Mick Hennessy, founder and CEO of promotional company Hennessy Sports, is the man responsible for bringing boxing back to the mainstream. He has set up a deal with terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5 where his stable of young colourful fighters are able to be viewed by the general public and not just those with a subscription to satellite TV.
This is seen as a huge step in elevating boxing back to where it belongs for the British people. Prior to the introduction of Sky and pay-per-view, boxing was seen as one of the many leading sporting events in Britain; weeks would go by with opinions and excitement being shared by all. Boxers in the past were seen as local heroes one only has to look at the way the British public adored the late Henry Cooper who was given an OBE and remarkably won BBC’s sports personality of the year award not once but twice in 1967 and 1970 - this for a boxer who only ever won British and European honours and failed on his attempt at world honours is quite simply remarkable and proves what a success boxing can be in the UK.
We associate the past as being the glory years of boxing. Could this be is due to how accessible the sweet science was? After all how can the public comment and debate on such battles if they are unable to view the war? Mick Hennessy has not only brought boxing back to where it belongs on terrestrial TV but he seems to have included the right sort of fascinating characters into his stable, which should hopefully prove to bring the entertainment factor back into fight night.
His current stable of fighters certainly appear to have the charisma and ability to bring back the hoardes of fans boxing has been missing over the years.
Hennessy’s Fantastic Four are:
• Tyson Fury: Fury, (pictured with Hennessy) the current WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight champion, is Hennessy’s current main attraction, spearheading the main events and is yet to let anyone down when it comes to entertainment in and out of the ring. There seems to never be a dull moment when Tyson is around, whether he is advocating a ringside brawl with heavyweight contender Derek Chisora prior to their battle in July 2011, or his sudden and sometimes confusing outburst on Twitter towards his now nemesis in David Price (current British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion) or more comically when he nearly knocked himself out in the ring in a bout against Lee Swaby with a huge uppercut.
Tyson, whether you love him or loathe him, is certainly bringing entertainment and drama back into the most sought-after division in boxing.
• James DeGale: DeGale is Britain’s very own Beijing gold medallist and current European super middleweight champion, who is on a rebuilding campaign for his public perception after his distasteful remarks towards his fellow competitor George Groves ahead of their clash in May of 2011 which left him somewhat in obscurity with the boxing public. However, the fact that he is a gold medallist is always going to attract attention from the boxing public.
• Kid Galahad: The Qatar-born Galahad (real name Abdul Barry Awad) is on a mission to emulate and surpass his hero, the former world featherweight champion Prince Naseem Hamed. So far, so good. He seems to dazzle in the ring and also brings the swagger he inherited from his hero. One thing is for sure - if he can keep on winning his personality alone will make a huge splash in the boxing scene.
• Chris Eubank Jr: Eubank has the difficult task of following his father’s steps. So far he seems to be on the right track, knocking up back to back victories and staying undefeated. He comes across as a silent assassin, as he hasn’t seemed to inherit his father’s love for the microphone. However, his father has definitely passed on his jaguar-like movements within the ring and not to mention his amusing, arrogant, cocky facial expressions.
Due to his famous dad being a former world champion he has quickly gained interest from the boxing public and seems to have leapfrogged other pugilists in notoriety, as the public are curious to see whether he can emulate the great Chris Eubank senior.
Considering Mick Hennessy nearly walked away from the sport back in 2008 due to financial issues and losing his prize assets in Carl Froch, John Murray and Darren Barker to rival promoters, he has certainly turned his fortunes around with having captured what is arguably Britain’s most flamboyant up and coming stars.