Bash isn't your every day boxing promoter
Written by Jim Ellis
Photos: JIM ELLIS / NEWS-RECORD
Steve Bash didn’t plan on being a boxing manager and promoter.
A lawyer by trade, “I kinda fell into it accidentally,” Bash said during a press conference Thursday afternoon to promote Friday night’s pro boxing card at Buffalo Run Casino.
“I had a boxer (former IBF junior middleweight champ Roman Karmazin) come to me who was in a legal dispute with his promoter at the time (Don King),” said Bash, who represents Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis.
Pendarvis (17-3-1 with six knockouts) tackles Dierry “Dougy Style” Jean (24-0-0 with 16 KOs) in a 12-round elimination bout for the No. 1 spot in the IBF’s 140-pound division on Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation.”
Unbeaten middleweights John “Apollo Kidd” Thompson (11-0, 4 KOs) of Newark, N.J., and Geovanni “Tarantula” Rodriguez (8-0, 5 KOs), of San Juan, Puerto Rico, square off in an eight-round co-feature.
Karmazin hired Bash to try to get money owed him by the brash King – and he came through.
“He asked if I would manage him and I told him ‘I had no clue what I was doing, but I liked the sport; so why not, let’s give it a try,” Bash said. “It just snowballed from there. He became a world champion, then I brought up another kid from Russia who then became a world champion. I just really got lucky.”
Bash eventually segued from being a manager to the promotion side of the “Sweet Science.” He has promoted or co-promoted professional boxing events both domestically (New York, California and Missouri) and internationally (Russia, Germany and Australia).
Bash Entertainment/Bash Boxing Inc. is a full service sports and entertainment company providing professional athletes and companies legal representation as well as management, marketing and promotional services.
The company was established in 2005 by Bash who is a partner at Bash and Polyachenko, P.C., a boutique law firm focusing in the practice of civil litigation, personal injury, criminal defense, employment, immigration business, and sports and entertainment law.
In addition to his law practice, Bash represents professional athletes and organizations with an emphasis on the business of professional boxing and mixed martial arts. In addition to boxers and MMA fighters, Bash has acted as legal representative for national and international promotional organizations, entertainment media, sponsor and businesses involved in combat sports.
He was well aware of Pendarvis, who hails from Los Angeles.
“He was thought to be one of the bigger prospects coming up locally and I met the folks working with him (manager Warren Wilkerson and promoter Herb Hudson of Pitbull Promotions,” Bash said.”We decided to work together.
“Honestly, he was too big for the shows we do (in Hollywood, Calif., on Hollywood Blvd.). He won the USBA title, became world ranked and kept going up in the ratings. Now we are here in Oklahoma, one step away from the world title. I am happy to be here.”
Bash is surprised how focused Pendarvis has been heading into the fight.
“Normally he’s in L.A. with his family and friends … it didn’t happen this time,” Bash said. “I did not see him for two months. He was up there in Big Bear (Calif.) doing the high altitude training. His sparring partner was none other than Shane Mosley. With the preparation he has made for this fight, he has put himself in a position to succeed.”
Friday’s victor meets the winner of next Saturday’s Lamont Peterson-Lucas Matthysse battle next Saturday on “Showtime Championship Boxing.”
There will be four other fights on the card, including an intriguing six-round welterweight bout that pits 15-0 Cecil McCalla of Randallstown, Md., against Abel Perry of Colorado Spring, Colo.
Perry is making his fourth appearance here.
This marks the 20th pro boxing show at the casino since 2004. It’s also the 14th time a card has been nationally telecast and it’s Showtime’s seventh time to come to Miami.
The card is presented by Camille Estephan, of Eye of the Tiger, and Greg Cohen, of Greg Cohen Promotions, in association with Pitbull Promotions.
The doors open at 7 p.m. with the first bout at 8 p.m. “ShoBox” goes on the air at 10 p.m.