“FUTR is a platform specifically designed to develop young talent by giving them ring-time and acting as a feeder program for our bigger shows,” says Paul Keegan, managing director of DDP Sports.
“Professional boxing has never had a development program to assist boxers get started in the pro game. We believe that by helping young boxers stay busy we can assist them with building their brand, establishing a fanbase, and helping them navigate some of the trickier aspects of the sport.”
DDP Sports will be producing a minimum of four FUTR shows in Australia per year at a venue to be confirmed. The first FUTR show is scheduled to take place on Friday 29 June and will feature former amateur standout Joe Goodall 1-0 (1) in his second pro bout alongside his Stretton Boxing Club teammate Nathan Webber 5-0 (2). The full card will be announced in the coming weeks and is expected to be broadcast live on EPICENTRE.tv.
“Historically speaking, in order to turn pro a fighter would simply have to pass their medicals, pay a fee and then they were on their own. Our plan with FUTR is to present a clear pathway into the pros so that athletes and their families can see their future in the sport mapped out for them,” says Keegan.
“The FUTR shows are for guys who are not in the top 15 in the world, so either the next generation or guys making comebacks from injuries or inactivity.
“Eventually we want to get to a stage where 80% of the fighters on the big shows are top 15 world ranked fighters or fighting for a regional title, which will give them a top 15 world ranking.”
Matchmaker Stuart Duncan has been tasked with putting the best up-and-comers in with good quality opponents in fights that will further their careers should they win.
“The shows will be based around building up fighters who hope to break into the world rankings in the future,” says Keegan. “We will be focusing very heavily on state and Australian titles as we have a very clear pathway to progress boxers if they are working with DDP.
“The main goal for these shows is for the fighters to be active and build a following as they progress through their career.
“The best way to determine your future is to create your future. We feel now every young boxer in the country has a vehicle to one day become the best in the world.”
FUTR shows will have similar production values to the larger arena-style shows that DDP Sports have become famous for, with an all-action night of fights set in a more intimate venue.
“If a boxer performs well on FUTR shows we would look at graduating them to our arena shows and, potentially, headlining a show. We want to reward boxers who do well,” says Keegan.
“We want to give boxers the opportunity to develop an audience and the tools to build their profile by putting them on regularly in meaningful fights that are leading somewhere.
“The only way we can achieve our goal of returning boxing to a tier one sport in this country is by investing in the sport at grass roots.
“FUTR is about building talent and investing in the Jeff Horns of tomorrow. We have a country full of Jeff Horns just waiting for the exposure and opportunity. FUTR will provide that.”