As a number of unbeaten prospects appear on another good looking bill in the north east of England, it is another unbeaten boxer who will be promoting the show as Mark Clauzel puts on his first event as a professional boxing promoter. On a night entitled ‘The Road to Glory’ at Newcastle’s Centre for Sport, it is a whole new road for Clauzel as he embarks on his journey outside the ropes. It was only last July when he won his final fight before being forced to retire from what was looking a very promising career, having won all six of his fights.
The Newcastle switch hitter has wasted no time in finding a new mission in which to invest his all. It can be difficult for any fighter to hang up their gloves but it must be worse when you haven’t been given the chance to fulfil your potential and are left wondering 'what if'? There has been no dwelling with Clauzel as he has left no stone unturned in order to ensure that his first show is a big one.
Clauzel have a Commonwealth title fight in his first promotion as well as some of the brightest prospects from the region. And it's not only the action inside the ring which fans have to look forward to, as Clauzel also has a massive visual show planned for the entrances and he’s managed to attract the TV cameras for his very first show.
Top of the bill is the Commonwealth bantamweight title fight between County Durham’s Martin Ward (17-2) and Ghana’s Gabriel Laryea (16-2-2). Chief supporting bout is a Masters title fight between Newcastle’s Andrew Buchanan (6-1-1) and Surrey tough man Gary Boulden (7-11-2). Other names of note include unbeaten prospects Peter Cope (8-0), Anthony ‘Babyface’ Nelson (7-0), Robert Ismay (8-0), Thomas Ward (5-0), Lewis Scott (2-0) and Anthony Hardy (2-0). Also on the bill is Sunderland’s well regarded heavyweight Danny ‘Boy’ Hughes and they will all be looking to make a statement with the TV cameras around.
Speaking to Clauzel ahead of the show, it was clear that his enthusiasm and passion for the sport have not waned since he had to hang up his own gloves. It is this genuine hunger that he continues to show which has helped him produce such a big event for his first promotion. He has worked behind the scenes for the last 12 months making the most of the many contacts and good friends he has within the sport and he has also been able to secure excellent sponsorship and support from those who believe in his vision for the future.
Of course, it hasn’t all been plain sailing but Clauzel is a smart young man and is already learning some key lessons which will ensure a bright future lies ahead. It is also fantastic news for local boxers and fans as the region has another ambitious promoter, which can only provide more opportunities for local promoters throughout the year.
One boxer, in particular, will recognise the benefit of this. Andrew ‘el cannon’ Buchanan is a man who understands only too well how difficult it can be as a boxer with a lack of promoters in the region. Buchanan has been the most impressive addition to the local boxing scene in 2013 with his superb technical skills and eye catching combinations. At 33, he remains grounded about what he can achieve however there are many who believe he can go well beyond this Masters title, although Boulden will be far from a pushover, having gone the distance with Billy Joe Saunders.
Buchanan turned pro back in 2000 and had 5 fights between then and 2005, having to travel and be the away fighter due to lack of local promotion at the time. He then had to leave the sport due to family commitments and lack of opportunities but decided to make a comeback in May after an 8 year absence, stealing the show on his return against Dean Walker. He then battled to a draw against Sunderland’s unbeaten Jonson McClumpha in what is still a top contender for north east fight of the year before recording another win last time out against the tough and much bigger Jody Meikle.
This will be Buchanan’s first title shot and Clauzel has plans to make sure he is given the opportunities his talents deserve. I went to see Buchanan train a few weeks ago and even in the gym, you couldn’t help but be impressed with his variety of punching and ability. There are many more who believe in him, notably his trainer Micky Duncan, who has already touted Buchanan as the most talented boxer he has ever worked with.
It looks like a great end to the year for the region and it’s sure to set up 2014 perfectly with fellow promoters Phil Jeffries and Steve Wraith having big plans of their own. If Ward can win the Commonwealth belt, it will surely point the way to bigger things. As the other local talent on the show will be looking to stake their claim as fighter of the night, it is sure to be a fantastic first promotion for Clauzel, and not least, the fans.
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