Today, The Box Off, a new boxing promotion, broke the news about its team captains – and boy, is it a stellar lineup! Boxing bigwigs Ricky Hatton, Tom Skinner, and Jaykae are representing Manchester, London, and Birmingham in that order. Leeds’ captain is still under wraps, but word on the street is that it’s going to be a boxing sensation.
Here’s the deal with The Box Off 2023 – it’s an adrenaline-pumping face-off between these city-specific teams, and the stakes? Showcasing the crème de la crème of UK boxing in a knock-your-socks-off competition.
The team captains didn’t just land their spots – they earned them. Each one was carefully picked not just for their boxing chops, but also the buzz they’re expected to generate, enhancing the overall entertainment quotient of the event.
Here’s how it’ll work. Each captain will spearhead their teams in a race to the top of The Box Off’s knockout competition.
Leading Manchester’s ‘The Revolution’ will be Ricky Hatton, a triple crown holder of world championships. In his own words, Hatton’s ecstatic to use this platform to mentor up-and-coming fighters, raise their game, and stoke the fire of inter-city competition. The man is Manchester through and through and can’t wait to share his wisdom and experience with his team.
Over at The Box Off, Razi Hassan, the Managing Director, can barely contain his excitement about the announcement. Ricky Hatton’s involvement, in his view, is a game-changer. Skinner and Jaykae, according to him, will help broaden the appeal of the event, attracting audiences beyond hardcore boxing enthusiasts. And as for the fourth captain, all they’re willing to say is “stay tuned.”
Paul Webb, the promoter of The Box Off, believes this event could be a turning point for UK boxing. The high anticipation levels for their inaugural event this September are a testament to the tireless work put in by their team over the past three years.
So here’s the lineup: Hatton’s leading Manchester’s ‘The Revolution’, Birmingham’s ‘The Tribe’ has Jaykae at the helm, and London’s ‘The Gov’ners’ will be captained by Tom Skinner. Leeds’ team, ‘The Armoury’, is waiting in the wings for its captain’s unveiling.
The showdown will see the teams clash in the semi-finals to decide who makes it to the final round. London and Birmingham will go head-to-head in one half of the draw, with Leeds and Manchester locking horns in the other.
The Box Off’s opening event is scheduled for Saturday, September 16th, at the Telford International Centre in Telford. So get your hands on a ticket ASAP and witness the drama unfold first-hand. This is an event you do not want to miss!
The Box Off explained:
Each team consists of five fighters, one from each weight class, plus a team captain/ambassador
Fighters will clash over four rounds in the semi-final, with the winners of each progressing to box off in the final to see who will be crowned Box Off champions
Finalists will also earn four points for their team, with winners/champions in the final stage also gaining a further six points
The team with the highest points total amassed over the two stages will be crowned Box Off team champions
Semi-final bouts will consist of 4 x 3 minute rounds
Final bouts will consist of 6 x 3 minute rounds
In a first for the sport, the outcomes of the bouts will not only reward individual fighters, but also gather points towards an overall team total to declare The Box Off Team champion.
Teams from London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester will be the first to take part in the exciting new format, which will see the boxing take the starring role alongside the creation of an immersive festival experience for fans in attendance, including musical entertainment.
Each side will be captained by a big-name ambassador, with fighters from five prospective weights taking part – featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight and heavyweight.
The teams will be matched in two semi-finals, deciding which individual fighters will go through to the final. The format will see fighters from London and Birmingham face off in one half of the draw, with fighters from Leeds taking on Manchester in the other.
In a bid to capture the new generation of boxing fans, the events will be beamed live on YouTube – delivering the razzmatazz associated with some of the YouTube shows of recent years but crucially also providing top class professional boxing. The Box Off final also has the potential to be aired exclusively on the BBC, with positive discussions ongoing and more details to be revealed.
The competition aims to galvanise local communities up and down the country as they follow the action, helping more young people in particular get involved in the sport. The Box Off is also committed to using boxing as a positive force to highlight challenges impacting young people in local communities, helping to raise awareness of mental health and knife crime issues.
Paul Webb, promoter of The Box Off, said: “Boxing in Britain has an amazing depth of talent, but outside of the big promotions the fighters don’t always get the opportunities and profiles they deserve. With the way it’s structured, we’ve seen the sport used as a vehicle for influencers to cash in, and in doing so they have attracted a new generation of fans.
“The Box Off’s ambition is to provide the fun and entertainment of the shows we’ve seen online, but crucially also deliver top quality fights with boxers well matched and striving for bigger things. The format gives a new dimension to boxing shows, in keeping with the modern audience, and the shows will deliver entertainment both in and out of the ring.
“It also offers a platform to some of the best up and coming talent in the country to make a mark and gain a following – and unlike other shows it won’t be about selling tickets for them to get paid. They will get money for their involvement and potentially for how well they perform as well.
“Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and London have been the real hotbed regions for producing fighters and now we get to see how they get on when pitted against each other – and we’ve already had massive interest from other big cities like Liverpool, Glasgow and Cardiff.”
Robert Smith, general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, added: “It’s important for boxing to evolve and stay relevant, whilst also retaining the essence of what the sport is all about. The Box Off concept does just that. It puts the sport front and centre of the action, and gives fighters their chance to build a career. And it also provides a unique team format which has the potential to bring new fans to the sport, and we’re interested to see how it grows in strength.”
Razi Hassan, co-founder, said: “The Box Off has been three years in the making and the time is right to showcase the best of British boxing with a twist. There are lots of opportunities to get involved, so whether you are a boxing fan, new to the sport, or a brand that wants to get on board, we’d be excited to hear from you.”