Spence vs Garcia: promoter Tom Brown interview
Luke G. Williams
Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/ Getty Images
As Saturday's eagerly awaited Errol Spence vs Mikey Garcia welterweight showdown at the AT&T stadium in Texas [pictured left] approaches, Luke G. Williams speaks to Tom Brown of the event's promoters TGB, a man with over 30 years of experience in the fight game...
BM: What's your take on the fight?
TB: I don’t think you can get a better match-up than this. You’ve got two guys who are undefeated and I always say when you’ve still got that goose egg on the record you really don’t quite know. We think we know how good Spence and Mikey are but we don’t yet know for sure. So I love the fight. Who’s going to step up? Who’s going to be great? The intrigue is what I love about this fight. Some people think the bigger man will win down the stretch but we don’t know.
BM: Only two men have won world titles at featherweight and welterweight - Henry Armstrong and Manny Pacquiao.
TB: That's fascinating. You would have thought some more of the old timers would have done it. Of course, if you go back to the old days of boxing when there was no 140lbs divisions or junior divisions - back then a lot of guys went straight from lightweight to welterweight. From welterweight to middleweight, middleweight to light heavyweight and light heavy to heavyweight. There were no junior divisions. So it's surprising more fighters haven't done it before.
BM: Can you explain what TGB's role in the event is in relation to PBC?
TB: At TGB we promote PBC events. With the relationship we now have with Fox TV, we are stepping into the pay-per-view market with this event. We also have a relationship with Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones loves having events in his stadium and to have a local kid like Errol Spence is great. We put on Errol’s last fight at the Dallas Cowboys’ training centre [the Ford Center] and we saw the fanbase he brought to that, so it’s a no-brainer to have this at the [Dallas] Cowboys [AT&T] stadium. Remember that last fight was against a mandatory [Carlos] Ocampo who’d never even fought in the United States before. Spence carried the whole show. We saw the potential for a stadium fight, the Cowboys saw it, [Dallas Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones saw it. They’ve had a couple of other fights in the stadium and having Mikey and Errol was the right fit.
BM: What are your aspirations for the event?
TB: The aspiration is to do better than anyone has ever done in there, which would mean we get up in the 50-60,000 range. Obviously that’s our goal. [NB. Manny Pacquiao’s fights against Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito attracted around 36,000 and 41,000 respectively to the AT&T in 2010 and Canelo Alvarez vs Liam Smith had a gate of about 51,000 in 2016]. I love stadium fights. I was involved when we took Greg Haugen to fight Julio Cesar Chavez in front of 130,000 screaming fans down in Azteca stadium in Mexico [in 1993]. Believe me, that was crazy! The challenge is to get out there and sell tickets daily.
BM: How has it been working with Fox and the Dallas Cowboys?
TB: Having partners like the Dallas Cowboys and Fox Sports is great. Fox is so involved with the NFL that we’ve been able to have both fighters on the field down there in Dallas when the Cowboys have played. We’ve been getting tremendous exposure at all the Fox sporting events. You can’t beat what we have with Fox right now. No stone is being left unturned. All our focus is on making this a successful event and I can’t see it not being successful as it’s such a great fight. At the end of the day that’s what it comes down to – the fight. You can have all the bells and whistles you want but at the end of the day it’s the fight that sells.