|Tony Shultz Knocks It Out Of The Park with "The Official Fight Promoter Playbook" - Interview
By Jason Petock, Doghouse Boxing (June 26, 2014)
The Official Fight Promoter Playbook
promoter and renowned and respected author Tony Shultz is well on his
way to becoming a household name amongst boxing circles and the like
at this point of his career. One look into his latest opus entitled
"The Official Fight Promoter Playbook," and there should
remain no question from either the novice fight fan to the most
seasoned of ring aficionados as to its validity, Shultz has truly
found the essential formula within his book and it works. Now far be
it from me as both a supposedly controversial and honestly open and
opinionated "writer" over the years (or whatever it is they
are calling us nowadays) to hop on any promoter/s or managerial
bandwagon here. But when someone involved with boxing is making
moves, especially in the literary sense with a sincere and heartfelt
effort, then acknowledgment is not only critical but paramount in
review. Boxing is a close knit family and with all of the
sensationalism, complacency and rhetoric that exists in sports
journalism today, especially when it revolves around boxing, it's a
rare breath of fresh air when honesty emerges in writing once again.
writers, scribes, authors, corner street light scribblers and
typewriter commandos all have their day in the sun on this world.
Words are our weapons and they influence an entire globe it seems.
The wounds from a sharp blade, a stinging punch, a ripping body shot,
or the impact of a solid far greater than bone all leave their
individual marks with deadly harm and the wickedest of intentions. So
too do words cut and slice just as deep, eviscerating bone while
leaving broken hearts in their wake and shattered egos so bloody and
lifeless upon the killing floor. Hopefully the words that are
transcribed on the pages of Shultz's latest composition provide
greater inspiration and insight into the at times mysterious and
clandestine world of the fight promoter and fight sports in general.
Tony was very congenial recently in granting me the following
exclusive interview that covered it all in the only way it could have
been done, and that is via the man himself.
Thank you for this rare opportunity for an interview. How long have
you been interested or involved with boxing and do you feel that your
background alone is what got you into becoming a promoter and even
writing a book about it?
Jason, it’s my pleasure. I’ve always enjoyed reading your
articles and thoughts on boxing.
been in boxing since I was 8 years old. I was born and raised in
Ohio, and boxing is part of the lifestyle. I started doing road work
and working the heavy bag, and at 10 years old, I started sparring.
worked my way up the ladder in my hometown, working with golden
gloves boxers, and fighting smokers. From there, I moved to NYC to
work out of Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. Once there, Bruce
Silverglade (Gleason’s Owner) became a good mentor of mine.
Explaining the fight game, how it works, the business side as well as
the talent side. He really guided me a lot in the beginning.
I moved to L.A., and started working with Freddie Roach and his team
out of Wild Card. I really learned a lot about the behind the scenes
from Freddie. I attended a lot of fights in L.A. and Vegas, and met a
lot of smart, well connected people who explained every angle of
promoting a fight I could ask for. It took years, but I was able to
finally get it all put together.
Throughout your book you really emphasize the key points of being a
promoter. Being so deeply engrained within the boxing world, do you
find it harder to be a promoter or a "boxing writer?" I say
"boxing writer" because while you align MMA and wrestling
(fight sports) alongside boxing in "The Official Fight Promoter
Playbook," your passion and desire obviously lean towards the
fight game implicitly.
I honestly find both challenging. Promoting a fight takes passion,
businesses sense, and the ability to “sell” the fight. Writing a
book about promoting a fight took passion, patience, and lots of
“relationship building”. The book took 2 ½ years to put
together start to finish. There were a few times when I wasn’t even
sure I’d be able to finish it. The thing I’ve learned most about
fight promotions, and by extension, writing about how to promote
fights, is you have to be in it because you love it. I thinking
writing this book taught me the ever-important lesson that writing,
as in promoting, is about putting the pieces together. Breaking
everything down into smaller tasks, understanding that task, and then
completing it with integrity, meaning focusing on what you’re
genuinely wanting to say, and not adding in too much flash.
There is no question that any boxing fan or up-and-coming promoter
is going to want to go out and get a copy of this book. Outside of
them gaining deeper insight and more practical knowledge through
reading your work, is there any other advice or personal inspiration
that you can offer anyone out there who wants to take that next step
but maybe isn't that sure of just where to plant their feet yet?
get started making friends in the fight game. Just reach out, say hi,
go to the local boxing gym and talk to the boxers, managers, gym
owner. The fight game is primarily about one thing: Relationships.
Start small, just get your “feet wet” and build your confidence
talking to some local guys. As soon as you start to get a little
confidence, go get your promoters license, and work on a small show.
You’ll be amazed at how many people are willing to help if you just
reach out and ask for help, advice, and guidance. People in the fight
game want you to succeed more than not, and I think you’ll be
amazed at how many people will come along and provide assistance in
getting your fight event together.
There have been many promoters and even "journalists"
involved in the "Sweetest of Sciences" who have been
morally and diabolically corrupt in their endeavors over the years.
Do you think promoters have caught a bad rep, just like the fighters
themselves who endure the propaganda and onslaughts of a critical and
non-thinking boxing media, or is this label justifiable in your
I think promoters are more good than bad. A lot of it has to do with
the image of boxing (and all fight sports), its an image of a
Gangster run sport, with back room deals done in cash, and fights put
together on a whim. The thing that is never really talked about, is
how much business sense it takes to promote a fight.
profile promoters tend to get the worst rap, and in a sense, that’s
probably good for the sport. You see, if people aren’t “”gossiping”
about a promoter, if they’re not talking about fight, or telling
everyone their opinion about the match up, the promoter has failed.
Charges of “corruption” or “gangster” or “fixing”, then
the sport itself wouldn’t be living up to it’s image. It’s a
storyline, and it’s as old as the sport itself. Boxing is not a
sport for the boring.
What is the one message or passage from your book that you feel
most represents not only what you are trying to get across to the
reader but also what you recognize as unquestionably the crux of
being a promoter in whatever fight sport an individual chooses to
I think you can sum up my entire book with one simple message:
in yourself, and follow these steps, and you can be a great
think if you trust the book to do what it’s supposed to do (show
you how to promote a fight) and trust yourself enough to follow it,
you cannot fail. I’m not saying you’ll be promoting a Vegas PPV
Title Fight next month, but you will be able to promote a fight, and
Now I have to ask you, have you really given away all of the secrets
to being a promoter in your book? You surely don't want to be known
as the "magician who spilled all the tricks" to a wondering
and curious boxing public? The reason I ask is because you have to
leave something for the rest of your Fight Promoter series, which
will surely take off like a rocket after this informative and must
have book has left orbit with fans.
and no. I teach you how to promote a fight, and give you everything
you need to do just that. However, promoting a fight, and being a
“boxing promoter” are two separate things. A boxing promoter has
to have a personality, their own unique charm, charisma, ability to
connect, and passion that shines through. I can’t teach that, as I
shouldn’t, because everyone needs to reach deep down inside and
show the world who they are as an individual.
that said, my book series is in essence, a case by case study in
building a fight promotions business. The further you want to go, and
the more ambition you have, I have a book to guide you. Ill supply
you the guidance and advice, you supply the personality and passion.
Is there anything else that we haven't covered or discussed during
this interview/review that you would like to add of include? Any
memorable words of wisdom or experience to offer any young and future
promoters or authors out there working away to realize their dreams
that there are so many great fighters out there, training everyday,
looking for fights to build their resume and experience. They need
you, they need local fights, they need business people to compliment
their talent. If you really are thinking you’d like to promote a
fight, go for it. You don’t have to quit your day job, you can
promote a Saturday fight very 3 months and get your name in the paper
along with your picture standing with your fighters. I give you
everything you need to do it, you just have to take that step.
what are you waiting for already? You can get a copy (or copies -
c'mon go tell your friends!) of Tony Shultz's incredible, informative
and in-depth play-by-play, no holds barred insider's guide "The
Official Fight Promoter Playbook" at www.amazon.com/Official-Fight-Promoter-Playbook-Series.
you can link up directly with this accomplished author and boxing
promoter through his e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TWO-CENTS WELCOME! If you have any questions, comments, complaints, kudos or anything else you can e-mail Jason at email@example.com
Always remember when in doubt knock ‘em out!
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