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Steve Petit is Britain's Hardest Doorman 2008

Billed as the contest to decide on who is Britain's hardest doorman, the controversial boxing event was staged at Liverpool Olympia on Sunday night.

Steve Petit of Birmingham defeated Wes Smith from Northallerton, North Yorkshire to become Britain's Hardest Doorman and walk away with a winners prize of £7,500.00
Smith who had already shown signs of exhaustion after his semi final bout, simply ran out of steam after a hard and spirited performance in which he knocked Petit off his feet, but was himself decked and unable to recover. The referee counted him out and his dream to become Britain's Hardest Doorman was over, he walked away with the runner up prize of £2,500.00
Steve Petit, the better man on the night, took the title and the main prize money back to the West Midlands.

Hundreds of supporters flocked to the Olympia to watch their favorite doorman slug it out, in this winner takes all knock out competition. 16 door-men from around the country took part, all with the hope of taking the title and the prize money.

Although controversy surrounded the event, I caught up with the busy Chris Zorba who runs KO Promotions, the company behind the event. I asked him if the local police had presented any objections to the event. He told me relations with the police were very good and that they had been exceedingly helpful.

Indeed, outside and inside the Olympia there was a heavy police presence. However, I personally was much more concerned about my car which was parked just across the street - outside a pub where the car park was coated with broken glass.

Inside the Olympia spirits were high and everyone was well behaved, not a sign of any trouble. Which flies in the face of worried officials in Manchester where the event was literally driven out of town.

First scheduled to take place at the Ritz nightclub in Manchester. However, local council officials, Police and other authorities had other ideas.

Manchester City Council spokesman Coun Pat Karney said he was delighted that the event was prevented from taking place in Manchester, saying it was "Absolutely brilliant news." He also added "This is not the example we should be setting for young people, grown men involved in this kind of gladiatorial contest. There is enough violence out there without encouraging doormen to be hard."

I spoke to one of the doorman taking part who asked me not to name him. He said "Mr Karney is entitled to his opinion, but perhaps he should walk the streets of British towns and cities on a Saturday night and maybe then he will realise that the people doing most to prevent violence in Britain are the people he has criticised." He added "This isn't about being violent, it is about the chance to win a few quid legally and everyone is a willing volunteer, nobody in the ring is the victim of a drunken bully who has suddenly grown a pair of balls after drinking a gallon of larger, at least not tonight anyway. This is sport, not everyone likes cricket, golf or knitting competitions."

Report: 30 Sept 2008

Photos By: Dave Roberts & Andy Ball.


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