Q&A Greg Cohen - The Empire's Founder on Briggs, Rahman and His Company's Quick Start in Boxing

Greg Cohen has a long, successful history in boxing, but most of it was spent behind the scenes. It's been seven months since the New York native moved out front by becoming the Founder of The Empire Sports and Entertainment.

While most fledgling promoters would be satisfied with having promoted a sold-out Capitale Punishment show at Capitale New York in May and co-promoted several other successful productions, Cohen went a step further in starting his company by quickly bringing in hall-of-fame manager Shelly Finkel as CEO and rolling the dice on a couple of former heavyweight champions as his marquee names..

One of them has already hit pay dirt, as Shannon Briggs will face current WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko in October in Hamburg, Germany.

Cohen spoke about some of his clever maneuvers and how it feels to be promoting a heavyweight title challenger after less than a year in business.

Tell me about landing a title shot for Shannon Briggs so quickly.

I am very pleased to be having Shannon fight for the heavyweight championship, but I'm not surprised. Between Shannon and Hasim Rahman I have two 2-time heavyweight champions and I knew that if we all did our jobs, they would both get one more title shot. One down, one to go!

How has Briggs been looking in training, should we brace for the upset?

Shannon is having an AMAZING camp! We've been together for nearly 20 years and If Shannon would have trained like this 10 years ago, he would be retired right now with a couple of hundred million in the bank. He is a man on a mission and come Oct. 16th he is going to shock the world!

What would it mean to you and The Empire if he were to win the title again?

It would be incredible for The Empire to have the Heavyweight Champion of The World as part of our company. On a personal level, nothing would make me happier than to see Shannon win the title again. He can rewrite the history books and go from being considered a very good fighter who a lot of people think didn't realize his full potential, to a Hall of Famer. He's going to do it, I am 100% confident!

Tell me about working with Shelly Finkel.

Shelly Finkel has been nothing short of incredible for our company. For me to have Shelly as my partner, mentor and friend is a dream come true. His experience and abilities are on a whole different level and he has already had a terrific impact on our company. Outside of boxing, the opportunities and events in the music world that Shelly and I are working on are enormous in scope and it's all very exciting!

You also signed a number of young prospects when you started The Empire. How are they progressing?

I'm really high on my undefeated 12-0 135 pounder Mikey Faragon. He is going to be a star and in 2011, I predict Mikey becomes a household name. I am also extremely excited for Austin Trout to finally get his WBA 154-lb title shot before the end of the year. Cecil McCalla is also one of my prospects to look out for, he is a 12-0 Welterweight out of Baltimore who can flat-out fight. Then we have Sting, he's going to be a contender for the pound-for-pound title one day. He's a 4-0 Jr. Welterweight prospect who is something special.

Article posted on 23.09.2010

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