Young entrepreneurs: Benjamin Shalom, Ultimate Boxxer
With the backing of the likes of Ricky Hatton, Paulie Malignaggi and Anthony Crolla, this boxing tournament is pioneering a new fighting format
Name: Benjamin Shalom
Company: Ultimate Boxxer
Ricky Hatton, Paulie Malignaggi, and Anthony Crolla – all legends in the boxing world, so when they put their names behind a brand new boxing tournament, fans of the sport stood up and listened.
But behind all of the big ambassadors is Mancunian founder Benjamin Shalom – who's just 24 years of age, and pioneering a new fighting format called Ultimate Boxxer.
A serial entrepreneur at such a young age, Shalom has already put his name to a number of businesses, most notably in the events, catering and entertainment sectors.
Holding its inaugural event in the Manchester Arena on April 27 2018, Ultimate Boxxer will see eight undefeated boxers competing against each other in four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and an overall final.
The competing athletes are all aged between 21 and 28 and have had between three and 10 fights – with promoter Carl Greaves organising the fights.
Each receiving a guaranteed fee of £2,000, regardless of ticket sales, the eventual winner will pocket £16,000 for winning three times in a two-hour period.
A genuine shot at success for the young boxers, it's unlikely that any of the fighters will have received anywhere near that amount of cash for competing – and will more likely have been paid as little as £400 for their fights.
Aiming to inject “21st century culture” into boxing while also shining a light on some potentially undiscovered stars, the “Prizefighter for YouTubers” will utilise modern streaming services and music to engage casual boxing fans on a continuous basis – who might normally only watch a boxing match a handful of times a year.
A ringing endorsement from Hatton, the multiple world champion told the Manchester Evening News that he even wonders what Ultimate Boxxer could have done for his career:
“There is a huge amount of talented British fighters who do not get, or cannot get, the mainstream exposure they deserve.
“In boxing you have to wait for a lucky break and Ultimate Boxxer will give them the opportunity for exposure and to show everyone what they are about.
“It would have been interesting to see what Ultimate Boxxer could have done for my career when I was making my way through in the early days.”
With boxing seeing a resurgence in recent years both as a spectator sport and as a form of exercise, Shalom's innovative idea could guarantee this trend doesn't change anytime soon.