Professional boxing to return to Peterborough
Big-time boxing is coming back to Peterborough.
Promoter Robert Waterman has booked the Exec Arena at the East of England Showground on Friday, March 9 and will confirm the show’s top-of-the-bill title fight in the next few days.
There hasn’t been a professional show in the city since December, 2007 when power-puncher Cello Renda topped promoter Ian Pauly’s dinner show at the Holiday Inn and kept his British Masters middleweight title with a four-round retirement win over Ryan Rawlinson.
Three months before that fork-and-fight night, Kevin Sanders promoted a show at the East of England Showground that featured JJ Bird and the Big Brother star will box there again in March if boxing bosses give him the green light to box.
Bird passed out less than a hour before he was set to compete in the light-middleweight ‘Prizefighter’ last September and will have to pass the British Boxing Board of Control’s medicals before being allowed to box on the show.
Waterman hopes Bird will join local ticket-sellers Caine Brodie and Jake Dyer on the show.
Waterman says he could bring Eurosport cameras to the Exec Arena later this year to beam the action across the continent – if local fight fans get behind his shows.
He hopes a crowd of around 1,500 will watch the show and added: “The Exec Arena is a great venue, the people are good to work with and if we get the support we need, there will be regular big shows in Peterborough.”
Keith Dalton, managing director of the Exec Arena, said: “Hopefully this show will be the start of the venue being established as a venue for major, top-class professional boxing.”
Brodie will be keen to be a part of the city’s boxing revival.
Brodie, a winner of four of his five super-middleweight fights, will use the show in March to relaunch his career after more than two years out of the ring and at 29 years old, the personal trainer from Gunthorpe knows he is running out of time to fulfil the promise he showed as an amateur.
Rick Green, the head coach at Focus ABC, took Brodie to the National Schoolboy championship final and as a senior with Phil Prout’s Arena ABC, he reached the semi-finals of the ABA Championships in 2006-2007.
Prout will be training Brodie, sponsored by SJS Plastering and The Vykin Corporation, at his York Road gym in the countdown to the show – and once a week, they will head to manager Johnny Eames’ gym in Canning Town for top-class sparring with the likes of former British cruiserweight champion Leon Williams.
Dyer is sure to bring plenty of support with him from Whittlesey for his middleweight fight having thrilled the 70 fans who followed him to Newark in December to cheer him to a third-round stoppage of Mickey O’Sullivan.
Waterman has confirmed three more boxers for the show.
Newmarket ticket-seller Pat McAleese, Jamie Spence, a take-one-to-give-one scrapper and former British Masters light-welterweight champion from Northampton, and unbeaten former amateur star Nathan Dale, from Norwich, will also box on the show.
The show will raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund and tickets are priced at £75 for diners, £50 for ringside seats and £30 unreserved. They are available from 01733 882565.
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