The low barrier to entry is one of the most attractive things about boxing, both for athletes, and for those curious about dipping their toes into those waters, and dipping into their wallets to make a play in the sweet science.
The lack of moats and barbed wire sometimes lets cads and rare do wells into the courtyard, but also allows people of means and pure motive to enter the realm, and look to leave a mark, find a foothold, and then expand it.
In that category is a crew based out of Santa Monica, California, a small shop which is seeking to build a management entity which will house champions, and do so, according to the folks involved, while maintaining high grade integrity. The newly formed outfit, Sheer Sports, is topped by commercial-industrial-residential real estate titan Ken Sheer.
Lyle Green, an Ohio native, is doing much of the day to day brick and mortar work, aided by industry vet Rachel Charles, a PR pro, and ex heavyweight contender Courage Tshabalala (1993-2005, 26-4 record) is in the mix, as tutor/talent scout. (In photo, from left to right, Courage, Green, Charles).
I chatted with Sheer VP Green for a spell, to get a sense of what Sheer wants to be, how big, how committed they are, and how they think they can bring something new to the courtyard.
Green told me he comes to boxing from a long line; his grandpa was a manager and trainer in NYC in the 50s and 60s, and boxing entered his blood, and didn't leave. He won Golden Gloves in Ohio, and was trained by Aaron Pryors' coach, Jackie Shropshire. An owner of a marketing and communications company, which specializes in technology, in the health insurance realm, Green started the promotional company almost two years ago with CEO Sheer, and said they have been meticulously putting together steps to ascend.
Their client list is slight so far, with heavyweight Scott Alexander (age 24; 8-0 with 4 KOs) and UK boxer Johnny Quigley (age 23; 11-0 with 2 KOs) under the Sheer umbrella. "Alexander is a future star," Green told me. "He just needs time in the gym." He started in the now defunct feeder program run by former TV syndicator Michael King, All American Heavyweights. (That is not to be confused with a similar program funded by Kris Lawrence, a real estate developer from Florida. One of his guys, Quadtrine Hill, made the cover of ESPN Mag..and then retired after losing 2 of six pro bouts.)
And Quigley plans to go to 126, and fights like Prince Naseem Hamed, with his hands down, Green said. More signing should be announced shortly, he noted.
And will Sheer do their own shows? "We're going to be placing fighters on other promotions but down the line, maybe," he said. "We're surrounding ourselves with great people, like Courage. Is he a better trainer than he was fighter? He's definitely a better trainer than boxer. He understands the sport and what guys are not capable of doing. He will train you and take your best attributes and play them up. Down the line, we'd love a stable of 15 champions!"
And what makes Sheer different, and better? "We're a small company, we concentrate on fighters, no one gets lost in the mix," he said. Green and I agreed that companies that have massive rosters sometimes results in talents getting underplayed; we both would like to see a guy like a Keith Thurman fighting five times a year, to name one example.
Sheer, Green said, is committed for a long haul. He used to own the property the Floyd Mayweather Gym sits, Green told me. He's an astute businessman and has patience, to boot.
Next up, Alexander will glove up March 15, in Mexico, while a date for Quigley is being sought sometime in March.
"We're taking things slowly," Green said, in closing. "We're not looking to do a big land grab. We're looking at fighters with personality, and character, as well as fighting talent.