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Fight promoter Frank Warren bringing boxing back to ‘traditional’ EastEnd home

From left: Tyson Fury, Bill Ives,  Frank Warren and Joey Abell. Picutre: Rahil Ahmad From left: Tyson Fury, Bill Ives, Frank Warren and Joey Abell. Picutre: Rahil Ahmad

Thursday, February 20, 2014
9:30 AM

The Copper Box Arena is bringing boxing back to its “traditional” home in the EastEnd, according to top fight promoter Frank Warren.

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Boxing promoter Frank Warren. Picutre: Rahil AhmadBoxing promoter Frank Warren. Picutre: Rahil Ahmad

Speaking to Parklife at the weigh-in before last Saturday’s championship event, which saw home-grown heavyweights Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora defeat their opponents, Mr Warren said there “isn’t a bad seat in the house” at the former Olympic venue.

He said he planned to bring at least six shows a year to the 7,500-seat arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, including a lot of “big fights”.

“East London has been the traditional home of British boxing and it’s important not just for boxing but for all sports to provide for kids and the next generation,” he said.

“It’s really important they have the investments and facilities to be able to pursue their dream and keep themselves fit.”

Dereck Chisora (right) and Kevin Johnson in a title bout at the Copper Box Arena. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA WireDereck Chisora (right) and Kevin Johnson in a title bout at the Copper Box Arena. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Following the London 2012 Olympic Games where Team GB took home a number of gold medals and boxers Nicola Adams and Anthony Joshua became household names, the BoxNation TV owner said the sport was in a “really healthy state”.

He described Nicola as a “fabulous advert for the Games” and “probably the most recognisable boxer after the Olympics” but said he wasn’t a big fan of women’s boxing.

“It just doesn’t sit with me – but boxing [in general] doesn’t sit with a few other people — but I do appreciate the hard work and endeavours that people put into it.”

In total twenty all male boxers faced-off against each other at the Copper Box Arena on February 15, ranging from super-bantamweight through to heavyweight contests.

Tyson Fury knocks down Joey Abell (left) during the International Heavyweight Contest at the Copper Box Arena. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA WireTyson Fury knocks down Joey Abell (left) during the International Heavyweight Contest at the Copper Box Arena. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Speaking to Parklife, heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury described the arena as “wonderful”, but added: “It doesn’t matter about how big it is or what it looks like, it’s about atmosphere.”

Mr Warren said: “From my point of view it’s about seeing some of the best fighters who are around, some of the guys who are on the cusp of becoming really well-known names and the youngsters who are just starting out in their careers.

“Hopefully they will have fond memories of the Copper Box.”

• Click on the Sport section for a full report of the night’s bouts

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