‘Having a sponsor sends out a message that you’re a worthy boxer, it also sends out a big message to your opponent and having that little psychological edge is exactly what your looking for before a fight’. Joe ‘Marvelous’ McAllister an 18 year old, sponsored boxer from Telford Shropshire. Joe talks in depth about what it takes to attain sponsorship in one of the most brutal sports in the world.
With an impressive amateur record of 11-1-0 Joe briefs on how he was first introduced to world of boxing.
‘When I was young my Dad used to have a punch bag in the back garden. I often saw him hitting the bag and I remember always wanting to join in. For years I wasn’t allowed, because my Mom insisted. She never wanted me to get involved in boxing. But eventually after much persuasion she finally let me come along to Donnington Boxing Club’.
Joe explains that the sport of boxing is often given bad publicity.
‘Boxing’s always been a sport which is stereotyped as being two thugs getting in a ring with each other and trying to hurt one another. When the truth is they don’t see the hard work, dedication and discipline the sport takes. You occasionally get professional boxers who let the sport down and give it a bad name like recently David Chasora. But that’s not what the majority of boxer are like, when boxing was first came about it was considered a gentleman sport’.
With a light hearted humor in his voice he says. ‘I don’t think its quite like that anymore but were certainly not the trouble making thugs were interpreted to be!’
A local plumbing company is the proud sponsors of the ambitious young boxer, and Joe doesn’t hesitate to discuss his thoughts on sponsors within his sport.
‘Sponsors play a major contribution in boxing, having a sponsor sends out a message out that you’re a worthy boxer, it also sends out a big message to your opponent and having that little psychological edge is exactly what your looking for before a fight’. He pauses, ‘Special sponsorship events take place where each boxing club will select boxers to compete against each other with sole aim of getting sponsored’,Joe expands by saying.
‘These events are huge for an amateur boxer, it’s a great privilege to have a sponsor and fighters really train hard in the lead up to them. There also held in nice places’. Bursting into laughter he says, ‘Which makes a change let me tell you!’
Continuing on the theme of sponsors Joe enlightens the benefits involved of having a sponsor.
‘The sponsors also pay for our individual clothes and equipment like gum shields, gloves, towels, hand wraps, boots, gowns and any other bits and pieces we need, as well as the membership to the club. I think its quite well known that most kids who go in to boxing clubs aren’t that rich. So when it comes to the big events they struggle to get the money to buy all the little extras you need like vest, gum shields, headguards etc.’
Joe speaks of some of the harsher realities some boxers face ‘There are people in this club that have sold their bikes to buy gloves and pay for their membership because their parents cant afford it’. He openly says, ‘Its not nice to see what great champions have done it in the past. Manny Pacquiao used to live on the streets selling donuts to people in traffic jams, now his the best boxer in the world, so it can all be worth it!’
Joe’s reaction was instantaneous to answer one of the biggest questions in boxing at the moment Pacquaio or Mayweather? ‘ Pacquaio definitely ! Pacquaio has more power and lightening fast hands as well as the quickest feet in the game. Mayweather been ducking him for ages, he’s only trying to wait until his slowed down!’