Slug-fest to put spotlight on stadium

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 July, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 July, 1994, 12:00am

IF the beleaguered Hong Kong Stadium is looking for a knight in shining armour he may well come in the form of John Daly.

The Los Angeles-based British film producer is convinced he's got just the event to ''bring the wonderful stadium to the eyes of the world and put it on the map''.

But more of that later. First a brief sketch of Daly.

London in the swinging 60s, and Daly, a brash young businessman joins up with hip actor David Hemmings and hot TV presenter David Frost to form a feisty film company called Hemdale which, for reasons not unrelated to its newsworthy partners, seemed to garner as much inches in the gossip columns as it did in the business pages.

A few years and several high-profile film projects later, Daly has to choose between the company being ''a big fish in a small pond or small fish in a big pond''. He opts for the latter, eschewing Pinewood for Hollywood.

That's when the company really took off. As Daly reflects: ''It was a brave move, for we were the first British film company to take on the Americans in their own backyard.'' He was involved as executive producer on box office triumphs such as Terminator, Platoon and The Last Emperor.

''We are the only company to have financed and produced back-to-back Oscar-winning movies,'' he remarks with justifiable pride.

He offered an intriguing anecdote about Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose career struck gold in Terminator.

''Actually, the last piece of casting we did was for the robot with not too many lines,'' he recalled. ''Arnie read for another role, but we offered him this part instead. Wisely for him, he accepted.'' But back to So Kon Po. Daly is in Hong Kong to tie up the loose ends for a boxing spectacular featuring three world title fights and a contest involving Britain's best-loved boxer, Frank Bruno, that he will stage at the new stadium on October 23.

The slug-fest will be shown live on American TV and broadcast later in the day in Britain and parts of Europe.

That's a lot of exposure for the stadium. And nobody will begrudge its moment of glory.