Two journalism students at the University of Northampton have been honing their broadcasting skills ringside at big arena boxing events.
Multimedia Journalism students, Max Miller and Ben Gibson, were plucked up by local boxing promoters Black Country Boxing (BCB) to report and record blow-by-blow accounts of its championship fight nights.
BCB develop a roster of Midlands-based fighters, including five from Northamptonshire, and host professional boxing events all over the UK. They work alongside some of the biggest names in boxing such as Matchroom, Frank Warren and Hatton Boxing.
The two students were reporting ringside for BCB’s first major arena event earlier this year at the Genting Arena, Birmingham. Over 1,000 spectators were in attendance at the Genting, as they reported live on 10 fights, including two IBO-title bouts.
Ben, an avid boxing fan, jumped at the chance to work with BCB when the opportunity arose through one of his course tutors.
Ben said: “Our lecturer, Marc Webber, mentioned that there was a boxing event coming up and they wanted a few students to go, report and film it. I was really keen because I love boxing, and I was also planning to create a boxing magazine for my course assignment – I went and really enjoyed it.”
Since reporting for BCB, Ben has interviewed fighters, written press releases for distribution to leading boxing publications, and created match reports and fighter profiles for event programmes.
He added: “Then from what started as a project, it has now turned into a really enjoyable opportunity – I just love the atmosphere of big arena boxing. I like the fact that we are close to the ring and it feels like more of a battle when you are so close to the action. When you are watching the fighters you can see first-hand that they are putting everything on the line – it has definitely ignited my interest to become a boxing reporter.”
Along with traditional fight night reporting, BCB wanted video production for their fights – to which Max keenly volunteered, with the aim to develop his video skills.
Max said: “I film each round and get close ups of the action so, for example, if one boxer had another against the ropes. I’d then get back home and edit the footage and send it to BCB to be used on their YouTube channel.
“It’s been a brilliant and eye-opening experience for me. I wasn’t really into boxing when I first started my course and I thought I might as well try it and when the opportunity came up I knew I had to jump on it. This experience is definitely going to help me out in the future when I apply for any other opportunities – as I can reference my work with BCB.
“The main skill I’ve learnt from this experience is keeping to deadlines. It’s also given me insight into the life of a professional cameraman at sporting events – you can’t take your eye away from the action for a second or you may miss something – you need to be switched on and alert from beginning to end. The Genting Arena event for me was an incredible experience – It was just non-stop action and I didn’t want it to end, it was so enthralling.”
This is one of several opportunities offered to students in the first year of the University’s Multimedia Sports Journalism degree. In the past year, students have been behind the scenes at Northampton Saints and covered horse racing at Towcester.
For more information about our Multimedia Sports Journalism course, visit the course page.