The path up the ladder from newbie to prospect to contender to champ is littered with folks who flamed out physically, but also mentally. The wear and tear on the mind and emotionally, in dealing with outside the ring matters, that often derails promising talents before they reach the promised land their skill set suggested they’d hit on.
Peter Dobson sports a 9-0 record, with 5 KOs; he was born in the Bronx, turned pro in 2014 and is 28 years old. That’s what BoxRec tells you…but as with most any athlete there’s so much more to the story.
You might notice Dobson fought in June 2017…and was then shelved. He will fight tonight, Friday, against Salim Larbi on a card promoted by Uprising Promotions (Ronson Frank), and televised on Facebook, on the Fightnight Live platform.
So, why the layoff, then?
“Promotional problems,” the hitter told me, after telling me that he’s now aligned with a new-on-the-scene management group. “I’m a promotional free agent.”
OK, that management group, it turns out, is a fairly interesting collection of persons. Ex NYSAC commissioner Keith Sullivan, ex NYSAC chief David Berlin, both attorneys, are banding together with another attorney, Nicole Atlas, as well as journalist Zachary Levin. Atlas, is, yes, the daughter of the Hall of Famer to be Teddy. I checked in with Berlin to explain the new endeavor and ask what Dobson brings to the table.
“Peter Dobson turned professional shortly after I started working at the Commission so I had a chance to see his pro debut and watch his growth over the first half dozen fights of his career,” said the low-key and steady-as-she-goes Berlin, who works as a lawyer. “I was impressed from the very beginning with Peter’s grit and determination in the ring and also with the fact that he was a gentleman outside of it. I saw Peter grow as a fighter, both in his skills and in his level of comfort in the ring, which in turn allowed him to display those skills. After I left the Commission, Peter approached me about managing him at the same time as I was joining forces with Zach Levin, Keith Sullivan and Nicole Atlas to form Four Corners Advisory Group, and we all felt it was a natural fit. So instead of simply observing, we have the opportunity to be a part of Peter’s team and instrumental in his growth as a fighter. That starts this Friday in a step-up 8-round fight against a seasoned Salim Larbi. I’m excited about the journey ahead.”
So, Dobson has been off for a spell. What can he tell us about Larbi and his fight plan?
“I don’t wanna give away all of my secrets but I plan to break his ribs with body blows. And,” he added, “his nose with my jab.”
Tyson-esque tough talk, old school style. Bronx born, indeed…
So, the managers bought him out of his contract with Real Deal Promotions, and he’s now free to look to impress promoters and get onto another stable.
We chatted about the arc to here; was Dobson frustrated while he waited for fights? “It was super frustrating,” he said, “but I know it’s the process, every successful person goes through trials and previals…it’s part of my greatness!’
He told me he’s most happy that Atlas, Berlin, Levin and Sullivan are helping him with guidance that comes from their collective experience within the realm of the sweet and savage science. Oh, and yes, it never hurts in the age we are in to have laywers you can trust advising you…
“We decided to form Four Corners Advisory Group because of our shared passion for boxing and our shared commitment to the fighters who pursue their dreams in this difficult sport,” Berlin explained. “And we believe that our combined experience and contacts in the sport will allow us to properly serve the boxers who are interested in being part of the Four Corners team. Three of us are lawyers, two of us spent several years as part of the New York State Athletic Commission, one of us has a depth of knowledge about fitness and nutrition, one of us comes from boxing royalty (yes, pedigree counts not just for the fighters but for other players in this sport), and all of us share a common vision. We are looking to support the boxer but more than that, to guide the boxer to help navigate his or her career in a way that allows the boxer to grow, to develop, to be prepared for the next step but also to be tested by the next step. And we intend to do so in a hands-on way. As a team, we are committed and we are involved.”
Sullivan told NYF why he’s getting into the management mix. “I’m excited to be back on this side of the sport where I can more fully apply my legal skills and marketing ideas,” he said. “I’m very happy to be working with my friends in this partnership. Collectively, we have a team of talent that is unmatched in the sport of boxing and that will greatly benefit the fighters.”
“What I like about Peter, the fighter, is that he is just that: a mean, rough customer, looking to inflict damage,” Levin said. “But while that's his instinct, he has skills and talent and a good boxing IQ. He can work behind a good jab and box and be defensively responsible. Peter is a hungry, determined young man, who wants to fight and prove his worth. Our management team, Four Corners Advisory, is about giving a fighter complete support and strong guidance. Fighters will be treated with respect and integrity. Our interest is in helping boxers realize their potential and protected them, the best way we can, along along the way.“
Back to the boxer…Dobson paid bills during the layoff by working as a trainer to white-collar boxers, at a joint called Overthrow.
“I had my son a year ago and it really saved me, that job,” he shared.
So, if one hasn’t seen Dobson but want to get some knowledge on him before tuning in to Fightnight Live or seeing him live in Queens, NY, he says he is a “aggressive fighter that has a mean over-hand right.”
And his prediction for Friday is “a win, an impressive win.”
To boot, he added, “I’m New York’s best kept secret, ready to be mentioned with the best boxers in the world! Can you expect a rapid rise to title fights and such? Yes, as long as I’m in the ring, getting fights, I will shine! In year or two, I want to be fighting the Adrien Broners, Andre Bertos, Shawn Porters, Danny Garcias, Errol Spences and Terrence Crawfords.”
My three cents: I am calling Dobson’s fight against Larbi on Fightnight Live so I will report back to you all, on Twitter @Woodsy1069, and see if his walk matches that talk, and if this kid is a prospect that we should all have on our watch list.