Boxing: Sheffield debutant helps boost world championship show with his amazing support
Staging a world championship boxing event - without a major TV backer - can be a risky financial exercise.
Promotion partners Stefy Bull and Ryan Rhodes have been taking a financial risk to stage Terri Harper's assault on the IBO title on July 19, at the Magna Centre.
But they have got some help from an unexpected quarter - a greenhorn lacing up the professional gloves for the first time.
Debutant Callum Beardow, 23, from Gleadless, starts his career in the paid ranks with hundreds of people already clamouring for tickets to watch him.
And that has been music to the ears of Rhodes: "He is a promoter's dream, every day I am waking up for more tickets (for his followers.)"
Rhodes said there were others "begging for more."
Bull believes the fight fans know a good prospect when they see one.
"He can fight. He was an ABA finalist and you have got to be able to fight to get to the ABA finals.
"He won a couple of novice championships. He is kind of short, strong and he is not scared of a fight so he has a fan-friendly style so you can see why people want to support him.
"He has got a good manager in Dave Coldwell so I can see him having a big future in professional boxing."
Rhodes explained that the pair need big ticket sellers to contribute to the cost of shows like this.
And Bull admitted if they break even on this fight then they will have exceeded expectation.
"The sanction fees for the IBO world title are around £7,000, then you have got your VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) drugs on top of that, then you have got your expenses for your foreign officials. It could probably cost me and Ryan £10,000 for that fight."
And that is without the purses for Denaby's Harper and her opponent, Nozipho Bell, a South African super featherweight.
So who is this boy Beardow?
In a glittering amateur career, he was ranked number two cruiserweight in England and won silver and bronze medals in 2017 and 2018 Senior Elite Championships.
Add to that a Junior ABA Championship, two CYP championships and seven Yorkshire titles.
He trains six days a week, twice a day. His team is coach Brendan Warburton, assistant coach Tommy Munday, strength and conditioning coach Danny Wilson, conditioning guru Alan Ruddock and nutritionist Lee Rickards.
The former Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School, who has been supporting Sheffield United since he was eight, is campaigning for the time being at light heavyweight.
He says: "I can box for a short guy (5ft 9ns) - but come forward making the fight happen; I am too short to do otherwise.
"As long as I get the 'W' I’m happy. Im still learning every day the opponent (as yet unnamed) doesn’t matter to me."
Beardow won't be nervous before his debut.
"I’m never usually one for nerves after probably my first 5-10 amateur bouts they’ve gone missing. The bigger the stage and the more eyes one me, the better.
"I've always had a big and loud following through the amateurs so it’s carried through.
"I’d also like to think I’m a likeable guy, I can have a conversation with almost anyone. Send me to the North Pole and I will make a friend!"
Beardow's ambition is: "To be the best I can I be, whether that’s inside or out of the ring.
"I reached the top of the amateurs in England, I know the professional game is different but there’s no reason why I can’t do it in the pros. I always work hard and do my best to be nice to everyone I meet."
Beardow said the man he looked up to most in the sport was his coach Brendan Warburton.
"He’s cut from a different cloth to the rest of us. He deserves a knighthood for the amount work he’s done and continues to do for Sheffield City Boxing Club."