Something that seems to be happening on Back to the Movies lately is the experiences and events I’m being invited to never seem to be movie related but always have some movie motive or connection and this is the perfect example of one. I feel as thou I should document more of these experiences so that Back to the Movies isn’t just a blog about film, it’s a blog about my adventures, my opportunities and things that wouldn’t happen if Back to the Movies didn’t exist as a brand. Floyd has recently been working on a film with Jamie Foxx called All Star Weekend, so in a way, we’re on the right track.
In my opinion one of the best boxers the world has ever seen Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather has been on a UK tour visiting arena’s and talking all about his career whilst meeting fans. This lucrative tour has had Floyd travel to Birmingham, Leicester, London, Liverpool and more. But one place that never showed up on the big ticketing outlets was Stoke On Trent. I came across a banner advertising the event as I was on my way to a club and I was thinking it was a joke or a prank or something similar. I got on my phone to check it out and tickets were selling for this event at The Moat House Hotel, a local 4 star establishment, an establishment of whom’s suite I once flooded after a drunk night with a girl I’d met, but i’ll save that story for another time.
I messaged the organisers CWH Promotions, a local boxing company who were behind bringing Muhammed Ali to the Britannia Stadium. Their instant credibility of that one event made me think that maybe this wasn’t a joke after all.
After speaking to Carl Holness of CWH Promotions, everything was set up. I grabbed my tuxedo and headed off to the event and boy was I not disappointed.
As I got into the hotel there were people dressed in black tie as far as the eye could see, I grabbed a drink and as I was covering the event I was on my own, but not for long. I got chatting to a group of guys and got to meet local legend Joey ‘The Jab’ Singleton. I spent a good hour speaking to Joey about his career and his multi-national gold medal wins, I could have listened to this guy speak all night but we were called away into the ball-room and the event was about to begin.
The tables were dressed, the room looked incredible and boxing memorabilia littered the sides of the room for an auction later and boxing highlights of Floyd’s career were played on the big screen throughout the night. A four-course meal was on offer and by the end of it I was absolutely stuffed. The Moat House made some really lovely food and it was actually the first time I’d ever eaten there and I’ve lived in the area for 25 years now!
After the entertainment Floyd arrived and the meet n greets began. The comic-con style meet and greet set-up was a quick handshake, enough time to ask one question or say one sentence, a quick picture and done. We collected our pictures instantly after they were taken and had the option to purchase a really nice display to put your photo in for a very reasonable £20. This probably seems like a ‘Mayweather’ thing to say, but now that I’ve met so many amazing names and faces it didn’t really phase me to go up to the guy for a handshake and a quick conversation, it only really hit me afterwards that i’d met him and I could now cross him off my bucket list of celebrities to meet. Only Leonardo Di Caprio, Mark Cuban and Neil Patrick Harris to go!
We look good don’t we?
Floyd then made his way into the ball-room and the interview began. The usual routine questions that he’ll no doubt be asked a million times during his time over here with the name Conor McGregor coming up throughout most of the interview. Floyd has since announced he’ll come out of retirement to fight Conor so the ball is in Conor’s court now. Floyd came across quite down to earth with really surprised me considering how he acts on ‘All Access’ and how he used to ask pre and post fights. Maybe it’s all for the camera as this intimate event had him dressed up in a nice suit rather than a hat and T-Shirt that he’s been rocking for most of the bigger events. It felt more personal, more intimate and more exclusive than any of the bigger events I’ve seen him at where thousands of people are queued up for a picture then people standing on tip-toes just to hear him speak. This event was done perfectly and it eclipsed any of the more expensive events he has attended on his tour for pure exclusivity and intimacy alone.
CWH Promotions put on one hell of a show, I really was quite honoured to be asked to cover the event and it was nice to be a part of something special in the local area with a legend in town. Stoke is really being put on the map and having a star like that in the local area really makes me feel proud. Local news outlets didn’t even know Floyd was in town so coverage was limited but that’s mainly down to just how poor our local media are but that’s another story entirely. I think the less media coverage turned out to be a good thing, you don’t want crowds or rowdiness spoiling the event or people turning up who weren’t supposed to. This night was perfect if albeit tiring. The event finished at midnight, Floyd hopped into his Mercedes followed by his Entourage (funnily enough the same Mercedes model I was to be picked up with in London the following day) I couldn’t get a taxi until 1am and I was up in 3 hours to head off to Walker Stalker. Worth it!