Burns, Groves, and Saunders headline Christmas show at The Excel
Promoter Frank Warren has announced a multi-title extravaganza featuring some of boxing’s biggest stars at the ExCeL London on Saturday 15th December.
Ricky Burns, George Groves, Billy Joe Saunders and Tony Conquest will defend their titles on the big end of year event in the capital, with even more title fights to be added.
Scottish star Burns, fresh from the most spectacular win of his career last month over rival Kevin Mitchell, will headline the show with the third defence of his WBO World Lightweight title against a top-ten challenger to be announced.
Burns, who is taking a short break in Las Vegas before starting serious training, is happy to return to London where he won the title last year at Wembley Arena with a sensational win over Michael Katsidis.
He said, ‘Since the win over Mitchell the response I’ve had from the Scottish fans has been fantastic, but I’ve also had so many congratulation messages from the English fans saying what a great fight performance it was and when am I coming to England to fight again, I didn’t realise that it would be my very next fight so I’m happy to come down and give them a Christmas treat at the Excel.’
Burns added, ‘The last couple of years have been fantastic with wins over Roman Martinez, Katsidis and now Mitchell, I seem to be getting better and better as the challenges in my career step up each time. December 15 is another crucial date for me, once I get that out of the way I’m looking forward to some big unification fights in 2013.’
Chief support on the card sees the exciting and unbeaten Commonwealth Super-Middleweight Champion George Groves in a title defence.
The Hammersmith Southpaw, who’s only fight this year was a thrilling sixth round stoppage of Francisco Sierra in California in July, is looking forward to getting back in action after seeing fights fall through this year - including a WBO World title fight - because of injuries.
‘This year has been tough, but I’m over the worst of it and now I’m focused on a big performance at the Excel. Although I’ve only had one fight this year, it was a good win in America that made the fans and media sit up and take notice of me. 2013, I’m sure, will be a much better one for me, but I need to make sure I end the year with my record in tact.’ Said Groves.
Commonwealth Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders also aims to end the year with a perfect record when he defends his title.
Heavy-handed Saunders put on a devastating display against Jarrod Fletcher last month to hand the Australian the first loss in his career with a stunning second round stoppage.
‘I can’t wait to put on another power-packed performance at the Excel and retain my Commonwealth title. This year I will have had four Commonwealth title fights and 2013 will be the year I win the Lonsdale belt. I’m in great form at the moment and I’m confident I could beat any of my rivals in the domestic division including Martin Murray, Darren Barker or Matthew Macklin.’ Said the Hatfield ace.
Fast-rising talent Tony Conquest shot to prominence this year with wins over Leon Williams and Ian Tims and will defend his WBO International Cruiserweight title on the show.
The Romford Destroyer is targeting a British title opportunity next year and says a good showing at the Excel will forward his case.
He said, ‘All but one of my fights have been at the York Hall so I’m excited to now feature at the Excel in front of a huge crowd. The Lonsdale belt is my dream and I hope that I can challenge for it next year, but I’ve got to keep on winning in style and push myself up the rankings.’
Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren added, ‘It’s a great show to end the year with and I’m delighted to stage it at the Excel in London. Ricky looked phenomenal beating Kevin Mitchell and proved why I call him the most improved fighter in the country. He’s got a lot of fans backing him in London when he beat Michael Katsidis and now with his win over Mitchell it will attracted even more. For Groves it’s an opportunity to end the year on a positive note and look forward to a bigger 2013 and a shot at the world title. Billy looked great in taking apart the previously unbeaten Jarrod Fletcher and showed that he’s a potential future world champion as has Tony who’s had a good year. I’ll be adding more title fights to the show over the next few weeks and it’s going to backed up with an action packed undercard with an array of talented young fighters.’
Tickets, priced at £40, £50, £75, £100, £150 and £200, are available from Eventim at www.eventim.co.uk or 0844 249 1000.
The show will be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.com