Britannia’s Nick Morrish is not only developing a solid stable of quality kickboxers and boxers, he is also cementing his reputation as a top class regional promoter with his high energy fight nights known for their quality match-making, smooth running and livewire bouts. This mix of teaching and promoting is even more notable given that Nick started relatively late in the martial arts compared to many of his contemporaries.
“I was in my late 20’s, I was fat and overweight and I just generally wasn’t happy with myself, so I started kickboxing.”
Getting fitter is a common starting point for martial artists but as Nick continued to lose weight he also began to notice the ancillary benefits, the friendships made, the developing skill set and the satisfaction of steadily going through the grades until he achieved the coveted black belt. Kickboxing was and remains his core art and Nick cites the physical nature of the art, the discipline required to develop through the grades and the superb levels of fitness built up through padwork and sparring as the reason he has seen no need to dabble in other arts.
As a result, despite his relatively late start in kickboxing, Nick is not only a fully qualified black belt instructor but also the WCA Area Masters Boxing title winner.
When questioned about his influences Nick says that it was his friends training in the arts, both role models and examples of what he could achieve and when pushed on more “well known” heroes the names he reels off are all legendary boxers, Nigel Benn, Mike Tyson and Marvin Hagler, so it is no coincidence that the pugilistic art now plays a major role within his club and the shows he promotes with numerous home grown boxers now fighting on his shows. Being a promoter, especially in the twenty first century can be a thankless task but it was a role that Nick saw as essential if he was to see the next generation of his club grow and develop.
In fact, his growth into promotion was a simple case of needs must-
“There weren’t any local shows to us and I just wanted to help the next generation grow, so I
decided to put on my own shows for the local community.”
The shows have been an enduring success and when reflecting on the reasons why he started them in the first place, Nick points to some of the highlights for his local club fighters, the fighters he was looking to support when he made the decision.
“As a promoter and trainer, highlights are Shane Bernhauser winning the IKF British Kickboxing title in Luton and more recently, David Small winning the Pro Heavyweight WKO K1 title, a real brutal fight and a great knockout.”
Ask any promoter nowadays and he or she will tell you a similar story of just how difficult promoting is, for a variety of reasons and for Nick dealing with fighters is one of the hardest elements of his role but ultimately the most rewarding aspect too.
“There’s so many excuses and so many pull outs but what makes it special, is after days and weeks of stress and phoning around that you mange to turn it around and put on a great show. “
It is for this reason that Nick continues to promote, currently twice a year, as he showcases local talent and pits them against clubs from all over the country in genuine 50-50 matches, no Britannia fighter ever gets an easy hometown run out on Nick’s watch. He promotes in conjunction with the WKO, working closely with Mick Fowles and is happy with the way the relationship is working out.
“Working with the WKO and with Mick Fowles and his team of judges makes my job easier. They are very professional and unbiased and I am really looking forward to the boxing rankings that the WKO are going to be setting up.”