Newcastle really loves a good fight.
And Glen Jennings is determined to bring one here.
Jennings, managing director of National Event Services (NES), is also the manager of red-hot pro boxer Tim Tszyu, the son of former world champion boxer Kostya Tszyu.
Tim Tszyu's stock as a world-class light welterweight went to new heights after his August 26 demolition of Jeff Horn in Townsville. Tszyu won by technical decision, when the badly beaten Horn chose not to come out of his corner for the ninth round.
Tszyu, now 16 wins and no losses, is ranked in the top 10 in the world in his weight division.
Jennings, born and raised in Newcastle, said there is a good chance of staging a Tim Tszyu fight here.
In an interview this week, Jennings responded to the question of a Newcastle fight for Tszyu with the reply: "We would love to."
"I've spoken to our promoter about doing a fight in Newcastle and I think there is a real opportunity to do that. There is really no issue to not doing that, apart from the volume."
Jennings was on Kostya Tszyu's tight team when he rose to world champion. Kostya fought at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre several times in the 1990s.
"Boxing has changed a bit since those days," Jennings said. "The pay per view comes into play. The big Fox Sports network has a say. They say, 'where is your promoter going to put this fight?'. For it to come to Newcastle it may have to be an outdoor stadium like McDonald Jones or something like that that can accommodate a lot of seats."
Tim Tszyu turned pro in December 2017 and has had fights in Bendigo, Toowoomba, Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Sydney.
Now, as Tszyu is building momentum, with his eyes on a world title fight, the buzz of a packed stadium becomes more important to the at-home viewing audience, too.
Jennings said Tszyu attracted nearly 100,000 pay per view fans for the Horn bout. Tszyu's social media figures have skyrocketed - his Facebook audience is up 25 per cent and his instagram followers went from 55,000 to 80,000.
Tim Tszyu's brand is helped by the thousands who followed his dad's journey to the top. Jennings said they have been coming out in force to support Tim, and he's been hearing from that fan base in Newcastle.
"We would love to do a fight here in Newcastle," he reiterated. " And I'm sure that will come. Because the sky is the limit for Tim. We will keep him busy. Whilst he is busy there's opportunities for those venues to participate."
Glen Jennings talks to Jim Kellar about both Tszyus in Weekender on Saturday.
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here
IN THE NEWS:
- Drug driver who caused crash that killed social worker jailed
- Hunter family has seconds to escape car blaze on Wine Country Drive
- Rebel Liberal MP Matthew Mason-Cox says Mike Baird 'done over' by bankers in Newcastle port 'sting'
- Toohey's News, The Podcast Ep. 28: Leo Dynevor
- NPL: Newcastle Olympic go back to basics in battle for finals return