London has a new promoter – and he has an MBE and wears a dog collar !
Costas Evangelou was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list in recognition for his work with young people in Enfield over the last three decades.
That includes his work as a church minister and setting up Edmonton Eagles Amateur Boxing Club.
The 60 year old has decided that with several of his amateurs turning pro, he will make the switch with them.
He promotes at Lee Valley Athletics Centre on Saturday, April 20, his first of four shows at the venue this year.
The following day, Evangelou will be taking his usual Sunday morning service.
Costas says he’s often asked how he justifies boxing and his church work
“Boxing isn’t a street fight,” he explained. “It is regulated, consensual and I have seen how much good it can do for communities. I have people in my gym who have been involved in knife crime – and now they are boxing.
“Boxing changes lives for the better. It instils confidence, discipline and raises self esteem. For young people in tough areas, it’s an alternative to crime. It gives a future.”
This weekend’s show features three fighters who have come through the Edmonton Eagles’ gym, Andrei Sohterus, Hamzah Alwan and Aaron Gribben.
“I took out a promoter’s licence,” said Evangelou, “to help the fighters on their journey.
“It’s a career now, not a hobby and I know them and they trust me. They know I’m looking after their best interests. I’m not driven by money. I’m driven by love of the sport and helping people develop. I’m a people person.”