Goodwin Promotions - Growing in the UK
Martin Theobald

Steve Goodwin wears many hats.  Family man, businessman, Financial Advisor to a portfolio of over twenty five million pounds.  Then five years ago when his daughter was unwell he tried on a new piece of head wear - boxing promoter.  It started on a bad footing ("we were in Milton Keynes, I didn't know what I was doing") but 5 years later he has a thriving promotional business with a stable of over 75 boxers with a niche in London.  Goodwin Promotions has ambitions to grow.  By the end of 2015, the intention is to have 100+ fighters under the Goodwin banner - but how can the stable grow in that time?

Steve tells us:  "We're targeting the really good Elite Squad amateurs.  We have started to pick up some of the top prospects in addition to having some of the more established ones as well"

A quick browse of the Goodwin Promotions website tells you as much.  The recent signing of former Commonwealth Welterweight champion John O'Donnell is a big deal.  29 wins from 31 fights, he comes with experience at a high level.  With one eye on the winner of the Sam Eggington vs Glenn Foot scrap for the British title, Steve is looking at big rewards for John.

Goodwin Promotions have grown organically (by Steve's own admission, they have never approached a single boxer, they all come to him).  "We work the opposite way to everyone else - if you want to come, come.  If you don't, don't".  It's this refreshing openness and honesty that makes Steve endearing.  "We don't go around the amateur gyms, we don't tout ourselves.  Our fighters don't pay management fees until they hit a certain level".  It quickly becomes clear that there is transparency to the way Steve works and why fighters on any rung of the ladder are attracted to him.

He is frank about the high profile fallout of the Prince Patel fiasco.  A fighter with a single win on his record gave IFL TV an interview in nothing but a towel, declaring how he was happy to take on the best and then the ladies to go with it.  His attitude didn't sit well with Steve:

"I make my money financial advising.  Boxing is something I'm building.  He has his first fight, he does this interview with Kugan Cassius saying he's going to shag all these women and everything.  I call him in to a meeting to discuss it and he says to me 'You shouldn't be reprimanding me, you should be treating me like Floyd Mayweather'.  It was just ludicrous and I"

Patel has since gone on to sign with Frank Warren and will carry the wave of exposure garnered from IFL.  Just as people will pay to see Floyd lose one day, or pay to see Adrien Broner get exposed on a grand scale, there will be a short term excitement of seeing if The Prince meets a similar downfall.  "If I don't like a boxer, I can't manage them.   How can you do a job for someone you don't like?  My view is if a fighter is of limited ability but they're a really nice person and their goal in life is to win a Southern Area Title, then I'll work really hard to get that for them.  If they want to be World Champion I will work really hard to get them that exposure.  But if they're an asshole and want to be World Champion, someone else can manage them."

It doesn't take Steve long to turn the conversation on to more positive notes.  Leon McKenzie is someone Steve speaks of with pride - as one would a plant they have grown from seed to blossom.  Leon joined the boxing game late, having followed the same path as Curtis Woodhouse and turn from pro footballer to pro boxer.  But that doesn't mean he carries the ego you may associate with someone who has commanded millions of pounds in transfer fees over the years.

"Lovely guy.  Leon's an example of someone I really, really like.  He came to me when he fought on one of our shows, he asked me to manage him and I took him over.  I've got him a British Title eliminator in October.  I've created the opportunity for him because I really like Leon so therefore I'm going to bust my balls to help him out.  People may question what he's doing fighting for a British title eliminator after that many fights - but that's my job"

And it's a job that Steve clearly has a passion for.  He's not in the boxing game for the money - that comes from his other walks of life.  With a team made up of 4 people, 2 of which are family and the other is a close family friend, Goodwin Promotions are a tight knit group. 

With over 70 fighters and a near residency at the home of London boxing, York Hall, exposure is a key requirement for Steve's fighters.  He has recently teamed up with MatchRoom Promotions to promote shows on their online subscription service, FightPass.  But it hasn't always been smooth.  "It's sounds grander than it is.  In reality it's hard because you don't always get certain dates in advance, so you can't work towards anything.  They're decent people, they have five people working on their boxing.  Eddie and Barry are brilliant people, they're not scum bags or rip off merchants, but we have two dates this year that we don't know when they will be".  But we have a relationship with them, we put fighters on their show and they put them on ours.  We have a relationship and that's good."

With the off season of August approaching, fans may imagine that Promoters can put their feet up and enjoy a months rest.  But not for Steve.  A holiday planned in July, then it's on to planning the new seasons action and pushing the fighters through to the end of the year.  With the 100+ aim and making sure that his fighters are pushed in the right direction ("we're lining up four or five title fights at the moment") Goodwin Promotions are thriving. 

"I told my wife two years ago when I started managing I would only take on seven fighters.  But the next one comes and the next one comes, and people realise we do a better job than any other promoter in London.  We increase the size of the stable in both size and quality.  There's a far better chance of becoming a better quality promoter that way"

Steve tells me that there have been five fighters signed in the last 10 days that aren't even on the website yet.  That takes the total over 80, for a man who promised his wife he would only take on seven.  With the rate that Goodwin Promotions are growing and their momentum on the boxing scene, it's clear that Mrs Goodwin shouldn't be expecting him to go back to his promise any time soon.

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