Phil Jeffries talks the North East boxing boom, 'animal' Glenn Foot and Lewis Ritson's rise
North East boxing supremo Phil Jeffries admits it's never been so good to be a boxer in the region.
Jeffries has four fighters on Saturday's massive Matchroom Boxing show at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena.
Headlining is Forest Hall's British lightweight titlist Lewis Ritson, with Sunderland's Glenn Foot as chief support on the night, while Tommy Ward and Joe Laws are also on the card - all of whom are on manager and promoter Jeffries' books.
And Jeffries admits he never ever thought opportunities to fight in front of the Sky TV cameras, with the eyes of the world on the North East, would ever come for his boxers.
He puts it all down to the 'Ritson effect'.
"I have got four boxers on the show - this is not only a big show for the north east it is big for me, too," said Jeffries.
"I am over the moon for all of the lads. They have been on selling ticket deals for years and now they have the opportunity to get the exposure they deserve. All of that hard work pays off.
"I never envisaged we would have a show like this so close to home for the lads to fight on. It is all down to Ritson really."
One thing that is for certain this weekend, is that entertainment is a given.
Ritson is a knockout specialist taking a step up in class against Francisco Patera for the European title while Foot faces the fight of his career - and comes in, yet again, as the underdog against Robbie Davies Jnr with his own Commonwealth title on the line, as well as the vacant Lord Lonsdale strap.
You have to let him (Ritson) go - the same with Glenn," said Jeffries ahead of Saturday.
"Glenn is an animal, a lunatic.
"It will be fun and games at the presser when Glenn gets going.
"It is a big challenge for him but these kind of challenges seem to bring out the best in him."
The weekend's action will be a far cry from the small hall shows and ticket deals, as well as the stress that comes with those particular events.
"Trying to get shows to pay for themselves has put 10 years on me. It does the same for the boxers. It is stress, stress, stress," said Jeffries.
"All my lads are on a platform now, in front of the Sky cameras and will get well paid for it. The boxing game is booming in the North East.
"Me and Steve Wraith are working together now and the shows are coming to the area."