Tony Shultz Knocks It Out Of The Park with "The Official Fight Promoter Playbook" - Interview
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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
The Official Fight Promoter Playbook
Fight 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.

Fans, 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.

JP: 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?

TS: Thanks Jason, it’s my pleasure. I’ve always enjoyed reading your articles and thoughts on boxing.

I’ve 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.

I 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.

Finally, 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.

JP: 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.

TS: 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.

JP: 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?

TS: Yes, 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.

JP: 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 opinion?

TS: Personally, 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.

High 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.

JP: 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 pursue?

TS: I think you can sum up my entire book with one simple message:

Believe in yourself, and follow these steps, and you can be a great promoter.”

I 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 relatively quickly.

JP: 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.

TS: Yes, 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.

With 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.

JP: 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 or potential?

TS: Just 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.

Well, 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
Or you can link up directly with this accomplished author and boxing promoter through his e-mail at:

TWO-CENTS WELCOME! If you have any questions, comments, complaints, kudos or anything else you can e-mail Jason at
Always remember when in doubt knock ‘em out!

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