MEET THE PROMOTER
Tommy, your promotion has been running for a while, with every show you grow. Tell us where it all started? How did TOP start out?
I loved boxing from an early age. I started off amateur boxing at the rover club in Longbridge, under Mick Redmond when I was about 13, I then moved onto Ladywood under the guidance of Dave Tully where I stayed throughout my amateur days. I had a long break between amateur and turning professional and just had time being a normal teenager, then at the age of 24 I turned professional with Richie Woodhall and the late Lenny Woodhall, RIP Lenny. I was only pro for a short period of time, 12 months, and due to medical reasons, I had to stop fighting.
The decision was out of my hands otherwise I'd still be fighting and maybe TOP may not have started. Even though I couldn't fight, I still loved the sport I couldnt compete in anymore so I started training fighters then got my trainers license, managers license and went on to get my promoters license. I had my first show 19th October 2012 and it was a 4 fight dinner show at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Queensway, from that day I never looked back and have been going ever since. I had a bit of help along the way from a friend of mine who I was doing some personal training with and he helped me financially at the beginning. I don't really know why because at the time I hadn't known him that long but I'm glad he took the chance on me to get me started so, thank you Fulton Hogan of Pascal Investments Ltd. We are no longer involved together with the promotions but still talk now and again.
You’ve got a good working relationship with Jon Pegg, tell us how this working relationship has strengthened the Promotion.
Yes me and Jon Pegg have a great working relationship. We've been friends now for about 8 years, I first met him at Dudley Town Hall at a show and it was Jon who asked me down to the gym at the Aston Villa Leisure Centre, and this is where I met Richie & Lenny Woodhall and turned professional. TOP promotions would be lost without Jon Pegg. His Knowledge of the sport is second to none and he is the backbone behind the scenes of TOP. I use all his fighters on my shows and he's been my matchmaker from the very start. I can honestly say that if we didn't have Jon behind the scenes TOP promotions wouldnt have got to where it is today!!!
Kellie Maloney is coming out of retirement, your show in September is featuring two of her fighters. Tell us about your relationship with Kellie and how you are helping in bringing her back into the world of promoting.
Yes this will be the second time Kellie will be attending one of our shows this year, but this is the first time her fighters will be actually compete on one. I don't think we are helping her back into boxing. She is all ready firmly back into the sport, but we are providing a platform for her to build her fighters up on the small hall scene and keep them winning and active which is what it's all about at the end of the day, to keep that 0 as long as possible, so bigger opportunities arise for them.
Me and Kellie have a working relationship on a very professional level which I hope will continue for the forseable future.
Tommy, there is no doubt you have developed the career of young British Welterweight Champion, Sam Eggington, tell us about Sam and your vision to bring fourth new talent.
Yes Sam Eggington started his exciting career with TOP. When he first started fighting on our shows, he wasn't a ticket seller but was clearly a talent and there's no mistake about that, and under Jon Pegg's guidance the sky's the limit. So we took care of him and made sure he was active and fighting regularly. He must have fought on most of our shows and as the shows grew bigger, so did Sam. Sam's progression on to bigger and better things was inevitable, especially after his second Prizefighter appearance. We at TOP would never stop any of our fighters progressing onto better things past us, it's not how we work, especially as I've been a fighter myself and know how hard it is to catch a break in this very tough sport we chose to compete in. We know you have to grab those opportunities with both hands as Sam did and we are very proud here at TOP of what he has achieved to date and that we helped get him there. It shows our potential as a promotions team and in time, we will be able to offer those opportunities to other fighters like Sam. You can quote me on that!!!
Following on from the last question, why is it important to you to develop local talent in Birmingham.
The talent we have in Birmingham is some of the best in the country. So it is our duty to our local talent to build them up and put them on class shows at venues like the Villa ground to give them a taste of what's to come. If they live the life, train hard and most of all believe this is where they should be, which is at packed out shows with other hungry fighters looking to impress and make it in this tough tough sport, which is a very lonely sport to be in without the right backing. We provide this for them, a good solid platform you can only move up from.