Since we started BBB, we have struck up a close relationship with Sam Kynoch of MGM Scotland. We regularly make the trip north over the border to cover his shows and we are grateful to the access and hospitality that MGM Scotland afford us.
We recently caught up with Sam for a chat to discuss all things MGM Scotland, including his reflections on 2016 and his hopes for 2017.
Happy New Year mate, thank you for taking the time to do this for us.
The questions are below:
First of all we’ll start with MGM Scotland, how do you assess 2016 from a promotional point of view? From the outside looking in, it appears to be going from strength to strength in terms of quality of shows/progress of fighters. Is this something you agree with?
I am very pleased with how the promotions are progressing and I am very much looking forward to building on this success in 2017. Many of our boxers are now at the stage where they are ready to step up and enter into 50/50 contest – which is what the fans want to see. We already have several excellent fights scheduled for 2017 so the fans are in for a real treat.
The MGM Scotland “Dinner Club” shows have proven to be a big success, what do you think it is about these shows that captures the public’s imagination?
Our Dinner Club has been a great success and in 2017 we are shifting these promotions from a Thursday to Friday night. This has proven very popular with our existing members – many of whom use the events to entertain staff / clients, so they now need not worry about having to make work the day after the events. The events provide an excellent night out for guests – from the setting in one of Glasgow’s finest hotels (Crowne Plaza) to the standard of the catering, everything about the events is first class. In 2017 we are looking to bring some very exciting fights to the Dinner Club too.
The penultimate MGM Scotland show of 2016 was headlined by Billy Joe Saunders’ first defence of his World Title at Paisley. How proud were you to see one of your shows headlined by a World Title contest?
Having a world title fight on this bill was massive for everyone at MGM Scotland – including myself, the rest of the events team and of course all of the boxers. The experience in being involved in an event of this magnitude was invaluable. At MGM the whole team pulls together so it was excellent to be able to have Billy Joe on this bill – and to work with Frank Warren / BoxNation again.
What are your aims for 2017 for MGM Scotland as a promotional outfit?
The aim is simple: to be at the forefront of Scottish boxing, providing top quality boxing entertainment on a regular basis. We already have 12 events scheduled for the year (with more to be added, including venturing into new towns / cities) and, as I alluded to earlier, some top-quality match-ups lined up. In the past there has been a real stalemate with many of the country’s top boxers not facing one another – we want to change this and will work with any of the other promoters in the country to ensure the best face the best. We have already offered at least one good 50/50 match-up to every other promoter in Scotland – so we really are doing everything we can to make the fights the fans want to see happen.
2016 saw the MGM brand expand into regional gyms/promotional outfits in the UK with the formation of MGM Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham with London to follow in 2017. What was the thought process behind this and how do you see 2017 playing out for each?
2016 was a very busy year in terms of the brand expanding and each of the new territories is thriving. MGM Manchester have a fantastic gym set-up and stable of boxers, along with some excellent 2017 event plans. Liverpool is a real talent hotbed for both MGM and British boxing in general, so expect to see a lot of activity coming from the City. MGM Birmingham have both a first class gymnasium and a great events stream. Having held three promotions since launching in summer 2016 and signed several top local talents, things are looking very exciting for MGM Birmingham in 2017.
As per the previous question, with MGM London confirmed to follow this year, do you have any further plans for any other regional MGM set ups? Any chance of an MGM Newcastle/North East?
As always, MGM is growing and evolving so there are lots of plans in place – not just for UK-wide expansion, but on an international level. Details will be released in due course but the team at MGM are always thinking big…
What are the overall aims of the whole MGM set up going in to 2017? If we interviewed you in 12 months time, where would you hope to be in terms of MGM’s progress?
The plan for 2017 is for MGM to continue to assert itself as a premium brand and major player in world boxing. In 12 months time I expect MGM to have grown in terms of success among our existing stable, new boxers having been added and an even greater promotional presence than we have at present. But, most of all, the plan is to be as excited for 2018 as we are for 2017 as we do not want to stop moving forward.
Thank you again for your time Sam and for your help in 2016, it was and continues to be, greatly appreciated.
Great working with you guys this year and I really appreciate all of the time you give to our events. I hope 2017 is an excellent year for BBB – which I am sure it will be.