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INTERVIEW WITH PROMOTER AMANDA SMITH

Published January 2018
UBKB Boss Lady

Coming up for their fourth Bare Knuckle Boxing show on March 10th at The Bowlers Exhibition Centre are promoters Ultimate Bare Knuckle Boxing based in Warrington which is miles up north from sunny Gillingham where we live but very much worth the six hour drive to attend. Attend we will in March but in the meantime let's have a chat with lady promoter Amanda Smith and find out about the team behind U.B.K.B.and other such things.

Hi Amanda thank you for agreeing to talk to me let's get started if you are ready. Here we go.

Jon P: For those that don't already know. Who are the people behind the promotion and what is their job role?

Amanda: Myself and Shaun are the promoters for U.B.K.B. Shaun obviously referees the fights along with Milky who also wraps our fighters hands so that they are safe. We do have a good few people that help us in U.B.K.B. Scott Oldham and Gavin Swinscoe have been 2 unbelievable friends to us. They've been through a hell of a lot with past companies but we are right by their side and fully support them as they do us. Then we have Debbie and Anna who are 2 of the most loyalist friends I know and help me with show on the night. Mark Cain Mike Devlin who stays sobs for me and helps me on he night. Nathan Victorio, Mark Franks and Giles Carter who help us with fighters and are also good guys. Nathan is now one of our judges I am very pleased to say. 

Jon P: Husband Shaun has his own gym and is involved in the world of financial services so I can see he already has a leaning towards the fight game. But on a day to day basis you are busy being a mum which is far removed from your position as a fight promoter. How on earth did you come about running a bare knuckle show?

Amanda: Shaun has always been around fighting and BKB and we got invited to Mr DC's house on the first BKB back in the day. Unlike smeagel 2 that was selling sandwiches in a field. Shaun then became a BKB referee and I've attended every single show and loved it. Then we thought why not we can do it and here we are. Right at the top. 

Jon P: Would you say it was more difficult being a female in what is a male orientated sport?

Amanda: Good question, I think a lot of people respect me because what you see is what you get, no slyness and I'd never stab any of our fighters in the back. My phone is on 24/7 for all of our fighters and they all know that.

Amanda and Shaun SmithJon P: What are your thoughts on females fighting bare knuckle on a show? It is not for me to be honest although I have seen some great cage fights and gloved boxing bouts featuring female fighters. Would you have female fighters on your show in the future?

Amanda: Truthfully I feel the injuries you sustain in BKB are not for women. Although they have females in Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing I do not feel that we will have female fighters now or in the future. Also it's frowned upon by our fans. 

Jon says: I have seen may females fight in gloved boxing and Mixed Martial Arts and there are some great fighters. So please ladies do not think I am anti female in combat sports or the like I just can't get my head round this one.

Jon P: Have you ever been involved yourself in any kind of combat sport in the past and can you ever see yourself jumping in the ring for a round or two?

Amanda: I've done quite a lot of boxing training, it's hard not to being with Shaun for so long but no never in a ring and I wouldn't as there would be too much pressure for me to win.

Jon P: I have attended a good few fight shows, been involved with theatre and love live music and going to see bands. Some venues lend themselves more to fight promotions than others. You are returning to The Bowlers Exhibition Centre for this show which I was rather pleased about as this venue ticks the boxes for me. It is easy to get to and has plenty of free parking. I am not best pleased at being mugged off for parking at a venue. By the look of the place you can lay it out as you wish, and having had a quick scout round I don't think there was anywhere that gave a limited view. Big bar with plenty of staff so there was no need to stand for ages waiting to get served and when the inevitable visit to the toilet came along that was well covered with no waiting. Can only speak for the boys here. There was a good allocation of both seated and standing, I hate not being able to stand, it was big and it was square that is what I want from a show. What was you looking for in a venue when you moved from the stately home which was nice but maybe not best suited for the job?

Amanda: We may possibly use Colwick again for something different like an awards night but we would sell it out in a matter of days now as our fan base is getting bigger and bigger by the day. Bowlers exhibition centre is great for us and Simon Colderley is such a breath of fresh air to work with, we will continue to work with Simon in the future. 

Jon P: Are there any plans in the future regarding the promotion holding an event down my end of the world in the South East or would that be a head ache being so far away?

Amanda: Well my lips are sealed on this one, you'll have to wait til it's announced.

Jon P: Shaun runs Smithy's Gym which fighters have to attend before they can fight on your show. Going back a few years it was pretty much hit or miss and turning up would more or less mean you would get a fight. Things have moved on do you feel it is important to actually see someone in the ring rather than just take their word for it that they have had "x" amount of fights?

Amanda: Shaun likes to meet the fighters whether it be on a training day or a day that suits them. We won't just throw anyone in the ring unlike some. Fighters safety is paramount and the medics - Frontline Medical run by Dale Sparkes and Laura Dixon are the best in the business and certainly wouldn't miss half a finger missing neither would our hand wrapper Milky. Fighters safety is paramount they are all drug tested (not just ones that you know will pass) if you're not fit to fight you don't fight. We'd rather have one less fight on the night that risk a fighters safety.

Jon P: I quite often hear the statement that it is not bare knuckle as fighters wear hand wraps. Do you agree with that statement?

Bowlers Exhibition CentreAmanda: If you look back in history, hand wraps were worn then. The wraps keep the fighters hands safer and also make it legal. 

Jon P: I remember the first show we went to back in October 2012 and the write up in the Daily Sport. Newspapers tend to all be the same in regard to the saying "Don't let the truth ruin a good story" so when reading the story in the paper I said to Dan who I was running cageamateursuk.com with "was we at the wrong show?" It was serious do you want this coming to a town near you and lock up your daughters kind of stuff. It was in fact in a nice venue with everyone behaving perfectly with no problems. The papers were pretty hostile at the time as was all the media. They don't tend to be forward looking and will jump on the band wagon a couple of years later. Do you find your dealings with main stream media to be more friendly these days.

Amanda: We've dealt with media for years, I would say make sure you have full control in what they write/show.

Jon says: It should be noted that in our early days of cage fighting the world and his wife would ring us and ask us about cage fighting before getting to the point "Do you know anyone who has been seriously injured?" We never used to entertain them but it was a very common theme. Not so much now it should be said.

Jon P: If I wanted to fight on a Ultimate Bare Knuckle Boxing show what would the procedure be and who would I need to contact? Just to make this clear I will not be wanting to fight on a Bare Knuckle Boxing show, now, tomorrow or ever.

Amanda: You can contact myself or Shaun on 01925232900 Through Facebook or the website wsbkb.co.uk and Twitter will be live soon. 

Jon P: BKB in general has been quite slow off the mark in my book and anyone who thinks it is main stream needs their head testing but there does seem to be a recent rise in promotions. This must be a good thing and will sort the chaff from the wheat. Do you agree with this?

Amanda: I don't think BKB is anything like boxing events, total different atmosphere.

Jon P: Without doubt things have moved on from the days of one or two fights using hay bales as a ring (I kind of liked those days but onward and upward) to events that are along the lines of gloved shows. How do you see things in a couple of years especially regarding U.B.K.B. and bare knuckle in general?

Amanda: U.B.K.B. bought BKB onto television with Bareknuckle Fight Club last year. I think certain companies need to be doing things the right way before it can go on live TV. Which is where we are now fully professional and legal and in talks with a sky channel who want to film the show live. I see us being even bigger than we are and our shows being on sky live.

Jon P: What would you say is the worst thing about being a fight promoter?

Amanda: Having my phone constantly going non stop.

Jon P: What would you say the best thing is?

Amanda: The relationship I have with our fighters friends for life.

Jon P: One last question before we wind things up. If there was one thing you could change since you started out promoting your show. What would that be?

Amanda: I'd have stayed on our own instead of building a company up that didn't deserve it. But all it done was delay things as we are far better as a company and as people than they could ever be.

Well thank you once again for taking part in this interview and I look forward to seeing you in March. Last word to Amanda with any thank you's or go soak ya head's

Amanda:I will also like to thank our friends/fans that took a lot of bullying of a certain 2 people. Thank you for staying loyal not going to make you as you all know who you are and we will never forget it

 

You can keep up with all the latest from U.B.K.B. here on  Cage Amateurs UK

U.B.K.B. have their website at  http://wsbkb.co.uk/

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