Wednesday, February 7, 2007

EliteXC President Gary Shaw throws hat into the cage

Perhaps one day, decades down the road, fans of mixed martial arts will look upon Gary Shaw in the same way as boxing fans look at George “Tex” Rickard – a man who knew how to create must-see events that get people through the turnstiles.

As a boxing promoter, Shaw, who is the president and CEO of Gary Shaw Productions, has been at the helm of some of the highest grossing fights in boxing history including Lennox Lewis versus Mike Tyson. In his latest venture as president of EliteXC, Shaw hopes to create those same kinds of marquee events in the MMA world.

While he was skeptical of MMA at first, Shaw has finally come around – but not without a little bit of help from his 26-year-old son Jared, who will also be a roving reporter on the telecast.

“I’ve been aware of the MMA world since the late 1990’s,” said Shaw, who is a former inspector for the New Jersey State Athletic Control Commission. “When I was on the New Jersey Commission we couldn’t regulate it at that point because we thought it was like the Wild West. My son Jared, who is 26 and is a huge fan, said ‘Dad, you have to get into it.’ But I said, ‘Look, I’m a boxing promoter – that is what I do.’

“Then, just recently, he said, ‘You know what, your going to go to the train station and instead of driving the engine, your going to watch the caboose leave the station,’ and that resonated with me.”

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