Scott Dixon's boxing gala cancelled after Swedish promoter 'runs off' with event money

Boxer Scott Dixon claims that Swedish Jerry Salo has ‘disappeared’ with all the event’s cash and ticket money, leading the local team to have to cancel the boxing extravaganza

Scott Dixon (left) with Jerry Salo seen holding posters promoting the event
Scott Dixon (left) with Jerry Salo seen holding posters promoting the event

A boxing extravaganza scheduled for Friday at the Hilton was cancelled today after Scott Dixon, champion boxer and promoter of the event, accused a Swedish agent – who was organising the event with him – of running off with €35,000 in cash, tickets and ticket money.

Dixon, a well-known Glaswegian boxer who moved to Malta 10 years ago, called a press conference on Tuesday at the Dean Hamlet Hotel in St Julians – above the gym he owns and manages – in which he revealed that Jerry Vahasalo, known as Jerry Salo, had approached Dixon Promotions earlier in the year, when he was in Malta with a client, Hollywood actor and model Samuel Seung Chan Ericsson.

Salo had suggested to Dixon that they get together to organise a gala boxing night that would feature many big names of the sport.

Dixon himself was supposed to feature on Friday in a fight against Steffen Sparborth for the World Boxing Union (WBU) Middleweight Championship, in what was supposed to be the last match of his long and successful boxing career.

He said Salo had been staying in an apartment in Sliema while in Malta.

Scott Dixon with Dixon's Promotions sales manager Malin Jardland (left) and business manager Ramona McArthur
Scott Dixon with Dixon's Promotions sales manager Malin Jardland (left) and business manager Ramona McArthur

“He sent me a message at 9.45 this morning, telling me he was going to collect his girlfriend from the airport, and that he would see me 45 minutes later,” Dixon said.

“But by a couple of hours later, he was not replying to me messages, was not answering calls and we later found out he had moved out of the apartment. I immeditaely filed a report at the St Julians police station.”

Dixon said that his team, Dixon’s Promotions, had put in €10,000 as seed money for the event and that Salo was supposed to do the same.

“We agreed that he would look after the business end of the event and that we would take care of the rest, like the fighters, sponsorships, PA system and the venue,” he said.

He said he had given the €10,000 to Salo, who was in charge of the event’s accounts, and that they had split the tickets between them since Salo had told them that he knew a lot of people who would be interested in such an event.

Dixon said that fighters had been given tickets in lieu of an appearance fee, and that they would then collect the money themselves.

Tickets were selling at between €25 and €100 and that any money he or his team had collected from ticket sales had been passed on to Salo since he was looking after the business side of the event.

The event was to feature two title fights and many semi-pro fights featuring local and foreign talent; Malta’s Billy Corito was scheduled to go up against Hasan Olaki for the WBU European championship.

Promo poster advertising the boxing gala night
Promo poster advertising the boxing gala night

“Unfortunately for us, we do not have a signed contract since Jerry never seemed to have time to sit down and sign an agreement that we had prepared,” Dixon said.

“Mind you, before we agreed to anything, my team had done some research on Salo and we had found nothing negative about him anywhere.”

Ramona McArthur, Dixon’s Promotions business manager, said that they believed Salo had already fled the country with the event money, leaving the local team in the lurch.

“We cannot deliver the event we promised, and that is why we decided to cancel Friday’s event,” she said.

Dixon insisted, however, that he would not go down without a fight and that he would not let anyone down.

“I have been in this sport since I was seven years old and I am a fighter’s fighter,” he said. “I aim to organise the event at a later date – soon – and I will honour every ticket we have already sold.”

“I will not let anyone ruin my reputation and the hard work I have done over so many years to bring this sport to the level it now at.”

Dixon said he had promoted 29 previous events and that nothing of the sort had ever happened.

“This is very serious for me and my reputation is at risk here,’ he said. “I will reschedule the event for another day soon, I will do it all cost, and I will honour all the commitments we have made. It’s got to be done.”