Simon Clayton, lifelong boxing fan, is now aiming to become a prominent boxing manager.
After spending the best part of twenty years following the sport he loves, Clayton has stepped in to hopefully guide the career of a potential handful of young prospects, looking to make a splash on the British boxing scene.
His new management company, ‘Claymaker Boxing’, is now up and running, already managing the Manchester-born hot prospect Andy Kremner.
With an unblemished record of six wins in six fights, Kremner certainly looks like one for the future.
Clayton’s slogan “Heading to Vegas” shows a clear ambition to any fighter wishing to acquire his services.
InstantBoxing.com’s Luke Madeira has been speaking to Simon about his venture, and here is what he had to say:
This is a off topic but it’s quite a funny story, a few years ago you had ‘Head of Golden Boy Boxing UK’ in your Twitter bio, why was that?
I just used to treat Twitter as a bit of a laugh and people used to do parody accounts of other people. I have always laughed at myself so I just thought it would be a bit of fun. A few people started to get into touch with me and I was getting direct messages asking if I could get them an interview with Oscar De La Hoya.
I used to tweet stuff like ‘Oscar my Mum is looking forward to you staying over again!’ and ‘She’s going to cook you your favourite meal again!’ and on Twitter, there’s people out there that will believe anything. It grew and grew from there and my followers started to grow.
Instead of having a parody account that wasn’t me, I just told a few white lies! I tweeted 50Cent when he was trying to set up a promotional team saying that I would do the same services for him as I do for Oscar, and then both Oscar and Richard Schaefer messaged me about legal action being taken if I didn’t remove their name from my Twitter.
A few weeks later a couple of my mates got in touch with them and just said it was a bit if a joke, and now once a year he replies to one of the lads and has a laugh about it now.
What do you make of the tweets that Oscar De La Hoya sent you?
It was all good fun if I’m honest. I mean if he had sued me at the time he would have probably got a Ford Focus out of it! He might have got a signed Kevin Pieterson autobiography if he had pushed it but that’s about it!
When did you first start to go to boxing shows in the UK?
The first show that I ever went to was Nigel Benn against Steve Collins at the M.E.N. Me and my mate got the train to the show and when I bought the ticket, I didn’t know that you got the undercard as well. A couple of good fighters were on the undercard and the one that stood out for me was ‘The Viking’ Steve Foster. I remember sitting there looking at all these rowdy, drunk Mancs all making Viking noises with their helmets on. I remember thinking that the boxing looks like a good laugh!
I went to the second Benn-Collins fight, and in the programme there were advertisements for Steve Wood’s show at Bowlers in Manchester. I bought tickets for them and went down to his gym to pick them up. I loved it at the gym and signed up for twelve months and I would get in the gym when the lads were training. They would have the odd press conference there and things like that.
Have you had other managerial experience before, both inside and outside of boxing?
I’ve never had anything to do with the managerial side of boxing, but outside of boxing I worked for my Dad for a long time. That wrapped up fifteen years ago and I’ve had numerous jobs that required lower level management.
Why did you decide to become a boxing manager?
One of the things that really annoys me is when you see that promoters/trainers don’t really care about their lads. I’m quite an emotional person so when I see people taking fights they shouldn’t be taking or are getting ‘beaten up’ in the ring I just don’t like it. I think some people are there just to make up the numbers in a camp, but I think that I can look after my fighters and get them a little bit more money than they are currently getting. I’m sure a lot of people feel the same as me about it as well.
What do you feel you can add to the fighters?
I’m quite experienced around boxing so I think that they can have a certain confidence in me. I have a lot of energy that I can bring to them and I have evolved with boxing over recent years. I understand both sides of the fight game with people that like Matchroom and people who are against them. I feel that I can add some experience to fighters that may not have had a lot of amateur experience and help them to take the right fights at the right point in their career.
How have your recent meetings gone with the British Boxing Board of Control?
I passed my second interview today (13.12.15). It was tough, there was ten people in the room so to get an official managers license you have to have had a license for ten years in the sport. Me having a seconds license is the key to me getting my managers license. Everything that I do for Andy Kremner now has to be through somebody else. His manager at the minute is Mick Marsden and I know Andy is a very loyal kid so there are a number of options for him on the table. I’ve just been out there speaking to people about the dates that are on the table. It’s a big year for Andy next year and I want to do whatever I can to get four or five outings next year. I don’t mind doing all the leg work whilst I am learning the ropes, it’s all about gaining experience for me and as long as people know that I am not trying to step on their toes then ultimately I see myself having a few fighters with good connections. This is my apprenticeship so to speak just so I can learn the trade and hopefully I can pick up some things that will help me along the road.
Is it just Andy that you are looking after at the moment?
At the moment yes. I wanted to do something similar with Andy Colquhoun but it wasn’t the right time. I hadn’t really been around him in the build up to the Ryan Fields fight, and we had drifted apart because he has a few things going on away from boxing. He is taking twelve months out now, he’s a good friend of mine but we have had to part for a few months and we will go again when his head is in a better place.
Are you looking to expand your stable?
When we put the announcement out there that I was going into management I had about twenty or thirty people asking if I could represent them in the same way that I represent Andy Kremner at the moment. I’ve been asked if I could help fighters out with sponsorship, getting them in touch with sponsors and helping them out with kit, that kind of thing. I didn’t want to take too many people on whilst I’m just up and running. I’ve had to say no to people that I consider to be friends as well. I’ve had nice messages from people like Charlie Edwards, Ricky Boylan and John Ryder saying that they would send people my way down the line when I have established myself.
How do feel that you can progress the fighters that you’ve got?
So Andy Kremner was 5-0 and I met up with him before the fight. He comes out in a top hat and dickie bow so I think I can develop him inside and outside of the game. I remember speaking to Kremner before the fight and I was picking things up when he was speaking. I was just saying to relax, enjoy the fight and we could review his career after the fight. I’ve got quite good relationships with a lot of promoters up and down the country. I’ve had a few run ins with ‘Fast Car’ [Eddie Hearn] recently but I’ve had to wind my neck in so I don’t ruin opportunities for my lads down the line. I’m very opinionated because I love the sport and I love what Eddie Hearn is doing but there are one or two things that I disagree with. I think I should take him out for a ‘cheeky Nandos’ and not be as opinionated on Twitter. Ultimately, I want Andy Kremner to be fighting on Matchroom shows at the Manchester Arena and hopefully I can make that possible. If I’m annoying Eddie Hearn on Twitter it isn’t going to help.
I’ve noticed recently that you are making and selling some merchandise for Andy Kremner, is that something you are looking to do in the future?
He goes by the nickname of ‘Krem De La Kremner’ and I’ve noticed that loads of people buy t-shirts. As the years have gone on you struggle to now get any memorabilia whether it be a hat, coat or anything like that. When you go to America the big shows have them. At Kremner’s last fight, he sold about 140 tickets and about 70 or 80 of them were women. I just thought that they would love to wear these ‘camp’ colours such as purple or pink. If twenty or thirty of wore them in the crowd you would be able to see where they were. I’m good friends with the people that own the Gorilla Kings Clothing so I enquired about t-shirts and fleeces and we’ll go with the same design on his fight kit. At his next fight you’ll probably see 40-50 people in t-shirts and 30-40 people in the fleeces, and Kremner gets a couple of quid from each sale so it is good for everybody. I don’t make any money out of it but everybody else does, it’ll help to get Andy’s name out there and it helps out on the fight night as well.
By Luke Madeira, follow Luke on Twitter @lukemadeira15