The Box Off wins BBBofC approval for competition bringing new domestic format for British boxing
Teams from London, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham will contest a series of exciting boxing events – with all-new festival experience introduced for fans
The British boxing scene will see a first of a kind competition this year with the launch of The Box Off, a ground-breaking new format aimed at giving bright hopefuls a big platform and engaging a new era of fans, which is backed by the British Boxing Board of Control and promoted by Paul Webb.
The Box Off will see regional teams compete head-to-head with each other in a series of exciting promotions which will pitch some of the country’s best up and coming talent against each other.
In a first for the sport, the outcomes of the bouts will not only reward individual fighters, but also gather points towards an overall team total to declare The Box Off Team champion.
Teams from London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester will be the first to take part in the exciting new format, which will see the boxing take the starring role alongside the creation of an immersive festival experience for fans in attendance, including musical entertainment.
Each side will be captained by a big-name ambassador, with fighters from five prospective weights taking part – featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight and heavyweight.
The teams will be matched in two semi-finals, deciding which individual fighters will go through to the final. The format will see fighters from London and Birmingham face off in one half of the draw, with fighters from Leeds taking on Manchester in the other.
In a bid to capture the new generation of boxing fans, the events will be beamed live on YouTube – delivering the razzmatazz associated with some of the YouTube shows of recent years but crucially also providing top class professional boxing. The Box Off final also has the potential to be aired exclusively on the BBC, with positive discussions ongoing and more details to be revealed.
The competition aims to galvanise local communities up and down the country as they follow the action, helping more young people in particular get involved in the sport. The Box Off is also committed to using boxing as a positive force to highlight challenges impacting young people in local communities, helping to raise awareness of mental health and knife crime issues.
Paul Webb, promoter of The Box Off, said: “Boxing in Britain has an amazing depth of talent, but outside of the big promotions the fighters don’t always get the opportunities and profiles they deserve. With the way it’s structured, we’ve seen the sport used as a vehicle for influencers to cash in, and in doing so they have attracted a new generation of fans.
“The Box Off’s ambition is to provide the fun and entertainment of the shows we’ve seen online, but crucially also deliver top quality fights with boxers well matched and striving for bigger things. The format gives a new dimension to boxing shows, in keeping with the modern audience, and the shows will deliver entertainment both in and out of the ring.
“It also offers a platform to some of the best up and coming talent in the country to make a mark and gain a following – and unlike other shows it won’t be about selling tickets for them to get paid. They will get money for their involvement and potentially for how well they perform as well.
“Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and London have been the real hotbed regions for producing fighters and now we get to see how they get on when pitted against each other – and we’ve already had massive interest from other big cities like Liverpool, Glasgow and Cardiff.”
Robert Smith, general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, added: “It’s important for boxing to evolve and stay relevant, whilst also retaining the essence of what the sport is all about. The Box Off concept does just that. It puts the sport front and centre of the action, and gives fighters their chance to build a career. And it also provides a unique team format which has the potential to bring new fans to the sport, and we’re interested to see how it grows in strength.”
Razi Hassan, co-founder, said: "The Box Off has been three years in the making and the time is right to showcase the best of British boxing with a twist. There are lots of opportunities to get involved, so whether you are a boxing fan, new to the sport, or a brand that wants to get on board, we’d be excited to hear from you.”
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