full stretch on impact. Keep the left hand in a guarding position to avoid a counter.

A ‘straight left’This is a good way of keeping an opponent on the back foot. From the basic stance simply straighten your left arm and twist your hips and shoulders into the punch. The first will automatically twist so the knuckles are up and the palm downwards just before impact. If there is room, slide the left foot forward for the blow, but quickly bring up the right foot to maintain balance.

HookThe hook comes from the side so can catch the opponent unaware as it initially comes from out of their vision. The hook requires the boxer to arch and turn their body into a punch. It can be made with either the left or right arm. A right hookBring the chin down to the inside of the left shoulder to protect it. Pivot the toes, hips and hand in the direction of the punch. Turn your hand over so that at the point of impact, the palm faces down.

UppercutThe uppercut can be a great knockout punch and is delivered at close quarters. It comes up from underneath, has an element of surprise, and is usually aimed at the jaw with either hand. One drawback is that if it doesn’t take the opponent out, there is a big chance they will be able to deliver a counterattack. tera make a right uppercut, transfer the weight onto the right foot and twist the shoulders and hips to the left, bringing the right first directly up into the target. Leaning back too much will send the puncher off balance.

conclusion to boxing techniquesWhile a right-handed boxer will obviously favour their right hand as it will be their strongest, they should be prepared to work with both hands. In any case, the jab — the most frequently used in a bout — for a right hander will be with the left hand, while he prepares to get through with a big right handed shot. Here we have focused on just a few of the basic punches from the point of view of a right hander, but the boxer must remember that a left hook or left uppercut, for example, can be just as effective given practice. In some circumstances, it may even be a good tactic for the boxer to change stance and fight as if he were a left-handed puncher.

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