Blvckbox hits London once again this weekend and the cards have made a unique imprint on the face of grassroots boxing.
There is a rich celebration of cultural diversity on display, which is reflected in the platform’s representation of cosmopolitan London. Blvckbox spotlights the community from the Caribbean cuisine on offer, to the musical offerings of the resident DJ and to the futuristic 360 camera.
All these services are provided by local businesses, who are empowered by Dean Whyte’s influence in boxing to grow alongside the platform and be a part of it. (Other local businesses are also given a chance to get discounted tickets to the show.)
In turn, Dean utilises his culture to create an authentic event experience for the fans in attendance, who are not necessarily hardcore devotees of boxing.
What you can expect when you come through the doors
A friendly vibe that has the feel of a memorable night-out, while also showing what is possible when people from different backgrounds come together to create something special and pay tribute to the spirit of cross-community collaboration.
The best way to express how you feel when you walk through the doors is upliftment of your identity, whatever that may be. You know you are going to see someone that is representative of where you come from; fight in the ring, sweat every ounce of their spirit to excel, and show that hard work can overcome any adversity or hurdles that life throws your way.
But the poignancy of those moments should not take away from the overall joyous elation of being in the venue. There are screens fitted throughout the arena shuffling between support for businesses from the community, to music videos accompanying the well-selected tunes from the DJ, to fighter posters that are reminiscent of Sky Sports graphics for the football.
I vividly recall the first time I went to the event, putting down my recording kit and trying a punch machine for the first time. I had my first go and did not do it properly.
But then it was explained to me how you are supposed to use it by the big sea of people surrounding the area. I was subsequently encouraged by the British middleweight champion, Denzel Bentley, and the crowd, to have another go at it and got a respectable score. That little anecdote is just a testament to the supportive atmosphere at the event.
Why the shows are important
British boxing has less than a handful of black promoters and promoters from ethnic minorities. It’s therefore encouraging to see Dean Whyte front the promotional side of things, and bring cultural empowerment to the fore.
He speaks the language of the fighters when addressing the cameras. There is real power in that. He can tap into the heart of cosmopolitan London, that a lot of the fighters come from. And he does it to great aplomb.
Preview of the weekend’s action
The upcoming “Kick It Up A Notch” card has a special attraction in store, in the form of Dee Allen. She defends her WBC international title against Halanna Dos Santos, before her challenge for the European title in France.
Robbie Flynn heavily hinted to No Smoke Sport that the tantalising prospect of a domestic dust-up between Dee and Lauren Price could be next, if his fighter manages to wrestle a hold on the European title.
Also on the bill is the former English super-middleweight champion, Germaine Browne, who looks to get back to winning rounds in the 15th pro fight of his career.
He takes on Ashley Bailey Dumetz, whose two stoppage defeats have come against Denzel Bentley and Linus Udofia.
What’s next for Blvckbox//How to get tickets
The vision of Blvckbox is continual evolution to keep enhancing the experience for those supporting and participating in the platform.
There are plans to build upon the fan experience, which already includes a roaming camera to engage with the audience.
The VIP list is also snowballing into a who’s who of the celebrity world. UFC fighters, recording artists and on-screen presenters and actors have all registered an interest in being a part of the event by coming down and showing it some love.
Tickets to this weekend’s “Kick It Up A Notch” action can be purchased through the Blvckbox Global Instagram or through Dean Whyte on Instagram,
By Harry Duffy