With over 20 years of experience JBD have promoted and arranged televised Sporting events in most of the major arenas in the country including Wembley Arena, Earls Court Olympia, The Metro Arena, Alexandra Palace and the Royal Albert Hall.
We have been fortunate enough to have been involved in the careers of some of the better known names in Boxing and Darts, including Olympic Super Heavyweight Champion Audley Harrison M.B.E, European Super Bantamweight Champion Spencer Oliver, WBC World Champion Robin Reid, WBO World Champion Nicky Cook and PDC World Championship Finalist Andy Hamilton. Our timeline shows some of the events we have staged - along with the people and companies - who have helped us throughout our 20 years in Sport. Photos courtesy of Action Images, Lawrence Lustig and Frankie Trevitt.
We sign and promote exciting Commonwealth Games Bantamweight Silver medallist Spencer Oliver. Barnet born Spencer immediately makes an impact in the professional ranks. Oliver, is one to look out for in an exciting Super Bantamweight division that is beginning to emerge in the UK. Spencers fanbase increases as quickly as his fight tally, it soon becomes clear that he has the ability and dedication to go to the top.
In February Spencer Oliver wins the Southern Area Super Bantamweight Championship stopping Patrick Mullings in the tenth and last round. Both fighters enter the ring unbeaten and Mullings plays a significant part in a magnificent contest. However, it was always Spencers fight throughout and he gives a live Sky Sports audience a full repertoire of his sublime skills. His sobriquet "The Omen" sums up Spencer perfectly. In fight mode there is devilment and maliciousness about his work and a relentless intensity to get the other guy out of there. He was quite simply outstanding and shows a maturity far greater than his 10 fight record suggests. The fight is rightly voted by the British Boxing Board of Control as fight of the year.
In May of 1997 Spencer Oliver becomes the European Super Bantamweight Champion defeating defending Champion Martin Krastev in six rounds. Spencer - making a difficult job look easy - is neither out of his depth, nor short on confidence. An agile boxing brain, coupled with heavy punching power enables the supremely prepared Oliver to dismantle the Bulgarian. It was a remarkable performance from the 21 year old Barnet man. It is also becoming evident that Spencer will be an incredibly popular European Champion.
Spencer is bestowed another title in 1997, when he receives the prestigious Young Boxer of the year award by the Boxing Writers at the Savoy Hotel London.
Spencer makes the first defence of his European Title against mandatory challenger Serge Poilblan. The teak tough Frenchman meets Spencer on July the 12th at the London Olympia. The challenger is defeated unanimously. Spencer's career is building momentum, he is exciting to watch with blistering hand speed and combinations. In a pre social media era where profile was harder to achieve he is regularly in the national papers, featuring in magazine articles and appearing on various TV shows. Premier league footballers, TV personalities, actor Sean Bean and nineties superstar Robbie Williams attend his fights at ringside. His fan base is growing and he is becoming one of the most talked about young boxers in the World. There is a consensus that Spencer has the necessary tools to make the transition from European level to World Champion. Unfortunately in life sometimes things do not go to plan. Spencer would go onto make a further two defences, against Fabrice Benechou and Vincenzo Belcastro, before succumbing to a life threatening injury whilst making the fourth defence of his title at the Royal Albert Hall. For Spencer to lose so much in the prime of his life was tragic. He had the World at his feet. There are a lot of fighters with outstanding ability, but sometimes that is not enough to make people turn out in their thousands to watch. Oliver had the full package, punch power,commitment, charisma, courage and excitement. He was that special. Thankfully and miraculously Spencer made a full recovery and in 1998 starts his career at Sky Sports as a commentator and boxing analyst, a job he mantains to this day.
In late summer, Spencer Oliver is invited to Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty the Queen to celebrate his achievements in boxing.
Signing of ABA Featherweight Finalist and England representative Nicky Cook. The Dagenham boxer turns professional at 18 years of age, on the undercard of a low key show in Cheshunt in December. Although young and looking extremely fragile, it becomes clear that Cook can fight. He rattles off 8 wins against decent opposition inside 12 months.
We agree to stage a series of 10 boxing events to be broadcast on BBC Grandstand. The first is the British Light Middleweight Championship between Delroy Leslie and Ensley Bingham. Bingham's famed left hook brings the nights entertainment to a close as he knocks out Lesley in 7 rounds. The fight only went ahead thanks to the then sports minister Richard Cabon's helpful assistance in securing Jamacian born Delroy a British Passport. Leslie, although having lived in England for many years, had never reapplied for a passport. The sports ministers help in getting the passport enabled him to fight for the esteemed Lonsdale belt and for us to have the show broadcast on the BBC.
Signing of former WBC World Champion Robin Reid: A year earlier Robin had fought WBO World Champion Joe Calzaghe CBE and had taken him as close to losing as anyone would in Calzaghe's unblemished 46 fight career. There were plenty out there who thought Reid had won, including one of the three judges Paul Thomas, who scored it 116-111 in Reid's favour. Robin was a genuine World class signing, the Runcorn boxer oozed class and was still at the top of his game. He immediately makes an impact in a series of fights broadcast on the BBC and Eurosport. Robin had 15 fights with us in 5 years, losing only twice. Firstly, a disgraceful decsion to WBA and IBF Champion Sven Ottke, then losing to unbeaten American IBF World Champion Jeff Lacy in America. His wins in the same period include defeating Argentinian legend and WBA Light Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Vasquez and Irishman Brian Magee for the IBO Super Middleweight Title. The win becomes even more significant when Magee goes on to win the European and WBA World Title.
We stage and promote "The Homecoming". Sydney Olympic Super Heavyweight Gold Medalist Audley Harrison makes his professional debut in front of 6000 fans at Wembley Arena. The show is broadcast live on the BBC to an audience of 6 million people. Audley fights over 6 rounds and beats American Mike Middleton easily inside the distance. We would go onto promote 10 more of Harrison's early fights. It was a rollercoaster ride from start to finish and and looking back, some 15 years later, it brings back great memories. Audley would go onto win the European Heavyweight title and challenge David Haye for the W.B.A Heavyweight Championship of the World. Audley was also instrumental in gaining government funding for elite amateur boxers - which enabled them to become full time athletes - a legacy from which the likes of Amir Khan, James DeGale and fellow Super Heavyweight Olympic Champion Anthony Joshua have most certainly benefited.
In May 2002 highly talented Northern Irish Flyweight Damaen Kelly agrees to a series of fights. Kelly had already won British, Commonwealth, European and an IBO version of the World Title. Equally talented Liverpool Flyweight Peter Culshaw also starts appearing on our BBC shows over the same period. Frustratingly the Kelly versus Culshaw fight never comes to fruitition. At one stage in late 2002 both men boxed on the same bill in Liverpool against different opponents but that was the nearest they would ever come to facing each other. With the Culshaw fight stalling and having no other serious challenges on the horizon Kelly, who was rated number 3 in the IBF rankings, was offered the chance to fight for the World Title against Columbian IBF Flyweight Champion Irene Pacheco. A meeting with Kelly's manager Michael Hawkins whilst on holiday in Spain, it becomes clear that they fancy the fight. We negotiate with the BBC to broadcast the fight to bolster Kelly's purse and in September 2003 with everything in place, we travel to Barranquilla Columbia to face the unbeaten Pacheco. Damaen takes the fight to the Champion from the opening bell. Heavy hitting Pacheco was placed on his back foot for the first two rounds as the neat boxing from Kelly took the rounds. By the middle rounds Pacheco was finding his range and his fire power was beginning to overwhelm the Irishman. In the sixth, Kelly was caught by a series of body shots by the Columbian and his corner wisely decide to pull Damaen out at the beginning of the seventh. There was no disgrace in losing to an established Champion like Pacheco.
In February 2003 we sign a promotional deal with Newark Super Bantamweight Esham Pickering. Esham had already previously challenged for World and British titles - he has 7 fights, 7 wins in two and a half years - winning the British, Commonwealth and European titles with us. Included in this unbeaten period was a stoppage victory over unbeaten Miguel Mallon in Madrid in September 2005 whilst defending his European Championship.
Nicky Cook wins the Commonwealth Title against Meshack Kondwani in his 20th fight in April. Relentless Cook never gave his opponent a seconds rest, finally stopping the tiring African in the 12th and final round to become Britains new Commonwealth Featherweight Champion at the age of 23.
Robin Reid challenges German Sven Ottke for the W.B.A and I.B.F Super Middleweight Championship. The fight remains to this day one of the worst decisions ever recorded in boxing. Ottke barely laid a glove on Reid throughout the 12 round contest. At one stage in the fight, hapless referee Roger Tillemen deducted Reid a point for hitting Ottke to the floor! Age normally dilutes the enormity of an injustice but not this one. Even now, years later, renowned American boxing magazine The Ring have it down as one of the worst decisions in the history of boxing. Robin summed it up best when being interviewed at ringside by BBC commentators Jim Neilly and Duke Mckenzie MBE after the fight, "At least Dick Turpin had the decency to put on a mask when he was out robbing people". It really was that bad. We lodge an appeal immediately with the WBA and travel with our lawyer Neil Sibley to Venezuela for the hearing. We win a victory of sorts; the fight is replayed to a panel of referees who all agree that the result was a shocker. However they are unable to overturn the decision but decide to reinstall Robin as number 2 WBA challenger. We make the long journey back from Caracas knowing the waiting game is officially on - then an unexpected offer comes 6 months later to box IBO Champion Brian Magee.
In March, we promote the last show of our 11 fight association with Audley Harrison M.B.E at Wembley Arena. In all, including Audley's fights the Beeb broadcast 33 of our boxing shows over a five year period. They were a great team to work with. On the same evening in March, Nicky Cook won the European Featherweight Championship in emphatic style, defeating unbeaten Cyril Thomas. Relentlessly clubbing the Frenchman from pillar to post, before the referee sensibly stepped in and called a halt to the proceedings in the ninth round. After nearly six years as a pro Cook is starting to look like the real deal. He is ruthless and graceful in equal measures and more importantly, he is now Commonwealth and European Featherweight Champion and unbeaten in 23 fights.
Robin Reid defeats Irishman Brian Magee to claim the IBO World Title at the Kings Hall in Belfast. The offer comes from Matchroom Sport to take on Magee at the Kings Hall in Belfast. Brian Magee, is both unbeaten and awkward and an upset could have been on the cards. However Robin puts in a Kings performance in the King's Hall. A tricky assignment turns into an easy job as a meticulously prepared Reid puts his opponent down four times. Once in the fourth, again in the fifth, and twice in the eighth round, before going on to a unanimous points decision.The fight was incident packed throughout. As well as the knockdowns, Robin sustained a cut above the left eye in round five and Magee was deducted a point in the first round for a low blow.
Nicky Cook bludgeons British Champion Dazzo Williams to defeat in two rounds to claim British, Commonwealth and European titles simultaneously on a fight card promoted by Matchroom Sport and broadcast live on Sky Sports. The Dagenham fighter is as always meticulously prepared by his trainer and father Paul Cook. Both boxers weigh in at exactly the same weight the night before. However come fight night Cook looks two weight classes bigger as he toys with the soon to be former Champion from Hereford. Make no mistake, Dazzo Williams is a highly capable fighter and has already made three successful British Title defences and won a Lonsdale belt outright before facing Cook. Put simply, on this day, at this level, at this weight Cook has no equal.
Robin Reid challenges unbeaten Jeff Lacy for the IBF Super Middleweight Championship of the World in Tampa Florida. It is not Reid's best performance and he is beaten inside the distance. The fight is broadcast on Sky Sports and ShoBox in America. Robin officially retired in 2012 having complied a record of 51 fights, 42 wins, 8 defeats and 1 draw. His résumé includes, 1992 Barcelona Olympic Light Middleweight Bronze Medalist, WBC Super Middleweight Champion of the World, WBF Super Middleweight Champion of the World, IBO Super Middleweight Champion of the World, 2 time challenger for the IBF Super Middleweight Championship of the World and challenger for the WBA Super Middleweight Championship of the World. Only the very best achieve so much.
In January 2003 we start editing a boxing column for a National newspaper. We compose over 70 articles for the Star on Sunday writing the last column in January 2006.
At the second time of asking Nicky Cook wins the W.B.O World Super Featherweight Championship against Scotsman Alex Arthur. The fight was close, however Nicky had done enough on all three judges scorecards to defeat the reigning Champion on a unanimous decision. Cook would lose his title in his first defence six months later against big hitting Peurto Rican Roman Martinez. Nicky would get the chance to challenge for the World title one more time when he faced another Scotsman, Ricky Burns in 2011. It is fair to say that Nicky's best days were behind him and he was stopped early by the defending Champion who had won the title from Martinez the previous year. Cook retired immediately after, having compiled a record of 33 fights, 30 wins and 3 losses. In his 13 years as a professional boxer, he had won WBF Inter Continental, Commonwealth, British, European and World Titles. It was a career to be proud of.
We sign Professional Darts Corporation players Jamie Caven, Steve Brown and Jelle Klassen. Caven and Brown win prestigious PDC floor tour events in the same year.
JBD sign Andy Hamilton in June of 2011. At the Matchplay in Blackpool two months later Hamilton stages one of the most amazing comebacks in the history of the sport. Trailing 15-8 against Australian Simon Whitlock in the quarter finals, Hamilton eventually wins 17-15 to reach the semi final of the event for the first time.
Hamilton finishes an amazing year by reaching the final of the Ladbokes World Championship. He loses to Adrian Lewis who wins the World Championship for the first time. Andy also finishes the year at a career high number 7 in the PDC order of merit.
Andy Hamilton qualifies for the Premier League and reaches the play off stages at the o2 in London in May. He also reaches the final of the UK Open the following year. In March 2012, Andy is invited to Eton College. He makes an impassioned speech in front of 700 pupils about the history of Darts and the development of the Sport. The college, who have not only educated the future King but also produced 19 of the 53 Prime Ministers to date in its 600 year existence, listen intently as Andy conducts a 30 minute speech. Even more remarkable is that Hamilton lets on it is the first time he has ever made any kind of speech in public. Andy's appearance is the only time a darts player has been invited to make a speech in the esteemed college's history.
JBD help broker a deal with the PDC to bring the Players Championship Finals to Butlins in Minehead. The event is a resounding success selling out its 4600 capacity. We also stage a series of darts events at the resort throughout the year.
We stage the PDC Invitational Fishing Championship for the first time. The event sees PDC Chairman Barry Hearn, Word Champions Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis and several other names from the World of Sport fish in a Sky Televised Championship. The inaugural winner is our own JBD player Darren Webster.
We sign charismatic Cruiserweight Wadi Camacho in late 2013. The Prize Fighter Champion talks his way into a WBC International title fight against fierce rival Stephen Simmons in June 2014.Social media plays a big part in the build up, both fighters trading insults before the ink is dry on the contract. It quickly gets out of hand when an imposed image of Stephen's fiancee gets put on twitter. We are rightly hauled up to Scotland and read the riot act by the Scottish Board of Control. A month later we are in back in Glasgow for fight week. Camacho has made this fight into a big occasion with all the national papers north of the border covering the fight on their back pages. His constant sniping of Simmons has got into the Scottish publics head and a full Braehead Arena is like a bear pit once the fight starts. In truth the fight never quite lived up to the pre fight hype but it was level pegging on all three judges scorecards until Camacho walked into a big uppercut in the last round and was rescued by the referee. In 2014 Camacho takes on unbeaten Welshman Craig Kennedy and is disqualifed in the third round. The call for a conclusive outcome for the fight was strong and so both men traded blows again in March 2015. This time an impressive performance from Kennedy saw him stop Wadi inside the distance. In 2016 Wadi won the Southern Area Cruiserweight Title. We wish him well.
The second PDC Invitational Fishing Championship is won by Former European Super Bantamweight Champion Spencer Oliver. We continue our relationship with both the PDC and Butlins who are now also staging the UK Open at their Minehead resort.
JBD client Darren Webster moves up the PDC rankings appearing in most of the televised PDC events throughout the year. He also claims his first big TV scalp when he defeats World number 5 Simon Whitlock in the first round of the World Championship at Christmas.
JBD help to bring televised Darts to Arena MK for the first time. The PDC stage the Masters to a sold out 7000 crowd held over two days in the last weekend in January.
JBD host the Third PDC Invitational Fishing Championship in September at Manor Farm Lakes in Biggleswade. The event has its own stand alone slot on Sky Sports and was won by professional angler Steve Collett.
Butlins host both the UK Open Finals in March and Players Championship Finals in November. This time with an increased capacity of 5500 people. Both events are run by the PDC and broadcast on ITV4. JBD continue to stage a series of darts events at both the Minehead and Bognor resorts.
We stage the fourth PDC Fishing Championship on July the 10th at Manor Farm Fishing and it is won by Commonwealth Games gold medalist and professional angler Dean Macey. The Championship was broadcast on Sky Sports 3 and was the third highest viewed programme of that week.
We continue to stage shows throughout the year at Butlins. The popularity of the Players Championship Finals increases and we introduce a Thursday night event and a Fanzone area throughout the weekends tournament. The " Night before the Players Championship" is a resounding success and is atttended by 1500 people.
JBD client Darren Webster has an outstanding year culminating in a 6-0 whitewash of Phil Taylor in The Grand Slam in early November. In late November Darren reaches the semi final of the Players Championship at one stage leading Micheal van Gerwin 6-0 before losing 11-8. In December at the William Hill World Championship Darren reaches the last 16 stage again losing to the eventual winner Michael van Gerwin. He finishes the year ranked a career high 31 and inks a new 2 year deal with JBD.
In 2016 we increase our customer base and volume of events by staging our first 2 day darts show at Searles Resort in Hunstanton. The show was a resounding success and we are immediately asked to return in 2018. We are also putting on more events at Butlins and our Night Before the Players Championship show in November is attended by over 2000 people for the first time.
We stage the 5th PDC Fishing Championship at Manor Farm fishing in July. The event was won by 2 times world snooker champion Mark Williams M.B.E .Mark, along with Steve Davis O.B.E, Ian McCulloch and Steve Brown also won the team event. The championship was broadcast on ITV4 for the first time.
Darren Webster continues to rise in the PDC rankings. In 2017 he finished inside the top 20 for the first time ever. His performances throughout the year include, last 16 in the Grand Slam, last 16 in the Players Championship Finals, quarter finals in the World Matchplay, quarter finals in the World Championship and Players Championship qualifier Champion in July. It has been an incredible 12 months for Webster.
Darren Webster reaches the quarter finals of the world championship. The win elevates him to a career high number 15 in the January PDC order of merit. He also signs a sponsorship deal with international healthcare group Morgan Price.
We stage our first event at the Potters Resort at Hopton on Sea. Featuring 16 times world champion Phil Taylor, former world champion Keith Deller, former world number 1 Colin Lloyd and PDC floor event winner Steve Brown. The show was a resounding success and we are commissioned to put on two further events in 2019. The night was also memorable as Phil took the time to sign every person's autograph in the building. He didn't finish till 2.30 in the morning. Many thanks Phil.
The 6th PDC Fishing Championship was staged for the first time at Gold Valley Lakes in Aldershot. The event was held on August 28th and was won by Team Matchroom in the team event and Steve Collett in the singles event. Competitors included, Barry Hearn, Eddie Hearn, snooker world champions Mark Williams MBE, Steve Davis OBE, heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte, darts world champions Gary Anderson, Rob Cross, 7 time major winner James Wade, PDC pros Darren Webster, Micheal Smith, Ian White, Steve Brown, Olympian Dean Macey, Sky Sports commentator Spencer Oliver and ITV4 darts commentator Chris Mason. The event was broadcast on Sky Sports as part of the Darts Show.
We are now staging around 18 events a year. Resorts include Butlins, Mecca, Searles and Potters as well as the PDC Fishing Championship. Our "Night before the Players" has grown exponentially and has become a feature of the PDC Players Championship Finals at Butlins Minehead resort. Along with Websters continued success it's been a great year. We also signed young darts player Jack Main. However some things didn't quite go to plan. Our proposed "Classic on the Adriatic " never made it out of the dock. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be.