Free boxing on TV is the way forward, says Sheffield promoter

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Promoter Dennis Hobson claimed domestic boxing talent could become better known than world champions because of the cost of watching Pay Per View channels.

Spike TV is broadcasting live on Saturday night from the Magna Centre as two English belts are put on the line: Rotherham’s Nav Mansouri v Sheffield’s Sam Sheedy and Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor v Stafford’s Grant Cunningham (light middle and middleweight contests.)

Flashback: Kell Brook (right) defeats Frankie Gavin as the referee steps in to stop the IBF World welterweight title fight on PPV

Flashback: Kell Brook (right) defeats Frankie Gavin as the referee steps in to stop the IBF World welterweight title fight on PPV

It is a free to air programme - rather than broadcasters who charge a subscription fee and occasional add-on fees.

Hobson said he would rather have his show aired on the fledgling TV channel than on Sky.

He said there had been little real marketing other than social media when Sheffield’s Ross Burkinshaw made his Spike debut on the same night (May 30) Kell Brook fought a PPV win over Frankie Gavin.

“Letting people know we have free live boxing on makes such a difference” said the promoter.

“People are paying twice, sometimes. On the same night Sky had got a promotion on, people had already paid a subscription like I do, and then they have got to pay again. I don’t think that’s fair.”

As for Spike, he said: “I think we are going to build a bigger audience. And kids who are not going to be world champions are going to be more household names than kids will be on Sky.”

Hobson is relishing the prospect of the Sheedy v Mansouri derby.

“I have been involved with a lot of major shows; there is nothing like a local derby.

It is a special feeling, the atmosphere will be special and it’s for a meaningful title” he said.

Both kids could have taken easier ‘opt-out’ fights but now they are going to put it all on the line. This can be a world title for them two. It’s amazing.”

Hobson is also looking for something spectacular from Taylor.

“He just needs a little bit more spite in his punching power, which I have seen.

“A lot of people say he is a non-puncher but I have seen it in him when he fought Jonson McClumpha (December last year) and if he can bring that power hopefully it is going to be at least a points win for Lewis or a late stoppage.”

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