KIERAN FARRELL – FROM LIFE THREATENING INJURY TO UP AND COMING PROMOTER

At the age of just twenty two, Kieran Farrell was forced to retire from boxing after sustaining brain damage in his fifteenth professional bout against now world champion Anthony Crolla.

“To be honest, I had dreams of becoming a world champion. Even when I lost to Crolla, I was mixing it with the best in Britain and a loss would have still put me in good stead going forward.image

Look at Tommy Coyle for example, since his loss to Derry Matthews he has come on since then and and been involved in some good fights.

I wanted to be a world champion like every other kid but I also wanted to be involved in some top fights like Gatti – Ward, and my style was good for that.

I have grown into it [training, promoting and managing] because I love boxing. Because my injury forced me out of fighting, I’m doing whatever I can now to replace it.

To be honest, nothing replaces the buzz of boxing and I’d be lying if I said it did. When I’m promoting a show, the week before the event seems like it’s fight week again when I’m preparing and making sure everything is ready.

As for the training side of things, I’m in the gym with the guys every day of the week anyway but nothing replaces being in the ring. There’s nothing like it.”

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Less than four years after his last fight, he has now founded his own gym, which is home to ‘Kieran Farrell Promotions’. He trains, manages and promotes a number of fighters, including hot prospect Nathan Wheatley (whose next bout is on the undercard of Crolla vs Jorge Linares).

2016 also saw Farrell honoured by Her Majesty the Queen, receiving the BEM (British Empire Medal) in the January honours list.

If you ask the likes of Dave Coldwell who have been involved in all three disciplines (training, managing and promoting), they all find the promotional side of things a lot more difficult that the rest. Farrell is no different, with promotional events being the most stressful part of his job.

When asked he immediately replied “Promoting definitely! It’s the matchmaking side of things that is the hardest. The actual promoting of a show is easy, I just get a date and give the lads a date, but when it comes to things like managers and weights it becomes more difficult.

I’ll say that one of the lads his opponent has never won and lost six but he’s three pounds heavier than you, and they won’t fight him because of the weight.

I’ve got a lad called Darryl Sharp who fights on the road and he’ll fight anybody. He does not turn a fight away and to be honest he’s fought for next to nothing money which makes my job easy.”

I have to ring ten managers a day to try and make one fight and it’s hard work.

I am learning the ropes at the moment and I do enjoy it but it is hard.”

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Farrell’s first show was at the Middleton Arena, with four fights on the card. The night saw Jake Bulger outpoint the experienced Qasim Hussain, Nathan Wheatley outpoint Liam Griffiths and ex-professional football Matty Mainwaring score his second win against debutant Tommy Carter. The shock of the night came from William Warburton, as he beat debutant Callum Pearson at super welterweight.

“The show went as well as it could have gone under the circumstances. I had seven fights lined up which cost me £1000 for the doctor where as five fights cost me £500. I had the seven fights lined up but the venue’s capacity was 512. We sold all the tickets but I was still running at a loss if I had to pay opponents, expenses and doctors [for seven fights].

I went for the five fights instead and then Ryan Watson who was meant to be on the bill broke his nose in sparring. I had a fight for Darryl already lined up on the day after in Birmingham so I didn’t want to pull him off that show.

I was even going to let Darryl fight William Warburton and let them have a bit of a scrap and pay them whatever just to get the five fights on, but I went with four fights instead.

Overall it was a good night though. Each fight was entertaining and a few fights weren’t one sided. Warburton upset Pearson on the night which isn’t good for the lad I’m managing, but for me as a promoter it was good for the bill.

Matty Mainwaring brought a really big following and I’ve got a lot of time for him, he’s boxing on my next bill on Friday. He’s another kid with a bright future if he keeps working hard.”

Due to the success of his first show, Kieran Farrell Promotions have now landed a TV deal with the free view channel Frontrunner.

“It all stems from when I boxed for Hatton Promotions. I got a message on my Facebook and they said they had a few small hall promoters signed up but they needed a promoter from Manchester.

I don’t financially gain from this but my lads are gaining national exposure. There will be a lot of people tuning into it, especially if we can make the event good enough and can publicise it well.

I need to make a champion, and with Frontrunner TV we could potentially have a British title fight on there.”

Farrell’s second venture into the world of promoting will be this Friday (2nd September) featuring seven fights. The night will see debutant George Brennan, as well as returns to the ring for Bilal Rehman, Tommy Carter, Dale Arrowsmith, Matty Mainwaring, Osman Aslam and Ross Jameson.

“This bill has been plagued from the start really. I got my promoter license not to be like Eddie Hearn, I did it so I can give the lads a date without having to ask favours from other promoters. When I’m asking favours, my lads are always the first ones to be pulled off a show if they have to pull someone off and I don’t want that for my lads.

Ideally I want to do four to six shows a year so my lads definitely have a date in between other dates.

I had Nathan Wheatley on who is a big ticket seller but he is now in the Crolla undercard instead. If I was greedy I would have turned the opportunity down for him but I knew he had to do it.

I had three of my other lads on the bill but they’ve all had work commitments and holidays so the date wasn’t working for them.

I had Jay Carney on the bill as well but his brain scan isn’t going to come back in time. When he was with the Malta Boxing Board they passed his brain scan, but now he’s with me and the BBBofC (British Boxing Board of Control) they have queried his scan. It’s not anything life threatening but they have to check these things and we won’t find out until the first week in September.

My next show will be November 4th so he will probably be on that bill.

Adam Hague was pulled off the bill because he was having bad nose bleeds in sparring and Craig Bunn has sustained a bad hand.

I had fifteen fights but when a few fights fell through, I’m decided to put on a seven fight bill with some very promising fighters.

I’m excited to see George Brennan. He’s sparred Jamie and a Gavin McDonnell for this fight and he’s got great potential. He’s going to be a superstar and I know he is.”

By Luke Madeira, follow Luke on Twitter @lukemadeira15

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