Our latest Industry Insider sees us head into the world of boxing as we sit down Matchroom Boxing’s CEO, Frank Smith!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
My name’s Frank Smith and I’m currently CEO of Matchroom Boxing and a Director of Matchroom Sport. I started with the company at fourteen years old on work experience and joined full time at sixteen. I’ve worked through all areas of our business from tea-boy to organising events.
What do you do in your current role?
I oversee the day to day running of the Matchroom Boxing business. I lead negotiations with our broadcast partner and fighters and also focus on international growth of the business in new markets.
“Normal” isn’t a thing in sport so what does an “average” week look like for you?
We travel almost every week promoting around forty shows a year. I’m usually on a plane a couple of days a week, in our head office in Brentwood once or twice a week, or attending build up events and the main events of course.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
It was a chance meeting with Eddie Hearn at fourteen years old. It was never my aim to work in sport, I just fell into the business and I’ve never looked back.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
For me it’s delivering the best opportunities for our athletes.
Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?
To be honest I fail on something most days, but the key is to give everything your all, no matter how small the task.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
Although the purists will hate this answer I feel influencer boxing is bringing excitement into the sport amongst a new audience. I feel it will have positive long-term effects on boxing and bring new eyes to the sport and will increase participation at a grassroots level.
If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?
The lack of a central worldwide body governing the sport. Currently there are too many different governing and sanctioning bodies with no real alignment.
Sport is a hectic industry, what do you do to switch off?
There’s no real time to switch off but I enjoy a walk along the beach in Brighton when I’m home and play some golf.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Not really just for the sport industry but I would say, ‘to listen more than talking and be patient’.
How to connect with Frank Smith…
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