Many of us have extra time on our hands during this reminder from higher powers that no, we don't have as much control over all the things as we like to think we do.
I've been filling some of the “free” time during the pandemic lockdown reading. I got a pile of books to get through, some really tasty-looking publications. But I got a book I'd ordered off Amazon today, and it skipped ahead of the pack.
“Dark Horse: A Boxing Manager's Memoir,” by Adrian Clark. And I just started it, only got a few pages in, forgive me, I'm juggling a lot, two kids, 9 and 13, I play their chef, their substitute teacher who they like to ignore, and we took in four foster kittens who demand attention.
But, after only a couple pages, I got hooked, and knew that this book wouldn't sit on my night-stand, and stay on my “I gotta finish that thing” mental list. Because right away, it snagged my interest with the foreword, by J. Prince. That guy ain't doing a foreword for just anybody, that told me something right there.
Next, Clark's Acknowledgement page has a message to his ex wife, giving her props, and wishing her well on the next chapters of her life. He put himself out there, not afraid to show some emotion, I respect that. It's too rare a trait.
Next, he gave a shout out to “My Managers,” his mom and dad. “I apologize for all the curse words you are about to read. I have no idea where I get that shit from,” Clark wrote. C'mon, that's cute, and funny.
Then, in the preface, Clark showed, truly, that he's a rare breed. Basically, he tells the reader that while clawing his way up the ladder, he lied, he cheated and he stole.
Loved it….Loved those admissions. That Clark had the courage to tell you the parts that usually get edited out, forgotten, conveniently, because just about every person you meet wants to present the air-brushed version of their life. They send the bullshit spin to get Botoxed before they trot it out to you. Loved it.
Now, I will tell, I've known Clark for a couple years. The guy came out of nowhere, and right away, I liked his manner. He was hustling, but he was humble. He was working, and not assuming he deserved to skip steps up the ladder. And he's charming! After a couple chats, he'd email me, or leave a phone message. “Money Mike,” he'd call me, and it cracked me up.
Maybe I read too much into it, but I don't think I did. He knows I'm in media, I'm not a man of means, got no trust fund propping me up. But as I've come to understand more over the years, Clark appreciates that dollars are good to collect, but other traits and behaviors and ways of being are just as, and maybe more, valuable. He's consistently surprised me, when we talk, by keeping it real. Clark's penchant for truth and straight-forwardness and his willingness to admit that he doesn't know it all tell me that it will be wise of me to watch his continued rise in this sweet and savage game. Because he's a rarity, and, I offer, I think he's one to root for, because there aren't as many extremely ambitious people who lay it on the table that they want to act the right way.
Excuse the lengthy preamble, here's a release which went out Thursday announcing a forthcoming series which Clark is doing with and for the Fight Network.
TORONTO | NEW YORK – (April 30, 2020) – Fight Network, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. and the world’s premier combat sports network, announced today a partnership with Everlast Worldwide—the world’s leading manufacturer, marketer and licensor of boxing, MMA and fitness equipment—cementing the brand as the exclusive presenting sponsor of the all-new Protect Yourself at All Times program.
The weekly series is set to debut later in the year and will air on Fight Network in the U.S. and Canada, and globally across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The network is available on many of the top U.S. video providers, as well as Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and Fubo TV.
Fight Network is developing the new Protect Yourself at All Times (PYaAT) series in conjunction with consultant Adrian Clark (below), the multi-talented author, athlete representative, and entrepreneur who originally launched the initiative as a book, podcast, and video blog in 2016.
Hosted by Clark, the 30-minutes an episode series will serve as a powerful tool to educate and inform fighters and their families on the nature of business in boxing, paired with invaluable insight from a variety of special guests and industry insiders.
“We are thrilled to partner with Everlast, the preeminent brand in boxing since 1910, on the development and launch of Protect Yourself at All Times,” said Ariel Shnerer, GM of Fight Network. “In addition to the series sponsorship, we look forward to working closely with the experienced team at Everlast on the development and promotion of boxing content on Fight Network globally. Protect Yourself at All Times is truly an investment into the future of boxing, focusing on fighter education and knowledge, and compliments other important charitable and educational causes spearheaded by Everlast and Fight Network, including the Dare To Defend program and Everlast’s Be First Campaign.”
The relationship between Fight Network and Everlast also includes teaming up with Fight Network’s web and social platforms to sell Everlast products, which are hitting all-time high sales records as people re-engage with the value of boxing skills in their fitness programs, and the two companies will also collaborate on further content development.
We’re proud to partner with Fight Network on the next phase of Protect Yourself at All Times,” said Chris Zoller, VP of Everlast. “Athletes in other major sports have had the luxury of having resources like education & services during and after their athletic careers. Adrian Clark and Fight Network have created a platform with PYaAT to fill that void in boxing, and Everlast is excited to be a part of it.”
“Everlast has been supportive of Protect Yourself at All Times since its beginning stages,” said Clark, founder of Protect Yourself at All Times. “I am thankful for their continued support. We have some amazing things on the horizon at Fight Network.”
About Fight Network
Fight Network (www.fightnetwork.com) is the world’s premier combat sports network dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, including fights, fighters, fight news and fight lifestyle. Thechannel is available on many of the top 20 video providers in the U.S., Fubo TV, all major carriers in Canada, Roku and Apple TV devices across North America, Sky TV in the UK and over 30 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. FN Studios has produced critically acclaimed series, including Retrospective, After the Fight and Diary. Fight Network is a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc., a leading global sports and entertainment media company. Fight Network also operates Dare to Defend, a non-profit organization aimed at addressing the issue of domestic violence and gender inequality.
About Everlast Worldwide
The preeminent brand in boxing since 1910, Everlast is the world’s leading manufacturer, marketer and licensor of boxing, MMA and fitness equipment. From legendary champions Jack Dempsey and Sugar Ray Robinson to current superstars Dustin Poirier and Deontay Wilder, Everlast is the brand of choice for generations of world champion professional athletes. Built on a brand heritage of strength, dedication, individuality and authenticity, Everlast is a necessary part of the lives of countless champions.
Based in Manhattan, Everlast’s products are sold across more than 75 countries and 6 continents. You can listen to TALKBOX, the podcast which has been on the Everlast platform since 2016. For more information, visit www.everlast.com.