When Manchester promoter James Lindemann went to Las Vegas in 2014 a chance meeting with a boxing manager gave him the idea of getting involved in the sport.
The manager was Sam Watson, who works closely with Al Hayman, famous for his ties with boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather.
At the time Lindemann – who is promoting ‘Return of the Hyde’ on Saturday – described his own boxing knowledge as limited.
But he was so taken in by the desert atmosphere and variety of entertainment at boxing events there he decided to recreate the glitz and glamour in Manchester.
“I went up to the room, at the time being a bit ignorant with my lack of boxing knowledge, and there was only (Floyd) Mayweather and (Amir) Khan in the room I knew,” Lindemann told MM.
“There was Shawn Porter, Deontay Wilder, all the Hayman fighters, they were all in the room.”
Creating a rapport with Watson led Lindemann to America again which allowed him to create more contacts in the boxing world – as well as gaining more insider knowledge.
Lindemann then started organising Anthony Crolla’s after-parties and he highlighted another important moment at one of the Manchester boxer’s open sparring sessions.
Lindemann approached a person there he believed to be looking at a photo of unbeaten American welterweight Danny Garcia. But on closer inspection, Lindemann was told that the fighter was actually from Sale.
“I know a fighter from Sale,” said Lindemann.
“I’m Sam Hyde you nugget,” replied the stranger.
Lindemann was understandably embarrassed.
“My face went like a Manchester United shirt. I gave him a card and walked off quite quickly,” he told MM.
Yet he’d made an impression, for the next day Hyde contacted Lindemann asking him to represent him, and he was signed up on business terms after a conversation between Lindemann and Crolla.
The rest, as the saying goes, is history: the next L-Sel (Lindemanns’ promotion company) event, ‘Return of the Hyde’, will be headlined by the undefeated Mancunian, making his return to the ring after injury.
— L-SEL (@Lindemann_SEL) October 21, 2016
Hyde, 22, won the international cruiserweight challenge belt on points in March against Rolandas Cesna before his hand injury. This time out he fights a tricky opponent in Blaise Mendouo, the 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist.
‘Return of the Hyde’, which will be aired live on the Sports Bible, offers more quality boxing with five more fights, one of which includes Shayne Singleton.
The event is not just aimed at the boxing purists. Lindemann believes in giving everybody something to look forward to.
To accompany the boxing there will be entertainment including live performances from Tom Zanetti and various special guests while there will also be an after-party held in the venue.
Lindemann spoke of the predicament faced by people attending boxing events of wanting to find a location to carry on the night, highlighting the issue of dress code and strict entrance rules as potentially affecting experiences at boxing shows.
“They go to pubs and clubs and the bouncers say ‘Sorry John your shoe laces aren’t right you’re not getting in’, then people say ‘How was your night? It was good until…’ It ruins their night.”
Lindemann also wants to offer younger fighters a way to boost their reputation.
“Fighters will get the profile and feel like a million dollars walking out on our show rather than walking out at 4 in the afternoon in front of 10 men and a dog.”
The company held their first event in June this year when ‘Madison Square comes to Manchester’ was headlined by undefeated Marcus Morrison.
The night also offered something for everyone as celebrities from sport and television came out, including former world champion Ricky Hatton and Crolla.
‘Return of the Hyde’ will be held at Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester on October 22. Click here to buy tickets.
Image courtesy of L-Sel via Twitter, with thanks.