MGM SCOTLAND boxing promoter Sam Kynoch is confident he can bring big fight nights back to Edinburgh.
Having persuaded both Commonwealth Games star Lewis Benson and Brian Forsyth to put pen to paper on professional contracts in recent weeks, Kynoch has also just agreed terms with Lochend duo Stephen Tiffney and Tommy Philbin, all of whom will line up on the ‘New Era’ bill at Meadowbank on Saturday, September 5.
With former WBC International Silver cruiserweight champion Stephen Simmons also boxing under MGM’s banner after splitting with former promoter Alex Morrison in March, Kynoch – a former boxer himself – is relishing the opportunity to work with fighters he believes can compete for major titles in the Capital.
With his organisation now operating as a joint-venture with Matthew Macklin’s gym based in Marbella, Kynoch said: “We’re not looking to hang about with the guys we’ve just signed. We want to build their experience as quickly as possible but build them up in the right manner and then move them onto British titles. We haven’t signed people who are going to tread water. They’re all ambitious guys who want to make a name for themselves.
“The amateur talents in Edinburgh have been there for several years. You only have to look at this year with Benson, Tiffney and Philbin all winning the Scottish Championships, not to mention the achievements of some of the other boxers of the past. But it’s now about the guys who are from the city boxing here as professionals and in front of their own fans. Alex Arthur did it years ago and that’s our hope for these boxers.
“Take Stephen Simmons, for example. September’s show will see him making his debut in Edinburgh, which I find crazy. Boxers should be boxing in front of a home crowd as it spurs them on and I think that gives them that extra edge when the going gets tough. It always helps.
“We want to make Edinburgh a real stronghold. The feedback we got from our first show last month was great in terms of the level of opposition and we got the matchmaking just right.”
Former Scottish light heavyweight champion Forsyth made a winning start to his pro career in Glasgow with a one-point victory over Christian Hoskin Gomez. Although the 28-year-old was far from satisfied with his own performance, he did offer a strong appraisal for Kynoch and his promotional team.
Kynoch disclosed he gave up his former employment as a corporate lawyer to rekindle his love affair with boxing, a successful amateur for Scotland before his career was brought to a premature end by injury. That said, he maintains his passion for the sport has never waned and is committed to the opportunity he has been given.
“I’ve grown their [MGM] position in the boxing world quite considerably,” Kynoch explained. “They had seen the events I used to run through SK boxing promotions, my coaching ability and liked the way I was doing things. The feeling was mutual as I liked their ethos and their approach so that’s how it’s all come about.
“I left my job to pursue my passion in boxing so I am not going to do it lightly. I’m doing it because I really feel I can do something and help boxers get the right deal. They’re getting regular work and they’re being offered better terms here than anywhere else. We’ve got our first event in Edinburgh in September but then we intend to be back again in December with an even bigger one. At the moment, I can’t get the tickets out quickly enough and the demand is proving to be fantastic.
“It’s about getting the guys regular events so the fans can remain engaged and know they’ll be back for another show every couple of months. They are going to see progress and the boxers develop under the MGM banner.”
Kynoch continued: “We want everyone on the bill to get equal amounts of exposure. This is not the Stephen Simmons show. We’ve got guys making their pro debuts. They’re all equally as important. I think there’s longevity in it because I think people will want to buy into the event.”