A good start for local boxing for 2012

Boxing may not feature amongst the most popular sports locally, but the first ever event of the European Boxing Federation in Malta organised in January in collaboration with home promoter Paul Borg gave a stunning stroke of encouragement.

5 March 2012, 12:00am
Billy Corito hits hard on his way to another K.O. victory. Photo by Lionel Cassola
Billy Corito hits hard on his way to another K.O. victory. Photo by Lionel Cassola
Wilfred Sultana

The enthusiasm that this sport brings is bound to have ripple positive effect on the sport in Malta in general and also on future events staged here.

I must admit I really enjoyed my first attendance to a boxing show and I was truly impressed with the passionate support of the big crowd, made up also of a remarkable number of ladies too. When all the 'hits' were done and over and the protagonists of the night, the boxers, were more 'courteous' to each other it was a pleasant opportunity exchanging a few thoughts on the subject with Spencer Brown, Chairman of the European Boxing Federation.

My first question to Mr. Brown regarded his entity.  What is the status of the European Boxing Federation in the international structure of world boxing?
"
As a company established in 2005 we are relatively new to the structure of world boxing but, our rapid growth in the UK and Ireland shows that progression will automatically spread over Europe. Our first show in Malta was simply fantastic and proves that what we do works no matter where about we are. 2012 is going to be another big year for us. We are looking at moving further across Europe. We are now definitely one of the fastest growing World boxing Organisations".

In this regard how recognised and respected are EBF events and also those boxers acclaimed as champions in your events?
"EBF
Events are fantastically well respected and are now constantly selling out week after week. The events themselves are a great way for fans to see some real time action boxing while enjoying a sociable evening with family and friends. Our format and structure works. The standard of our boxers is the best in the Semi-Pro boxing world and is getting better. Our fighters now train like full time professionals and live eat and sleep like boxers. Standards are also improving with the amount of full time pros coming over to our Federation. In the UK our last 8 British champions within our rankings have turned over to the professional ranks so we put a lot back into the Professional game as well. That proves how high our standards are".

Immediately your first Malta event was over you enthusiastically described it as "Simply fantastic!" What made you react so excitedly?
"
The Event in Malta was a massive success due to many factors. Firstly the people of Malta, who were not only very welcoming but big boxing fans and therefore added to the great atmosphere of the show. Secondly our Maltese promoter Paul Borg who worked tirelessly with our UK based team and many sponsors to create one of the biggest boxing nights in Malta's history. Both sets of fighters fought and trained brilliantly and the home fighters helped sell the large amount of tickets pre event".

This January Night of Boxing at the Sky Club in Paceville was also your introduction to Maltese boxer Billy Corito. How would you gauge Malta's 'hit man'?
"Billy is a good fighter with a lot of power. The way he beat Ian Toby was impressive. He has only had 8 fights so he had some improvements to make. We will improve his level of opponent each future fight so he will need to improve accordingly. I'm looking forward to watching his progress".


Following this success would the EBF consider further boxing events here?
"We would definitely come back to Malta and soon we hope. We were very impressed with every single aspect of, the show, the country, the people and the event promotion".


That's great but does Billy Corito feature in your future plans?
"
Billy is now a high profile fighter so there are a lot of heavyweights wanting to fight him. He will be in our future plans and we would like him not just to stay in Malta for his fights but possibly fight in other countries".

Yes, definitely significant feedback coming from an international administrator of the sport whose involvement and experience can analyse and appraise events and people intensely.
"I appreciate the support and cooperation extended by the EBF to make the January event possible.  We are already working on another Night of Boxing which should happen shortly", declared local promoter Paul Borg when asked to comment on Mr. Brown's appraisal.