You have to be either a little brave, crazy or really rich and ready to get a little less rich to run club shows in the NYC area.
Or so the thinking goes...
Rich Komissar is none of those things...but he does have boxing buried in every bone of his body. Komissar, who runs a show tonight (Dec. 15) in North Bergen, NJ, is the son of the late Stanley Komissar, trainer-manager-promoter from the 50s through the late 80s. Stanley ran with Tommy Gallagher, a mentor to son Rich, and the figurehead of the North Bergen show, which is the first in a series. He also co-founded the Starrett City Boxing Club in East New York.
I have to say, I am rooting for Rich. I'm just putting that out there, up front. He told me at a press conference at Jack Demsey's in midtown on Tuesday that he truly realized after he battled cancer in 2007 that he wanted to do things in life that his heart pulled for. One of those things is the boxing thing. He told me he's not looking to compete with the Arums and De La Hoyas, but that he wants to offer rock-solid club shows where the audience can basically flip a coin as to who will win. His shows, he told me, won't be record-padding exercises. He said he's told managers who want to put their kid on to get an easy "W" to take a hike. I love it.
If you want to see 11-0 guys add another KO to their resume against 4-11 guys imported from North Carolina, please do not attend a Komissar show. If you aren't a true-blue boxing fan, who dismisses a guy because he has four losses in 12 bouts, then you probably should not attend a Komissar show.
It really isn't all that important who is headlining the show tonight, which unfolds at Schuetzen Park. Komissar wants every fight to be a lively scrap, a pick em rumble. The quality of the fights, he tells me, will be the headliner.
Tommy Gallagher will have his hands on the series; on Tuesday, he said of the caliber of fighters Komissar will be showing off, "These guys aren't Joe Louis...but they may turn out to be."
The tagline of the series is "Winners Have Scars." The saying comes from Gallagher, who told Komissar way back when, when he was dejected at a setback, "All winners have scars."
The kids on the card come to the table with scars, mostly metaphorical ones. Many have been passed over by bigger promoters. Many have started out with a loss or two before they nabbed a win. But Komissar wants these types who shrug off the scars, and come to throw down. They are hungry, they have tasted the bitter, and stuck around, to stay for the sweet. Tickets are priced at $100; $75 and $55 and can be purchased by calling 908-240-2097 and are also available at the following locations:
Global Boxing Gym in North Bergen, NJ 201 348 3149 ; Jack Demsey’s (Midtown Manhattan) 212 629 9899; Trinity Boxing Club (Wall Street) 212 374 9393; Gleason’s Gym (Brooklyn) 718 797 2872