BoxNation, Sky channel 456 and Virgin 546, will unveil a new boxing show this April when they launch their BoxAcademy series.
BoxAcademy is a monthly live show that will showcase young up-and-coming boxers from the British scene. The first one will be broadcast live from London’s York Hall on Thursday April 12.
On one Thursday every month, BoxNation will switch the focus from World, British and European title contests, and give the floor to a host of former Olympians, amateur champions and unbeaten prospects. The show will move around the country in order to bring boxing fans action from the best regional talent. The events will be supplemented with behind the scenes interviews, training footage and background stories.
The debut show features Queensberry Promotion’s Southern Area Cruiserweight champion and unbeaten 8-0 (2) prospect Tony Conquest taking on Scotland’s 2006 Commonwealth Games medallist and former amateur star Stephen Simmons, 4-0 (2), in a ten-round contest. Michael Walsh, one of the three fighting brothers from Cromer and the 2007 ABA flyweight champion, takes part in an eight-round outing as he bids to add to his 8-0 (8) slate.
The undercard features some of the elite in young boxing talent from the South East and London. 2001 ABA 75kg titlist John Dignum returns to the ring for his second pro contest, while Hoddesdon flyweight and ABA finalist Charlie Hoy also gets his second pro outing. ABA finalist Tom Baker and ABA featherweight Champion Mitchell Smith both debut and unbeaten pro Gary Corcoran, 2-0 (1), will also feature.
George Warren of Queensberry Promotions confirmed the launch of BoxAcademy earlier today, he believes the format will help bring though a new generation of stars and place pre-fight emphasis on full fight cards rather than single grudge matches.
“This is the first in a series of events Queensberry will be running under the BoxAcademy banner,” said Warren when speaking to Boxingscene.com. “The U.K. is home to some of the best prospects in World boxing and these fighters deserve the opportunity to showcase their talents on live TV.”
He added: “Conversations between myself and [BoxNation CEO] Simon Green have been ongoing for some time as to how we can get these fighters out regularly, in competitive contests that are about developing them as boxers and giving them the opportunity to be the focal point of events. We are running this with some of the top prospects in the country, concentrating on specific areas of the U.K. where prospects can fight in front of home crowds building a fan base.
Simon Green shares George’s views. “I’m thrilled that BoxNation will be launching Box Academy on the channel with Queensberry Promotions,” declared the BoxNation CEO. “BoxNation viewers are familiar with seeing regular world title bouts alongside the best newcomers but Box Academy will allow the best young UK prospects to be showcased properly and to be seen up close and personal.”
Francis Warren, also of Queensberry Promotions, said: “We think the concept of BoxAcademy will be a real revelation in the development of the huge wealth of young, talented upcoming fighters that we have in the U.K. The shows will give the prospects the chance to be the focus, rather than being an afterthought of the main event. This is sure to make for more exciting toe-to-toe action, where we get the chance to see what tomorrow’s champions are really capable of.
“We’ve got a fantastic line up for the first show at York Hall. A great mix of sterling amateur pedigree and unbeaten prospects who have flourished in their early pro careers, I just can’t wait to see it all come together.”
By Terence Dooley
Boxing Monthly magazine and UK Editor at www.boxingscene.com
Courtesy of Ricky Reeno.
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