Ben Shalom hopes Boxxer has turned a corner after bright start to 2024

Promoter Ben Shalom admits 2024 has started well for him and Boxxer, following a 2023 that was at times incredibly rocky.
Shalom and his promotional company, who work exclusively with Sky Sports in the UK, was in a position where he needed to build stars and headliners and develop talent under the microscope, and he also had to cope with a slew of injuries in the stable.
“I think so,” said Shalom, when asked if he felt he and his business had turned a corner.
This came on the back on Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer doing big viewing numbers, Joshua Butasi beating Dan Azeez at Wembley in a well-received battle and finally getting the heavyweight showdown of Frazer Clarke and Fabio Wardley over the line.
There has also been the continued progression of Adam Azim, Caroline Dubois and Ben Whittaker, and he has the likes of Chris Billam-Smith, Richard Riakporhe and Lawrence Okolie in his stable.
“I had to take… unfortunately we’re a business growing in the public eye, and we also have a stable that’s not mature, so last year was very difficult, with a lot of new faces, a lot of new fighters and a lot of random fighters and all having to make their way to the big fights,” Shalom admitted.
“Now they’re all happening this year, so it’s nice when a plan comes off, obviously, but we stand behind a lot of things that happened last year. We had a very unlucky year with a lot of injuries to main events, but we are on course now to see the likes of Adam Azim, Ben Whittaker, Frazer Clarke, Lauren Price, Karris Artingstall, Caroline Dubois, even Joshua Buatsi, Richard Riakporhe, Natasha Jonas, all getting to the fights we always wanted them to get to and it taking a bit of time, but we’ve started well.”
Shalom is young and learning fast and sometimes hard lessons. But he believes his enthusiasm and belief is starting to pay off.
“We’ve got some huge, huge nights in the can as well,” he continued. “And it’s really exciting now as a promoter, because the real hard work of getting into the industry, finding fighters, trying to create new stars and trying to find exciting fights to put on, we’ve got beyond that now and now we can really operate properly and put on the best fights we possibly can.”
With Lawrence Okolie perhaps moving up to bridgerweight, WBO cruiserweight champion Chris Billam-Smith is likely to face Riakporhe in April, said Shalom, although the exact date and venue are not known yet.
“We’ve got two guys, rightfully with big egos in terms of where they’re at in their career and what they’ve achieved, and Richard has waited a long time to become the mandatory as well,” Shalom added. “And we’re just going to put on the biggest fight we are able to, and where it ends up will be a conversation for us, with our broadcaster, and both fighters, no date confirmed as of yet.”