World title boxing bout gets go ahead in Brentwood despite council concerns

A world title boxing bout has been given the go ahead – despite initial objections from Brentwood Borough Council.

Matchroom has been given permission for at least two bouts – the first on July 31 between Conor Benn and Adrian Granados and the second on August 7 between Kid Galahad and Jazza Dickens – at its base in Mascalls Lane, Brentwood.

A third event is being planned on August 14, which is yet to be given a licence by Brentwood Borough Council.

The sports promoters had hosted four boxing events at a cost of £5 million last year in order to continue holding fights in the face of the pandemic.

Matchroom had faced objections from environmental health officer David Carter who, ahead of the meeting on Tuesday, July 14, said he had “limited confidence that the event will be held in such a way as to minimise the effect on nearby residents”.

The application had been complicated because Matchroom had applied for a temporary events notice – rather than a full premises licence – after mistakenly believing the council could attach conditions on it.

Matchroom has been told that if the first two events are not held in accordance with what has become a gentlemen’s agreement, the third event, yet to be granted a temporary events notice, will be viewed more suspiciously.

A total of 250 guests each paying £750 will be bussed into Matchroom from the Brentwood Centre where they will park their own cars. It will be televised across a streaming service.

Eddie Hearn’s matchmaking plans for his summer Fight Camp had been leaked after he posed for a photo with a fan on a train to Newcastle.

Most eye-catching is the headline act in week two of his three-week Fight Camp run which will see Kid Galahad clash with Jazza Dickens for a vacant super-bantamweight world title.

Other bouts include Conor Benn against Adrian Granados for a WBA continental welterweight title which is set to headline week one, and Joshua Buatsi vs Ricards Bolotniks in a light-heavyweight headliner for week three for a WBA international light-heavyweight title.

At a meeting of the licencing committee, Jonathan Hill – from Matchroom – said: “It is not something Matchroom is looking to do year on year.

“It is not cost effective – it does bring in some revenue. It is very costly to put on but the company as a whole is where we are now.

“We can’t go to a leisure centre for these events. We are above and beyond that.

“We are trying to compete with other sports like football, cricket for broadcasters’ attention and we need to give them something they are attracted to and try to do what we can for our boxers.

“It works. It’s a marquee event where you have the London skyline in the background. It is a minimum nuisance to everyone else, it does bring in revenue.

“It is only these three events this year and ordinarily, we would be looking for a venue and not this.

“This equipment is built for a stadium – not in a back garden with 250 people.”

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter