EMPIRE - Shelly Finkel speaks on Kery Davis, Bob Arum, Russell Peltz, New TV Boxing Series and More
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Dec 9, 2010) Special to Doghouse Boxing

Shelly Finkel
It was announced a day or two ago that Empire Sports and Entertainment has cut a deal with Fox Sports Net to bring a monthly boxing broadcast to the networks that will begin later this month with taped shows and move on eventually to live cards.

Shelly Finkel (remember him?), who is now with Empire, explained the concept of this series, "It's going to be a series of shows, monthly on Fox Sports, and what I want to do unique about it is, I'm not going to be in the business -unless it's some kid I really like- of having to [build] an Empire fighter. I feel that we need to get a kid on TV regularly. So I said to Richard Schaefer, 'Richard, if there's a kid that you think is going to be the next HBO fighter, you have a commitment- and let's use Adrian Broner as an example- you putting him on the Zab Judah undercard, he doesn't get any exposure.' He says, 'You're right.' I said, 'I'll guarantee you four to six dates on TV, him being exposed. You have to pay for it anyways. He said, 'I would do that in a second.'

"I asked Kery Davis [of HBO Sports], I said, 'Give me a couple of names of fighters you think are going to be important for 2012 and I'll try to build some of them in 2011' and I have no interest in being the guy’s co-promoter or if he signs with me. Hopefully, I'll make money on the dates and it helps build the sport back."

The shows will air on Thursday and will eventually expand from one hour to two. Empire is looking to secure sponsorships to subsidize the program but Finkel is clear that these will be open dates for use by other promoters.

"Totally," he states. "More than half of it will be outside. Because that's the only way, hopefully, getting it past one year. Look, I don't want to say it by example but one of the things that hurt Versus was that [Bob] Arum did not put on the type of fights that would be something that they would want to continue to show. But when he started doing, initially, ESPN, he gave some dates to Russell Peltz, some to Main Events and they built guys. And that's my hope. [If] It fails, it fails. But I feel that if there's the next generation- if I do my job- I'll find some low-hanging fruit and if it don't, hopefully, we'll make a couple of dollars each month on this. We'll give it a shot.

'I'm not looking to steal anyone else's fighters. So I have to either build 'em or make money from being a promoter.".

I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and I tweet at www.Twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing.

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