May 20 2013 Latest news:
Len Whaley, Boxing Correspondent
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Pro boxing will awake with a bang after its summer siesta when top promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren stage rival London shows in September as they battle for British boxing supremacy.
Hearn’s Matchroom group launch the action with a big show planned at Alexandra Palace on September 8 with the backing of SkySports.
Just six nights later comes Warren’s reply with a championship night at Wembley Arena, which gets television coverage from the promoter’s BoxNation channel.
Both shows feature a lineup of local talent, including championship action, as both promoters plan to liven up the capital’s boxing scene in the months ahead with regular tournaments featuring their own boxers.
Several members of Tony Sims’ Hainault-based squad will feature on September 8, including top-of-the-bill middleweight Darren Barker making his first ring appearance since his defeat against world great Sergio Gabriel Martinez last year –his first loss after 23 straight victories.
Barker looks forward to title fight action on the show, which also features his stable-mates John Ryder and Lee Purdy, plus former amateur stars Martin J Ward and Iain Weaver making their eagerly awaited pro debuts.
Other boxers featured at the Ally Pally include Eric Ochieng, Chris Evangelou and Wadi Camacho and it’s no secret that Matchroom plan regular shows in the capital.
“I have a gym full of outstanding boxers from the area and we can get a really lively London scene going,” enthused Sims.
Meanwhile, similar sentiments are voiced by Matchroom’s main rival Frank Warren, who admitted: “There’s no doubt London has been neglected in recent years while we have been running big shows around the country.”
He sees the Friday night Wembley bill as the curtain-raiser for his promotional group series of shows in the capital featured by his own BoxNation TV channel.
British and Commonwealth super-middleweight champion George Groves will headline the Wembley show on September 14 after his date with tough Mexican Francisco Sierra in San Jose, California, on Saturday – a 10-round contest which can be seen live on BoxNation.
The Wembley card will feature two further big title fights. Firstly, TKO gym fighter Billy Joe Saunders defends his Commonwealth middleweight belt that he won in quick time at the Royal Albert Hall and Bradley Skeete takes on Chas Symonds for the Southern Area welterweight title.
Another TKO gym fighter, explosive super-middleweight Frank Buglioni, looks for his sixth straight pro victory on the show that includes light-welterweight Gary Corcoran and featherweight Mitchell Smith.
Dagenham lightweight Eddie Hussein, guided by his father and former Commonwealth champion Mo, bids for his third straight pro win on Warren’s Wembley show.