Yesterday in Central London, Benjamin Shalom revealed his ambitious project in creating a new boxing format titled ‘Ultimate Boxxer’.
The event will consist of four quarter-finals, with 3 x 3-minute rounds, followed by an eventual winner on the same night to become tournament champion. Britain’s first ever entertainment brand, will also have the luxuary of Ricky Haywood Williams presenting.
And it wasn’t your normal press conference. As you walked in there was a barber to the left of the building (yes, people really were getting their haircut), glasses of champagne were being handed out like no tomorrow and Radio 1xtra’s main man Charlie Sloth was mixing away on the decks.
UniLad have been confirmed for live streaming of fight nights on their Facebook page, an outlet which has an audience of 20 million, and former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi spoke about his involvement in the franchise.
“I’d been talking to Ben about it for a while and it began as bit of fun before blossoming into what it is today – it’s been a long road. People come up with a lot of ideas but don’t have the methods and mechanisms to get things done, but once I listened to Ben’s mechanisms and his connections, I really started to believe in it,” ‘The Magic Man’ exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I believe it can grow a lot, this is a pioneering move. It’s similar to things that have already been done but in a lot of other ways it’s different. It’s a pioneer movement that I think not only can grow but can also grow as a brand and help out a lot of fighter’s careers.
“The first series of Ultimate Boxxer, Ben wants to keep it in England but we hope eventually it broadens out in foreign places as well.”
Not only has it opened the doors of big opportunities for boxers that have struggled to earn a name, it has also reunited two former foes in the ring.
It was only a decade ago the ‘Magic Man’ was slugging it out with Ricky Hatton for the Ring Magazine and Lineal titles in the States.
And Paulie admitted he could never have imagined the pair working alongside each other a decade on as fellow ambassadors and non-directors.
“No, no I couldn’t,” he laughed. “But it’s always a fun time seeing Ricky. He’s a prankster, always funny to be around and he’s a good guy. Anytime I’ve bumped into him after a fight we’ve always been very friendly, and I consider him a friend.
“Ben got Ricky on board, he done a lot of the legwork. He’s the brains behind this and for a man so young, he’s wise before his years,” he concluded.
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95
Sign up at www.ultimateboxxer.com for access to ticket pre-sale on Feb 19 for event launch.