The funeral of Dean Powell, a great friend and colleague of
everybody at BoxNation and matchmaker for Frank Warren takes place
this afternoon in Greenwich.
Here is a tribute to Dean by Steve Lillis, his friend for more
than 20 years.
He never had a bad bone in his body and passed away too young at
His generosity and loyalty to friends, family and those he
worked with had no boundaries.
I experienced this at first hand. Myself and Dean were big fans
of the underground music scene
Often Dean would discover a specialist record shop, see a 7 inch
single and think of me.
An enthusiastic phone call would follow, and within days a shiny
piece of black vinyl would drop on the door mat.
He never asked for a penny because all he wanted to do was put a
smile on peoples' faces.
It might seem a small thing to do and something he may have
forgotten about, but something others never would.
He would always think of others whatever working deadlines he
was having to meet.
We'd speak most days and he always asked how my two daughters
were, especially my youngest, Hannah who he called 'Little Liam'
because of her broad Mancunian accent .
He was a close friend for 20 years and although our boxing,
football and music chats are no more, I am lucky to be able to
smile at the great memories I have and the times we shared.
We were last together at the WBO convention in Budapest three
weeks ago and although it was a flying 36 hour visit the memories
Dean was on great form teasing Kalle Sauerland's musical taste,
and after a meal we talked about his grandkids and my two
We last like spoke five days before he tragically passed and
arranged a night out at a music exhibition.
But, the main purpose of calling was to wish me a safe flight
when I travelled to Las Vegas for Mayweather-Alvarez.
As for Dean's boxing knowledge, he had forgotten more than what
most people in the sport know and made his mark as a matchmaker,
manager and trainer.
He was trusted by all. During 25 years helping shape British
boxing he worked with the likes of Nigel Benn, Joe Calzaghe, Lloyd
Honeyghan, Amir Khan and Lennox Lewis.
Dean had told me his first boxing memory was watching the Rumble
in the Jungle between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman on a black
and white TV at home in Wolverhampton.
He might have only been 10-years-old, but when he saw Sugar Ray
Leonard win gold at the 1976 Olympics he was hooked.
Pat Cowdell who he often watched in Black Country boxing arenas
and Charlie Magri were his favourite British boxers as a kid.
Back in 1988, Dean knew his future belonged in professional
boxing and he moved to London.
It was never going easy for him to make that break.
For six months he slept on the floor at the Thomas a Becket gym on
the Old Kent Road, paying his rent by sweeping the floor.
The South-East London gym was a college of knowledge where
plenty could be learnt by listening and keeping your lip
Dean then started working at the Royal Oak gym in Canning Town,
serving his apprenticeship under legendary trainer Terry Lawless
and Jimmy Tibbs,
He then worked at the offices of Mickey Duff in London's Wardour
Street before being taken on as matchmaker for Frank Maloney and
Dean was 24/7 a trait he picked up from Duff, who told him,
"It's not always about ability, it's about availability.'
Ten years ago, he joined Frank Warren's organisation replacing
another British boxing icon, matchmaker Ernie Fossey.
Dean was responsible for helping make many of Britain's finest
world champions during his time with Warren including Ricky Burns,
Calzaghe, Nathan Cleverly and Ricky Hatton.
They say nobody is irreplaceable, but Warren and his staff may
Whether it was making matches, wrapping hands, or being a
friendly voice at the other end of a phone to boxers, managers,
trainers, matchmakers or journalists Dean was the man.
He doted on grandsons Harry, Joey, Billy who he would take to
most Charlton Athletic homes games.
During one of our chats earlier this month he was speaking with
pride that one of the kids called him from an Ibiza holiday moaning
he was there and not going to The Valley with granddad
His parents, partner Lisa and the boys have lost a special,
We will miss you my mate.