EXCLUSIVE: Peter Kahn reflects on over twenty years in boxing
It is safe to say Peter Kahn likes to keep proactive in the boxing world.
Not only does the charismatic Kahn manage boxers such as South African talent Chris Van Heerden and undefeated Saul Rodriguez, but he is also the creator and co-host of “The Fight Guys Podcast” on SB Nation Radio, as well as contributing content for Forbes and owning Miami based Marketing and Advertising agency in Hardwired Marketing.
Kahn also has expertise in betting as a long-time consultant to many sports betting entities.
Before our exclusive conversation for World Boxing News, I was expecting to begin our conversation with one of those topics above, but how wrong could I be. Instead, it began like this:
Kahn: “Which part of the UK do you live, Joe?”
I replied, “Leeds.”
Kahn: “That’s very familiar to me. Wanna hear some history about Leeds? The year you were born in 1995, I had a number one hit with a band I put together called Spacehog. After completing Syracuse University, I moved to New York City in 1994 to work in the music business. I wanted to manage music artists. After a long night out in February of 1994, I met up with many guys from Leeds.
“They said they were in a band. I told them I was a manager… Two weeks later, we were in the studio and for nine months recorded music including what would become a Billboard #1 hit in 1995 called ‘In the Meantime’ after they were signed to Warner Bros.”
Kahn then surprised me with his next topic as he chose to talk about the FIFA World Cup, which is currently taking place in Russia.
It was obvious of his passion and incredible knowledge of soccer. As he continues to talk about soccer, otherwise known to me as football, my phone buzzes off, and Peter has sent me a photo of a framed AC Milan shirt signed by footballing icon David Beckham.
Kahn then spoke about his current stable.
He said: “I want to be able to position my current boxers into world title contention, especially George Kambosos Jr., who fights on July 14 undercard of legend Manny Pacquiao, who is currently in camp with him right now.
“Rodriguez, who I just got a release from Mayweather Promotions, will be back in action shortly as well as Van Heerden who is one of the most avoided welterweights in the division. His only loss was to Errol Spence Jr, his record may have another defeat, but he was robbed of that victory in Serbia nine years ago.
Kahn, who has promoted, advised, and managed dozens of world champions along the way, told me how his career in boxing unfolded, beginning work for Don King Productions, which spanned over a decade.
“Right after New Years’ Eve 1995, I had moved to South Florida where my parents were living. I wanted to make my pro boxing debut. But I was turning 23 years old.
“I was in the gym every day, training, sparring, and involved in the local South Florida boxing scene from Fort Lauderdale to Miami. I had cold-called current Top Rank COO and boxing veteran Brad Jacobs.
“He was also based in South Florida, and at the time, he was the head of the very successful Tuesday Night Fights on the USA Network. It was a top-rated weekly boxing broadcast. Brad talked to me for two hours, introduced me to Mike Acri, who was promoting Hector Camacho at the time. This was simultaneous to the time experience below regarding working on the Don King show.
“After speaking with Acri, he embedded me into the Camacho camp, and we met shortly thereafter when Camacho fought Juan Arroyo on USA Tuesday Night Fights on June 27th, 1995.
“A month after the Don King show, that was the same night that I finally met Brad Jacobs after only speaking on the phone. 23 years later, Brad and I are still good friends.
“I spoke with him as recently as last night.
“A month earlier, I was asked to work on the Frankie Liles vs. Frederic Seillier fight May 27. 1995 in Fort Lauderdale.
“Don King had just moved his operation to Fort Lauderdale and hired a local promoter to handle the undercard. That promoter, a former professional fighter, was also big in the amateur boxing scene in Miami.
“In turn, it had me do everything you could imagine during fight week for that event. He stiffed me on payment, so I called Don King Productions. After a couple of weeks, they paid me.
“A month later, they hired me. I was then immediately sent to Las Vegas. I spent a month living in the MGM Grand. My first event was Freddie Pendelton vs. Tony Lopez, August 12, 1995, and then right into Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley.”
Kahn is enjoying his balance within the boxing industry. With a hands-on approach for his fighters and reporting on boxing and airing views on his popular podcast “The Fight Guys.” He also talked about his role as Associate Producer for an unscripted show that Netflix recently purchased.
And one of Australia’s most exciting stars in top 10 world-rated George Kambosos Jr (14-0), who Kahn manages, will hope to continue his thrilling start to the professional circuit.
“He’s preparing to commence battle with JR Magboo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next month.
Joe Hewlett was a contributor briefly for World Boxing News.