Advice from my time as a Maverick Promoter in Britain
Season’s greetings; I’m wishing you and Team Eubanks a prosperous and successful new year.
I wanted to touch base and reach out to you, as I will never forget you kindly coming to see me back in the day, after I lost my unbeaten record to Danny Williams. You found me in my hotel and offered me advice from the heart. What you discussed was very helpful to my soul ... so truly Chris, I thank you for that.
I hope my honest feedback helps you navigate your son’s next steps.
When we met back then in 2005, you questioned whether I had to hunger to turn things around in my career, as I was already financially stable and likely sleeping in silk bed sheets (still smile at that today) ... I told you I was confident I could (and would) turn things around.
In my rematch with Danny a year later, I turned up ready for redemption, and almost decapitated him.
Unfortunately, that opportunity to get redemption was tied into a long-term promotional contract with one my nemesis Frank Warren.
Deep down, I knew giving up control to him was my surrender. I had already promised myself early in my career (and told the world), I would never sign a deal with him or win a world title for him, so it became a self-fulfilling prophecy in my career, when I signed on the dotted line.
Looking back, when I unfairly lost my BBC deal, I should have walked away from boxing into retirement, as there was nowhere else I could turn. Frank was back in control and no television network would give me my own broadcasting deal.
Not fulfilling my goals to be a multi-belt world champion does hurt a bit, I can't lie ... but seeing Frank Warren and Matchroom as the successors in my capitulation irritates me even more.
Look at Matchroom now, they signed every Olympian with the ‘Look at Audley, he tried to do everything himself and failed' so we must control everything, and each fighter has had to accept it. Matchroom to be fair (under Eddie) have been much more willing to tie boxers into the television money than when I turned professional, but they have used me to have even more control than Warren has.
So you know, Matchroom’s pay-per-view model comes from my deal I negotiated with David Haye. I gave Eddie the contract to take on his flight home (after preventing him from joining my meeting in Las Vegas with Adam Booth) and with that contract
he learned the pay-per-view model that Hayemaker Promotions was using on Sky.
Similar to my landmark deal on BBC; you have set the cat amongst the pigeons with your groundbreaking deal on ITV.
When I signed my direct deal with BBC, Frank Warren could not believe or accept that I pulled it off. The player got played, and I was in the game BIG TIME. I heard you mention Barry Hearn's comment to you and it made me smile.
As Kellie (Frank) Maloney spoke about in the Big Brother house in 2014, the two Franks had to do everything and anything to ensure I didn't make it.
Please do not make the mistake I made of letting Matchroom / Warren distract you with their BS ... this is a different kind of focus you need, and thankfully you do not have to dedicate time to training and boxing as I did ... eventually they will crash your ship if you let them continually distract you.
They sleep comfortable at night either way; it's in their DNA. Stay focused and don't waste your time going back at them.
Promote your son, make your money, don't give them more power by talking about them, my advice to you is … do you, do you, do you.
Chris Jr has lots of talent, but strategy and planning will determine what you and young Eubanks achieve, as the obstacles will come thick and fast if you get distracted with a public debate and tussle.
Like I, you are not concerned with the opinions of sheep, so those who fight against you are mostly that, but it's still takes time to respond and therefore, it takes you away from your path.
The institutions that govern England are skewed against black power/control, with institutional racism unfortunately embedded in the nucleus and foundation of British Society.
When I fought back against Frank, I had to contend with his whole army (press, board of control, his cronies) and then the BBC joined in against me, and the battle to keep control of my career and company was doomed.
It's fair to say, I came face-to-face with what I call the 'belly of the beast' 'eye of the devil' 'the door to my abyss'
At that moment, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that these people will stop at nothing to destroy me ... crippling my power has become their No 1 priority ... AT ALL COSTS.
They succeeded, but thankfully I had enough strength left to jump on a plane, and start a new life abroad.
If I stayed, I likely would have put a bullet in one of them, get locked up in a mental institution, or unravel broke and destitute blaming the world for my failures.
I say this to you with no shame, the bastards broke me down, but it was the best thing that happened me, as it woke me up from being like Tony Montana in Scarface, (I came from that, but I didn't want to go out like that), guns blazing, double crossing everyone I did business with.
I became what I was fighting against, and I'm so glad it all came tumbling down.
From that adversity, Audley Harrison became a man and so started my journey into adulthood at 34 years of age.
Keep focused on the prize Chris, don't let them distract you, as they will stop at nothing to sink your ship and we (people with soul) are not built like that.
Yours In Sport,
Audley Harrison M.B.E.