Matt Bozeat pays tribute to Greg Steene, the supervisor and matchmaker who guided Dennis Andries from oblivion to the highest of the world
GREG STEENE, who died final week aged 67, can be remembered for taking Dennis Andries from the scrapheap to the WBC light-heavyweight championship.
Steene, who remained a supervisor and matchmaker till his dying, ran into Andries in 1982 and located him “despondent” and getting ready to retiring.
Andries had been supplied £2,000 – the annual wage on the time was £6,000 – by a promoter as a pension, being advised: “You’re not going anyplace and also you’re getting in the way in which of people who find themselves.”
Although Andries was going to simply accept, Steene found there was no written settlement and he determined to tackle a fighter he considered “undervalued.”
Steene grew up with boxing. His father Alex – who went on to be a promoter – was a boxer who sparred with Freddie Mills. Greg had 49 newbie bouts himself for Battersea ABC.
Greg, who thought of Jack ‘Child’ Berg as a “grandfather” determine, stated he knew he wasn’t adequate to be knowledgeable.
He as an alternative managed and promoted fighters, together with John L Gardner, who received British and European heavyweight titles, and Andries.
Former supervisor Ernie Fossey had beforehand advised Andries: “If you happen to win the British title, the sport’s gone,” however Steene had quite extra religion in him.
He ran a ticket company and advised me as soon as: “I used to be fortunate that I had my very own enterprise and was incomes some huge cash, in any other case I couldn’t have afforded to deliver Dennis alongside.
“I invested an enormous sum of money selling Dennis who was by no means a ticket vendor
“I can keep in mind shedding £6,000 on one present and £10,000 on one other. I had religion he would come via.”
Underneath Steene, Andries received the Lonsdale belt outright in 9 months – it was solely two defences in these days – and Steene was fast to defend his fighter when he felt Boxing Information didn’t give him the respect he deserves.
Steene took exception to the report of Andries’ factors win over Tom Collins – Dennis received their collection 4-1 – on his present in February, 1984 and concluded in his letter that Andries had “the abilities, power and energy to win each the Commonwealth and European titles and probably even a world title.”
Steene was probably alone in pondering this, however stored investing in Andries.
He paid Dutchman Alex Blanchard £67,000 to come back to London to defend his European title in December, 1985.
That struggle resulted in a draw after each have been floored, a end result that put Andries within the WBC rankings.
Steene fancied Andries had the beating of champion JB Williamson, however stated the BBC have been unwilling to place up the cash to deliver the American to London.
Frank Warren received in contact and stated he might get ITV to again the struggle and for a career-high purse of £75,000, Williamson agreed to place his belt on the road in opposition to Andries at Picketts Lock Leisure Centre in April, 1986.
Andries dragged him onto the cobbles and beat him through a cut up factors vote.
That was adopted by a profitable defence in opposition to Leicester left-hooker Tony Sibson, solely a middleweight, earlier than the world title was misplaced to Thomas Hearns.
Steene had predicted that beating Hearns would make Andries “a worldwide star” and result in a shot at Mike Tyson or Gerry Cooney.
For 5 rounds in Detroit, Andries was within the struggle earlier than Hearns began to time his proper hand.
Andries was down a number of instances earlier than the tenth spherical stoppage and by no means fought for Steene once more.
Steene resurfaced a couple of years in the past working alongside Mo Prior and Mickey Helliet trying to deliver fighters via from the small halls.
Greg additionally had a number of journeymen on his books and the final time I noticed him he advised me an amusing story about one in every of his fighters weeping within the altering room after scoring a win. It’s a well-recognized story when a journeyman wins – they worry they’re by no means going to get one other job.
The ideas of Boxing Information are with Greg’s household and associates.
TRIBUTES TO STEENE
All at Queensberry are very unhappy to listen to information of the passing of legendary boxing supervisor and matchmaker Greg Steene. Our ideas are with Greg’s household presently.
Very unhappy to listen to of the passing of Greg Steene. Greg was within the sport for many years and can be sadly missed.
Gutted to listen to that Greg Steene has handed away. I solely exchanged texts with him on Thursday when he advised me he was feeling unwell.
Very sorry to listen to that my good pal has handed away. My ideas are together with his household. I’ll miss him lots.
Everybody at Precedence Boxing is gloomy to listen to of the passing of pal and associate of the corporate, Greg Steene. Condolences to his spouse Jackie and to his sons presently. Greg was a boxing man via and thru and can be sorely missed.
Sorry to listen to in regards to the passing of Greg Steene. He promoted some great exhibits. All the time useful in any skilled dealings, additionally. Old-fashioned.
Joseph A Pyle
Upsetting information concerning my lifelong pal Greg Steene. He had nice information of the sport and was concerned in boxing from a toddler. Relaxation in peace, mate, you’re along with your pricey father now.
Unhappy to listen to in regards to the passing of Greg Steene, he had been in boxing recreation a very long time. My ideas are together with his household and associates. Relaxation up, Greg.