Dennis Hobson has teamed up with one of the UK’s busiest boxing promoters, with the pair hinting at some exciting plans for the future.
In a sport renowned for its shady characters, Mark ‘Mo’ Prior – from Priority Boxing Promotions – is known on the circuit as one of the nicest, and hardest working, men in boxing. The genial manager and promoter (pictured alongside Roberto Duran) has steadily been building up his profile, putting on an increasing number of shows across the UK for the last eight years with his former partner Greg Steene, who sadly passed away in November last year.
In 2019, before the pandemic hit, the Watford-based Londoner organised an impressive eleven shows across London and Wales; with thriving stables in both locations. Additionally, Mo also has over 40 fighters on his books, including notable names like current British Welterweight Champion, Chris Jenkins, as well as the son of boxing legend Roberto Duran… Roberto Duran Jr!
Commendably, Prior is insistent he is on a mission to bring excitement back to boxing fans, and is adamant he only wants to be involved in shows with genuine competitive fights – something that will be ‘music to the ears’ of his new partner. Hobson – who has worked with numerous world champions including Ricky Hatton, Clinton Woods and David Haye – has major plans to overhaul the boxing landscape in 2021, with more details coming soon.
“I almost worked with Dennis previously on a Frankie Gavin world title fight but it fell through,” explained Mo. “We’ve been trying to work together for a while. Dennis has got a great track record, I remember the job he did with Clinton Woods, and he’s been involved with some great fighters like Ricky Hatton. We both think the same, it’s not about the money, it’s about enjoying what you’re doing, and having a laugh along the way.
“I want to make fights that the fans want to see and with Dennis I want to bring fans back to boxing. A lot of other promoters promise 50-50 fights, but don’t really deliver. I’d like to take my fighters off the leash earlier, rather than keep putting them in with journeymen. We’ll put on shows in London and Wales, and even maybe in Thailand, where I have good contacts. I’m also working on setting up a boxing board in Cyprus, so that’s another possibility. The TV platform that Dennis is working on will give my fighters great exposure, and that’s another reason it’s going to be so important to put exciting contests on.
“I’ve got established fighters like British Champion Chris Jenkins, as well as other really promising up and comers. I’m really excited about Rhys Edwards, who’s 10-0 (4), everyone says he’s the best kid to come out of Wales since Liam Williams. Another of my stable who is making waves is an 18 stone, 6’10” heavyweight from Romania called Lucian Atana – he’s had four fights, four KOs, with three of them in the first round!
“Mitchell Smith and his brother, Jez, are with me. Mitchell was number four in the world at one point, and Jez has now found his natural weight [light-middleweight] and will fight anyone. Jeff Ofori is another – he lost to Archie Sharp in his last fight by a point but I thought he won; he’s ready for titles.
“I’m also working with John Joe Nevin, who was the number one amateur in the world, went to the Olympics twice, and is now 14-0 (4) as a pro. He’s ready for everyone. I want to get all these guys on the shows that I put on with Dennis, so there’s going to be some really exciting nights.”
“I’ve known Mo for a few years now, he’s a good guy and I get on really well with him,” added Hobson. “He works really hard to do the best for his fighters, and puts a lot of shows on. By working together, we can put some cracking matches on and give some of his lads some major title fights and TV exposure.
“I’m really excited we’re going to do some co-promotions together. I’m at a stage where I only want to work with people I like, sometimes boxing doesn’t allow that, but Mo is one of the good guys. We’ll be looking at half a dozen shows together, down in the South, Wales, and even maybe overseas.”