When designing the game it was obviously vital for me to understand the role of a boxing promoter fully.
Did I succeed in that? Probably not. I think I'm still learning every single day, there is simply so much to the role and a lot more to it than is described in IFL interviews. Having said that I did feel I had an ok starting point, not saying I'm an expert in any way shape or form but I had a basic understanding of the role and main responsibilities of a boxing promoter.
With that basic knowledge it was easy to come up with the general concept of the game, you'll manage some fighters, schedule their bouts etc.
But how did I increase my knowledge further, a couple of ways really... (Forums, Promoters, Internet Searches, Interviews & Generally paying more attention)
Forums - As I've mentioned before I'm a semi-active member of BoxingNews24Forum, my main posts have been in a thread set up by a user called Dempsey. Now Dempsey is (or at least claims to be) a boxing manager based in America, this thread was titled "I am a boxing manager: if you have questions about the boxing biz, ask!" You can imagine my face when I came across this forum, I did continue to ask everything about how you would start up as a boxing promoter, the main differences between a manager and promoter, what to look for in fighters... Etc Etc... True to his word Dempsey answered every question I had to the best of his knowledge (Which I have to say is impressive). His help and another poster (Makingweight)'s responses to mine and others questions were so so helpful!
Promoters - So during the design process I emailed every UK based promoter, informing them of my ambition and the project and just asking if it would be ok to speak with them and gain insight into what the world of boxing promotion is like. Only 2 came back to me (Goodwin Promotions / UKO Boxing), I can't remember the guys name but I think it was Paul @ UKO Boxing who was the matchmaker there, his knowledge was also incredible, he answered my questions similar to the above and also took me through the ins and outs of how to set up a an event which was highly valuable information. The second promoter Steve Goodwin was also extremely kind to offer me around 30minutes of my game to discuss what I'm trying to achieve and some information that I would love to hear, one thing I remember so clearly from this conversation, I asked Steve "What is the most rewarding part of the role", he replied to me very quickly "Seeing a fighter achieve their dream, and being their to witness it first hand", he went on to reference a particular fighter who arrived with the sole ambition of winning a Southern Area Title, sadly the name escapes me, when the boxer finally achieved this Steve mentioned the floods of tears that were on everyone's faces in the ring and around York Hall after that, he told me "That is what I love most about this job". I could go into more detail about my phone call with Steve but we'll leave it there for this week at least. Bottom line both Paul and Steve we're massive helps in designing The Boxing Promoter, which is why I will always speak positively about them and their events, genuinely good people!
Next up, internet searches, bit more simple this one. I Google'd the hell out of boxing promoter, manager, matchmaker, how to become one, what's the differences, etc etc etc... Oddly there aren't too many articles that appear but the ones that did were fairly helpful.
Finally, interviews & generally paying more attention. I mentioned earlier about the IFL interviews, particularly with Eddie Hearn as you pay closer attention (or probably not) you start to read between the lines and find out exactly what he is trying to achieve, now some of what he says in these interviews is total BS but other times he offers insight into some of the most rewarding, challenging parts of his role. Other times he discuss' the importance of his personal relationship with his fighters, whether or not he does have that relationship is irrelevant for me, all I need to know is he clearly thinks that's part of a promoters job. Basically I learnt a lot more for doing the same as what I was before but just being a bit more aware.
So to summarise, there were a few ways I helped gain insight into the world of boxing promotion, none of those better than my conversation with Steve Goodwin. How did this affect the game? In lots of ways but as you can see the game doesn't include some main responsibilities of a boxing promoter, some of them are a manager, coach, matchmaker etc. Firstly in boxing it's a close nit family so often the manager/promoter/etc will either be the same person or a family member. (There is a legal reason why manager and promoter can't officially be the same person). Having said that another reason to include these extra roles is because this is still a game, yes it's to simulate a role but it has to be fun it has to be engaging and addictive and the player must feel like they have influence over outcomes which is where the coach side comes in. One frustration for me which was expected, I've mentioned this before (a few times) but the game was built of my personal budget, money I saved from sales commission. This meant there wasn't a bottomless pit of funds and I did have to cut back on features for the initial version, this means a lot of the promoter specific bits were cut from the final version, however as you may have seen in a previous podcast I have some awesome plans for how it could/will look in the game. I'll have a blog soon discussing those future updates.
I hope today's blog has given plenty of insight into how I became far more knowledgeable into the world of boxing promotion & management. As I mentioned above I'm still learning more everyday which means if I could start from scratch now the game would probably work very different but that's just part of life I guess. Thanks for reading as always! If you didn't get the chance to catch Sunday's blog about Matchroom or any of our previous blogs please hit the blogs tab at the top right of the page.