8th June 2012

Big time boxing returns to the Bristol region next month after an absence of eight years, when local based promoter, manager and trainer Chris Sanigar together with Mick Hennesey, stage an exciting 10 fight card to be topped by unbeaten British heavyweight contender Tyson Fury at the Hand Arena in Clevedon on Saturday, July 7.

Local favourite Lee Haskins will contest the vacant European bantamweight crown in a domestic bust up with former British champion Stuart Hall and Chris Eubank Jnr. continues his rise up the boxing rankings as the chief support on the card, with an opponent yet to be named. -If you can’y make it to the show;  All three fights will be screened live on Channel 5.

Sanigar, a former fighter himself and constant advocate of Bristol boxing had failed to find a suitable venue in Bristol city centre after winning the purse bids for Haskins versus Hall, but teaming up with Hennessey Sports has given him the platform to sell out the 3,000-capacity Hand Arena in a showcase that will have national appeal and help put West Country boxing back on the map.

“This is by far the biggest event we have staged in the Bristol area in eight years and it is great to have big-time boxing back here.

“We have been held back for too long by the lack of a decent indoor arena in Bristol and that is why we are having to go to Clevedon. But the Hand Arena is an excellent venue and, together with our television deal with Channel 5, will ensure we are able to guarantee generating the money needed to bring some of the country’s most exciting fighters to our region.

“We have three great fights at the top of the bill and there will be an opportunity for local boxers to appear on the undercard.

“There is a real appetite for boxing in this area and I’m sure the show will sell out quickly.

“It has been a long time since we have had anything like this in the Bristol area and I’m sure all fight fans in the West will be excited at the prospect of seeing an event that showcases the best of British boxing.”

Of his decision to co-promote with Hennessey, Sanigar explained: “We needed a TV deal and that would have proved difficult with Lee Haskins topping the bill. That is when we decided to look for something bigger and turned to Mick.

“I have worked in Tyson Fury’s corner in the past and have a good relationship with Hennessey Sports. They come with Channel 5 and their support means we are able to put on a 10-fight show here for the first time since Audley Harrison boxed in Bristol all that time ago in 2004.

“It is a shame we cannot find a suitable venue in Bristol, but that has been a problem for a long time now. I felt it was important for Lee Haskins to have home advantage for such a big fight and I’m delighted we can make this happen at Clevedon.”

British Boxing Board of Control officials declared themselves satisfied when they inspected the venue earlier this week and the show was finally given the go-ahead last night after Channel 5 representatives visited the Hand Arena.

Although Bristol fight fans will be excited by the prospect of watching Lockleaze-born Haskins in action near his home city for the first time since 2007, unbeaten former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Fury, 24, and Eubank, son of ex-world super middleweight king Chris Eubank, will prove an even bigger attraction and guarantee a nationwide television audience of hundreds of thousands.

Manchester’s Fury has won all 18 fights (13 inside the distance) since turning professional and signing for Hennessey in 2008. His opponent on July 7 has yet to be named.

WBA Inter-continental and IBF International bantamweight boss Haskins, 29, bids to become the first Bristolian to win a European title when he goes head to head with Hall, the former British bantamweight champion from Darlington.

Tickets go on sale today and can be booked by calling the box office on 01179 496699.
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