• Dexter Hastings

Saturday book club - Fear No Foe Chapter 22

CHAPTER 22

Kelly landed in New York with Dexter a week later; they were meeting Tarnna’s Promoter, Manager Ned Redmond at his company’s head quarters in the heart of New York City. Kelly was stopping at Dexter’s luxury penthouse while she was in New York, as they sat there chatting she asked Dexter what he knew about Ned Redmond? Dexter smiled poured them both a drink and said “Where do I start, Ned was born in England, he moved over to America with just a few hundred dollars in his pocket. The story goes he used to go round all the gyms in New York making out he was a big time British boxing coach and started training up and coming boxers”. Kelly listened intently to what Dexter was saying and said “And is that how he made his millions?” Dexter laughed and replied “No Kell, you know more about boxing than he did at that time, but Ned managed to blag a few boxers into letting him train them for money. He made his fortune when he hooked up with a millionairess who he also told he was a big time British boxing coach to. By the time she found out that he wasn’t they were married and she loved him that much she wasn’t bothered”. Kelly looked at Dexter confused and asked “So his wife bank rolled his promotion company then?” Dexter took a sip of his drink and replied “No Kell, rumor has it that after they got married 10 years ago they went to Las Vegas and Ned got into a private high stakes card game with some movie stars and Jimmy Tarnna’s Manager at the time Dick Adams. From what I have been told Ned had already won half a million dollars over the night from the poker players at the table and supposedly Dick Adams had a hand of 3 ace’s and 2 kings, but Ned had raised the bet to a million pounds and Adams didn’t have enough to cover it so slammed Tarnna’s contract on the table to cover the bet. He only did this

because he thought he couldn’t lose, you can just imagine his face when Redmond turned over a royal flush and won Tarnna’s contract for his next 5 fights. From there on in Ned has built Redmond entertainments and made millions for him and Tarnna, that’s why he still promotes Jimmy”.

Kelly sat there shocked at what she was being told about Ned Redmond, she asked Dexter “So how should I handle him?” Dexter replied “Well keep your hands on your purse for a start, Ned will be out for as much as he can get, if you give him an inch he will take more than a mile, he’ll take 3 or 4 if you let him. Trust me Kell, Ned Redmond make Frank Goldsten look like a boy scout”.

Kelly nodded her head acknowledging she was going to have to do some hard bargaining. Before they went to the meeting Dexter and Kelly sat down and worked out their strategy for the negotiations.

Dexter said “I’ll try and get the fight held in England, but I know he won’t go for that he’ll want it in America”. Kelly replied “Well I think Shay wouldn’t mind if we agreed to fight at Madison Square Garden”.

Dexter smiled and said “Yeah that would be perfect; Shay’s got a lot of support in New York. Now the purse is going to be a big one, he is going to insist Tarnna gets a lot bigger cut than Shay, so I think we settle for 300 grand”.

Kelly nodded in agreement as she knew it would be by far his biggest pay day and that she had some big sponsorship deals in the pipe line. They walked into the sky scraper office block and headed up to the 56 floor to Redmond Entertainments offices, when they got out of the elevator, they saw a plush office environment with people busily answering phones and making deals.

They walked up to the front desk and the receptionist said “Good morning Sir, Madam. Welcome to Redmond Entertainments how may I help you?” Dexter told them who they were and that they had a meeting with Mr. Redmond, the receptionist asked them to take a seat, she then called through to Mr. Redmond’s office to let him know his 11.30 was here. The receptionist told them that he was just finishing off a meeting and would be with them shortly.

As they sat on the expensive Italian leather sofas in the waiting area the receptionist asked if they would like anything to drink. Dexter looked at Kelly who shook her he and replied to the young lady “No thank you” it was 25 passed so they didn’t think they would be waiting long. 15 minutes later they were still sitting there waiting; Dexter looked at Kelly and said “A typical negotiation tactic making us wait, well I’ve waited long enough”.

Dexter got up with the intention of walking straight into Redmond’s office as he turned to the office door the receptionist said “Mr. Hastings, Miss Carey, Mr. Redmond will see you now”. Dexter walked towards the door with Kelly following behind him, he didn’t knock he just walked straight in and to his surprise saw Ned sitting at a big conference table with 4 other official looking men next to him.

Ned sat there with a big wide smile of his face and said “Ahh Dexter welcome, please take a seat.” Ned looked at Kelly then said to Dexter “Ahh I see you have brought your secretary with you, there was no need as we record all negotiations so she doesn’t need to take notes”.

Before Dexter could answer Kelly replied sharply “I’m not Dexter’s secretary, I’m here representing Shay Dempsey. My name is Kelly, Kelly Carey”. Ned leaned back in his seat and looked very surprised and replied “Your Dempsey’s Manager?”

He laughed then looked at Dexter and said “This has got to be a joke right? A woman managing a boxer?” Dexter gave him a big smile and said “No Ned, if you want Shay to fight you have to talk to both of us, but Kelly is in complete control of Shay’s affairs”.

This wiped the smile off Neds face for a few seconds then he replied “Well these gentlemen sitting next to me are my lawyers, so shall we begin”. Dexter started off the negotiations by saying he wanted to hold the fight in the summer in England at Villa Park as it was such a great show last time.

Ned laughed this off straight away and replied “No chance Dexter, after the last decision they gave us over there, everyone knows Tarnna

beat Britain. No, no way the fight is being held in the U.S.A I’m thinking Caesars Palace Las Vegas”. Dexter shook his head and said “No chance, for the same reason you have given, I just think the judges might be a bit swayed in the

City of Sin”. Ned then turned to Kelly and said “So what do you suggest in you managerial experience?” Kelly looked at Ned and replied “Well I thought it would be obvious to you Mr. Redmond, your offices are in New York, Shay and Jimmy have both boxed out of New York so why not have it at Madison Square Garden, the place where legends are made”. Dexter looked at Kelly smiled and then turned to Ned and said “Kelly’s got a point there, it’s the perfect venue, I can’t believe I didn’t think of that”. Mr. Redmond leaned back in his chair quite surprised at Kelly’s reply, one of Ned’s lawyers started whispering in his ear. Then Ned replied “Yeah we can arrange that. He then turned to Kelly and said “So Miss Carey when do you think we should hold this fight?” Kelly smiled and replied “Well I think 6 months is enough time to promote this fight so how about we schedule it for mid march”. His lawyers talked between themselves then one of them whispered in Neds ear again. Ned said “Yes that sounds good to me, now what about the purse split?” Kelly looked through her notes then said to Redmond “well seems we are giving you home advantage we think it should be 50/50 split of the million pounds you and Dexter are putting up”. Ned laughed at Kelly then stood up and as he paced up and down the room replied “You are joking Miss Carey? Jimmy Tarnna was world champion for nearly 8 years, he’s a house hold name sweet heart. He is boxing. The cut has to be 70/30 in Jimmy’s favor and that is none negotiable”. Kelly looked at Ned and replied “Yes Jimmy was champion, but he isn’t now, Shay is the up and coming star here, Tarnna is coming to the end of his career at 34 how many fights has he got left in him. Apart from the Britain title fight your pay per views have been pretty

poor, I can guarantee you that this will be the biggest pay per view non title event ever”. Dexter then stepped in and put the cherry on the cake for Mr. Redmond he said “Also Ned I am willing to let Richie Hatter fight on this show against your Mexican lad Costa Contez for the World title, but for that to happen we need to talk about a pay per view percentage as Hatter purse. They agreed on a percentage that Hater and Tarnna would get for their fights on the show.

Ned said “So 20 percent each for Hatter and Tarnna and the rest split between me and you”. Dexter smiled and nodded his head. Kelly looked at Dexter and then Ned and said “So what percentage does Shay get?”

Ned laughed at Kelly and said “He don’t, he gets 300 grand purse what more does he need?” Kelly smiled and replied “10 percent of the pay per view, that’s what he needs”.

Dexter looked at Kelly and said “Kell look the pay per view is nothing to do with Shay he is being paid triple what he has ever been paid before, I know he would be happy with the arrangement we have already made”. Kelly just shook her head and said “No he wouldn’t not if he knew how much money Tarnna was going to make, it’s not on if we don’t get a percentage Shay doesn’t fight”. Kelly then stood up and went to walkout; Ned said to Dexter “Is she serous?” Dexter nodded his head and replied “Yeah if she says don’t fight he won’t”. Ned called Kelly back and said “O.k. we will give Shay a percentage, but 10 percent is too high”. They negotiated for a few more hours and agreed on Shay getting 5 percent of the pay per view. When they were finished Kelly told Ned to send the contract to Dexter’s office and she would get her lawyers to look through it, Dexter and Kelly then stood up shook hands with Ned and left his office. As they left Dexter said to Kelly “You do know some of Shay’s 5 percent comes out of my percentage”.

Kelly replied in a very stern voice “Dext you have made loads of money off Shay in the year he was in New York, now it’s time to pay him what he’s worth”. Dexter begrudgingly nodded and replied “Well Kell if we promote this right our end Shay could be looking at over a million pounds for this fight”. Kelly just smiled and replied “Like I said pay Shay what he’s worth”. When they got back to Dexter’s penthouse, Kelly called Shay to tell him how the meeting had gone. She told him that the fight was being held at the Garden, Shay was really happy. He said “See I told you I would box there one day” Shay asked “So how much am I getting paid? I want at least another 100 grand or they can fuck right off”. Kelly said to him “Well Shay, Ned Redmond bargained real hard and as Tarnna is such a big name he will be getting a bigger piece of the purse money”. Shay replied eagerly “Yeah fair enough. So how much have they offered”.

Kelly smiled to herself and said “You are guaranteed 300 grand for the fight”.

Shay paused for a second and then said “Sorry Kell I didn’t hear you right, did you say 300 grand?” Kelly said “yes Shay you heard me right 300 grand guaranteed”. Shay replied joyfully “Ahh Kell well done, I knew it was a good idea to get you to do the negotiations”, before Shay could say anymore Kelly then told him “Oh yeah there’s 1 more thing I got you 5 percent of the paper per view, so if it’s promoted right you could earn over 1 million pounds”.

Shay didn’t answer Kelly. She asked “Hello Shay you still there?” Shay then replied “Yeah Kell I’m still here I just can’t believe it”. Kelly just said “Well I’ll be back tomorrow I’ll talk to you about it properly then, we have still got to sign the contract, but it’s all looking good”. Dexter and Kelly got back to Birmingham the next day; Dexter’s driver picked them up and dropped Kelly home.

As she came through the front door, Shay came out to greet her with a welcoming hug, he said “Ahh Kell, it’s good to see you, was that all a joke on the phone last night or were you serious?” Kelly replied “How about you let me through the front door and make me a cup of tea and I’ll tell you all about it”.

Shay went into the kitchen and made a drink while Kelly sat down and relaxed after her long journey. Shay brought her in a drink and she told him it had all been agreed. Shay still did not really believing it and said “They have really agreed to all that?”

Kelly smiled and replied “Yes Shay the fight is in March at the Garden, you are guaranteed 300 grand and 5 percent of the paper per view”. Shay had a massive smile on his face, Kelly asked “So you happy with the money then?” Shay looked at her and replied “Yeah Kell, but I’m more excited about fighting at the Garden, I can’t wait”. Kelly told him that the contracts would be brought to Dexter’s office tomorrow, so they would be signing the deal then. Kelly was really jet lagged after her trip back from New York and had an early night. Shay was buzzing and couldn’t wait to fight at the legendary Madison Square Garden. Kelly and Shay went to Dexter’s office the next day and as promised the contract was there with one of Ned’s representatives. Kelly read every word in the contract and then read it again; there was no way Kelly was going to let them have any lope holes in the contract so Shay didn’t get what he deserved. After she had been through it she had her lawyer look through it as well, they both agreed and told Shay to sign. Shay didn’t hesitate and signed, all he was concerned about was fighting at the Garden and that if he won he would get a title shot. Shay shook hands with Dexter and Neds representative, Dexter told him that he had talked to Paddy and he had agreed to Kenny training him in England and then 3 months before the fight both of them would come over to New York and Shay would train at Paddy’s Gym. Shay was happy with this and was looking forward to getting back in the gym at Casey’s and then Paddy’s.

Shay and Kelly celebrated sealing the deal with Shay’s Mom and Kenny at Marc De Paul’s that night, Kenny was really looking forward to going to New York and helping with Shay’s training, but like Shay was more excited about being involved in a big fight at Madison Square Garden as it was always his dream to have fought there.

They had a great night as Kelly told them about her first experience as a boxing manager. Shay had a really good drink that night as it would be the last one for the next 6 months. Kenny told him to relax for the rest of this week then they would start training and just ease him back in to it.

In the week before Shay started back at the gym, Kelly was busy sorting out sponsors for him and getting thing ready to promote the big fight when it was announced. Shay started back at Case’s gym and a week later the fight was announced, they had a press conference, one in America where Ned Redmond and Tarnna attended and one in Britain where Dexter, Shay and Kelly announced it. With Gary Britain’s first title defense only a few weeks away it wasn’t the big affair they expected, Britain’s fight was the only one the British press were interested in, but Kelly and Dexter knew that when Shay got to New York in 3 months time it would be the hottest ticket in town. Shay had started back at the gym, just doing some light bag work and pad work, the real hard training was going to start when he got to New York. Gary Britain retained his title in an easy victory over Mason Mathews, stopping him in the 5th round. The press loved it and Gary’s golden boy status was set in stone as they announced his next fight straight after against Josh Fury at Wembley Arena again on the same date as Tarnna’s and Shay’s fight.

Kelly had used her business sense and used Britain’s fight by advertising Dempsey against Tarnna on every advert break between the rounds. In the advert Kelly had made sure they got the point across that Irish Shay Dempsey was fighting Tarnna the day before St Patrick’s Day, Ireland’s patron saint.

The fight was on the 16th of March and Saint Patrick’s Day was on the Sunday, Kelly knew that this would get Irish people from all round the world tuning in. The time had come for Shay to head off to New York; he was going to be accompanied by Dexter, Kelly and Kenny. Shay had left Kelly in charge of the flights and accommodations while they were over there. They had first class seats for the flight and Kelly had rented them an apartment in the same building as Dexter’s penthouse. The apartment may not have been on the top floor, but was just as luxurious as Dexter’s place. Shay and Kenny were really impressed with the 3 bed roomed apartment, Dexter told them that there was a big press conference tomorrow so to get some rest as it was going to be a busy day.

When they got up the next day Shay and Kenny headed to see Paddy at the gym, Kelly had a few meetings set up for potential sponsors. When they got to the gym, Shay took Kenny though the Brooklyn bakery to the gym.

Shay said “hello” to Deano who was behind the counter. He introduced Kenny to him. Deano shook hands with Kenny and said “Yeah man I’ve heard all about you, Paddy speaks very highly of you, good to meet you” Kenny smiled and replied “Well it’s good to meet you Deano”. They walked over to the door that led to the gym, Ken the hat was sitting at his normal table with his Hench men.

Shay walked over to him and kissed him on each cheek and thanked him for his help, Ken replied in a voice straight from the godfather movies “Shay I always help people I look after, just make sure you beat the bum”.

Shay smiled and nodded his head and went up the stairs to the gym, Kenny was shocked at how close Shay had got to these people. He asked as they walked up the stairs “Are these people in the” before he could finish Shay replied “Yes Kenny they are, but we don’t talk about it”.

Kenny just looked at Shay and said “Oh right son I understand”. They went into the gym and saw Paddy near one of the rings training some young prospects.

As soon as Paddy saw them he called them over, he gave Shay a hug and shook Kenny by the hand and said “So good to see you Ken, we got a lot of work to do”. Paddy then looked at Shay and said “I hope you’re ready kid, this is the big one, no more easy fights”.

Shay nodded his head knowing he was going to have to be at his very best to win this box off. They all chatted for a while and then headed off to Madison Square Garden for the press conference. As they walked up the steps into the famous building, Kelly was waiting for them with Dexter outside so they could all enter the press conference together. When they went into the conference room they saw the worlds press waiting.

Shay took a seat next to Kelly and Paddy; Richie Hatter came in soon after and sat down on the same side as them. Ned Redmond then came in and went straight up to the podium and introduced Jimmy ‘The Piranha’ Tarnna and Costa Contez. There was a buzz from the reporters as Tarnna took his seat on the other side of the podium. You could tell by the response from the reporters that Tarnna was the big name here, even with Hatter being the undisputed welterweight champion, but in America Tarnna was the man.

Ned Redmond started off the conference by announcing that this was going to be an excellent night of boxing when Tarnna and Cortez would show the Brits how it’s done in America. One of the reporters asked Ned “But Jimmy and Costa are not Americans, so how can you say that?”

Ned looked down at the reporter and said “Jimmy Tarnna escaped his war torn country with his family 15 years ago and has lived in America ever since, Costa has lived in the U.S.A for the last 10 years as well and they are both American citizens. This is the land of opportunity and on the 16th March Jimmy and Costa will show the world how true that is”.

The reporters nodded their heads in agreement. Shay turned to Kelly and said “This Ned gezzer is one clever bloke; me and Richie are definitely going to be the bad guys”. Ned continued “We will stop the English, Irish invasion and send them back over the waters with their tails between their legs, and after

Tarnna is triumphant he will carry the flag and take on Gary Britain and win back his World titles”. Some of the mostly American reporters actually applauded this. They then asked Richie how he thought the fight would go.

Richie just answered very politely “Yeah it will be a good fight, I love fighting at the Garden, but I think I will win”. They asked Shay the same question, Shay replied very respectfully “I’m just happy to be fighting at the Garden, it’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Jimmy was a great champion and a great role model for me and I will be giving it 150 percent and I think I will do it”.

The reporters were impressed in Shay’s answer and asked if he beat Tarnna did he think he could beat Gary Britain? Shay smiled and avoided the question by saying “Let’s just see what happens in this fight first”.

They asked Tarnna for any words on his opponent, Tarnna replied in broken English “Dempsey is good boxer, he trained by good coach, it will be good fight”. They finished off the conference with some fight posies for the cameras.

Shay asked if he could have a look around and one of the organizers took him into the main arena. Shay stood at the entrance in ore, the New York Knicks had just had a game there so it was set up for basketball, but Shay didn’t care. He looked around and tried to imagine all the great fighters and legendary fights that had taken place there.

The Garden wasn’t the biggest event Shay had fought at with a capacity of only 20,000, but it was the essence and history that had captured Shay’s imagination. Kelly put her hand on Shay’s shoulder and said “You o.k. Shay?” Shay turned to Kelly smiled and said “I’m great Kell, look at this place, the history and I’m going to be part of it”.

Kelly nodded her head and said “Yes you will be Shay, yes you will”. They left the Garden with Shay more inspired than he had ever been; he made a packed with himself that all he was going to focus on for the next 3 months was beating Jimmy Tarnna