Celtic featherweight title: Boxing promoter Sam Kynoch on how he paired Monty Ogilvie and Nathaniel Collins
Saturday night is the biggest fight, so far, in the professional boxing careers of Monty Ogilvie and Nathaniel Collins – a title shot for the Celtic featherweight belt, in Paisley. And it’s only happening as the brainchild of big fight matchmaker Sam Kynoch.
When Sam Kynoch was formulating his plans for his evening of boxing, ‘Thunder’, he always envisaged having the vacant Celtic belt up for grabs, and he had just the man for the job.
The boxing promoter, based in the southside of Glasgow got the go-ahead for a feather-weight title match-up for his night in the Paisley Lagoon, giving one of his own boxers a chance at glory.
Monty Ogilvie, who lives on Grahams Road in the heart of Falkirk, signed for Kynoch’s promotions while the popular Stevie ‘Buzzsaw’ Beattie, from up the road in Slamannan was creating a local boxing buzz with the company.
Since then, Kynoch has seen Ogilvie win nine fights without defeat as both a promoter and a manager and when the time came to give him a push, with a foot in both camps he has created the opening for Ogilvie against an up and coming young fighter with a Commonwealth background.
“I had lined up Monty for a title fight around now because he is ready,” Kynoch told The Falkirk Herald. “I’d envisaged him fighting Jordan McCorry for the Celtic title but Jordan was asked to fight on a Frank Warren promotion – on the undercard of the Josh Warrington fight on BT Sports – and that’s something he couldn’t turn down.
“But I had plans for the title fight and an event in mind as a promoter, and you have your eye on the up and coming boxers so Nathaniel is an excellent option and contender. It will be an excellent fight.”
Kynoch though, explained how bouts are matched and paired together, first in his mind and then after application to the British Board of Boxing Control, in reality.
Earlier this year Collins would not have been a contender for Ogilvie despite his up and coming reputation. He has more fights under his belt, and is now experienced enough to fight for a title, in accordance with the BBBC.
Kynoch proposed the bout and it was accepted as a legitimate title fight. He explained: “I had the event in mind, but the board wouldn’t pass him previously but now with a 5-0 record he will qualify. Monty has a 9-0 and needs to push on. I say that as his manager.
“He’s currently beaten everyone he can around him and this is a fight with someone new. He’s just getting going and I think for Monty it is a good time to make the match and take the step into titles.
“Nathaniel is a very capable boy who I had been watched before in the Commonwealth Games and had hopes for, but earlier on he’d have been too inexperienced for a title fight like this. I think it will be close.”
For a promoter it’s a huge draw for the event, “the main event, and the only title fight on the bill” and as a manager Kynoch can see one of his stable potentially claim a significant title. Ogilvie could soon be taking his belt back to Kilsyth Golden Gloves where he trains with Francie Connor, or Nathaniel to Morrisons gym in Dalmarnock.
Kynoch explained: “There’s a difference between a trainer, a manager and a promoter. A trainer has no contract. A manager has a contract signed and affliated to the BBBC. Usually contracts are for three years. A promoter looks after the event.
“I was a trainer, then a promoter but I had to wait to be a manager as you have to prove yourself for around three years. I did that by putting on and promoting fights and events. There’s a lot of the work of a promoter that no-one sees. Eddie Hearne has a cast of thousands – I have boxers going out flyering for me!
“But I manage Monty. As soon as the fight preparation is under way I am primarily Monty’s manager, but I am also the event promoter.
“Those are two different things but ultimately I have to be his manager first and foremost. He’s been training well and I think he is ready.
“But I have two different hats in this fight. A manager looks after the boxer’s welfare, the promoter has the event in focus. When it’s a case of both the manager comes first because it is a case of the boxer’s welfare. If Monty comes to me not feeling it – I pull him out because that’s what a manager would do. It’s frustrating for the promoter but that’s the nature of the sport.
“The management and the boxer’s welfare comes before the success of an event. If we have a healthy boxer, a successful fight and a good event, that’s a happy promoter and a delighted manager.”
And Kynoch’s success in parachuting Collins in for his tilt at the title is representative of how both a promoter and manager works.
“Keeping an eye on the amateurs is the way to do it, spotting potential. Having contacts with others who tell you who’s doing well.
“For me to sign someone I develop relationships with gyms and trainers and they’ll come to me with suggestions or ask for their boxer to visit my gym in Glasgow.
“I see who is out there and try to create events which will appeal as a promoter. I think this fight is a good one for Monty and Nathaniel and for the boxing fans.
“The pathway to being crowned the British champion is the Celtic title and that is the ultimate end game for these guys in the BBBC. They are always the governing body and they provide the security for the title.
“The Scottish title is not as big as the Celtic as Scotland is seen as an area, where as the Celtic is a national belt for boxers. It is an odd set-up but that is the way it is.
“It’s a big chance of a belt for both of the guys and I’m hoping it’s an successful step and opportunity for them, and a successful event to stage.”