The Boylan Blog: Exclusive Contracts – Good Or Bad?
Published by Graham Boylan on October 19th, 2011
I asked people for suggestions for this blog and I got back a fair few topics that I think are valid enough to open eyes. Suggestions I had were contracts, matchmaking, upcoming fighters, the business, me managing my time with different companies and the lead up to a show. These are just a few topics fired at me.
I’m sitting on a plane back to London, so let’s hit exclusive contracts. Are they good or bad? If you were a fighter — not a hobby fighter there for the t-shirt but a fighter that wants to make a career out of fighting and train to be the best — would you want to have a path? Would you want to know exactly what’s happening with you for the next 18 months? Would you want your career structured?
I know I would. Without structure and goals in training, fighting or life, you have nothing.
You’re just floating along, going nowhere, talking about those who are going somewhere. Talking about those with structure and goals.
I’ve seen the boys in the gym train like animals for weeks on end waiting to see if something comes up, asking every day, ‘is there a fight for me yet?’ Waiting to see if some promotion can fit them in (“how many tickets can he sell?”) .
I’ve walked into the gym to see them on the floor gasping for air after just finishing a sparring session. I’ve walked in to tell them ‘your fight is off, they don’t have a replacement and they’re not interested in rematching you’ or ‘sorry pal, no-one has any fights for you’.
With an exclusive contract the Promotion is backing you as a fighter. The promotion is putting aside £xxxx.00 amount of money for you, and you know you definitely have fights and, if it’s a good promotion, you will be rematched should your opponent get injured in the lead up. You will not have to go looking for fights or hope that you get one.
You as a fighter will have a better mental frame of mind in your training because you are not waiting to hear if a fight can be got for you and when it will be. You’re waiting to hear who your opponent is and when. I believe that is a big difference to a fighter’s frame of mind when he turns up at the gym to train.
In return, for giving the fighter security in his fight career it is only fair that the fighter returns the security to the promotion. This is why a promotion will make the contact exclusive. It’s a two way deal; the fighter has a path laid out for him and a goal to train for and the promotion has a fighter to call on.
I honestly believe you are a step above other fighters when you have your path laid out for you. You know you have to be ready because you have made a commitment to the promotion and the promotion has made a commitment to you as a fighter.
The down side to signing an exclusive contract is that you may get offered a fight with another promotion that could be a good fight for you, but you have to show loyalty to the promotion that has agreed to give you a platform to show your skills for five fights over the next 18 months.
You’ve made a commitment to the promotion and that has to be respected. This can be hard for a fighter when all they want to do is fight. Some promotions only do 3 shows a year, others 6 to 8, so it all comes down to the promotion the fighter chooses to sign for how busy they will actually be.
Some of you will agree with what I’m saying and some of you will call me a c***, saying ‘what does he know?’ The bottom line is fighters need goals. That’s why they are fighters. They train for that day. They train for that PB (personal best). They train to reach that goal.
An exclusive contract makes it official that all their training is for something solid, something concrete. They’re now coming to the gym for a reason: to get ready. They’re not coming to the gym to ask the question, “you got a fight for me yet? ”
I’ll touch on matchmaking on here next. Call me names, give me abuse or send me the thumbs up for what you’ve just read. Do you agree or disagree ?
You can get me on twitter @grahamboylan.