Grant Brothers Boxing and Rixa Promotions continue to move forward in their quest to bring homegrown fight talent to a wider audience in Montreal (aka The Fight City), in Canada and beyond. This past March saw their most successful event yet, when a large and enthusiastic crowd filled the historic Olympia Theater and television cameras captured all the exciting action. That night saw a series of thrilling, fast-paced battles, with Grant Brothers protégés Dwayne Durel, Golden Garcia, Erik Bazinyan and Canadian titlist Francis Lafreniere all earning important victories.
As Otis Grant, former world champion, notes here, it’s all about taking the time to build a fan-base and develop young talent the right way. And it’s also about a unique opportunity for fight fans in Montreal and Quebec who are fortunate to have easy access to so much elite-level boxing activity. There’s no question that all four of the young pros who will be showcasing their talent and skill on June 26 have the potential to become world champions. And only in Montreal can people, right now, start following these fighters as they make their climb towards greater success.
Boxing is called “the cruelest sport” for a number of reasons. One of them is that there exists little in the way of organized support for young pros. Unlike say football or hockey where talent is protected and nurtured step-by-step, in professional boxing every contest is a high stakes affair, with not just money and opportunity on the line, but also life and limb. One bad night, one miscalculation, and an entire career, not to mention all the money involved, can be in jeopardy. In the meantime, sponsors and funding can be difficult to secure. It’s not uncommon for Olympic hopefuls and young pros to have to hold down part-time jobs just to make ends meet.
That’s why grassroots support is so crucial. There’s no substitute for a loyal and growing fanbase and local ticket sales. These give managers and promoters the resources required to develop their boxers step-by-step and not rush them into tough matches too soon. It also makes it easier to protect them from opportunistic power brokers who pounce on young, frustrated boxers who can’t secure the support they need. The promise of big dollars and a fast rise to the top has led more than one excellent prospect to defeat and a career dead end.
If you live in or around Montreal and missed the Olympia show, June 26 is your next opportunity to see for yourself why many are excited about the talent at Grant Brothers Boxing. And it’s also a chance to show your support for the boxing game in the best way possible: putting down some hard-earned cash to help Otis and Howard Grant keep working with these young boxers, developing their talent, and giving them the opportunities they need and deserve.
So if you’re in the area, make a point of traveling to points west of Montreal proper, just a short drive from the downtown, and catch some real ring action, live and up close, on June 26. The Grant Brothers and their stable of talented fighters won’t disappoint you.
— Robert Portis