Olympic sporting legacy: boxing deal signed for Hackney Wick's Copper Box
PUBLISHED: 11:37 11 June 2013 | UPDATED: 12:01 11 June 2013
Two unbeaten middleweight champions, Billy Joe Saunders and John Ryder, will thrash it out for the British title as part of a deal with Frank Warren to bring professional boxing to Hackney's Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park.
Two unbeaten middleweight champions will thrash it out for the British title as part of a deal to bring professional boxing to Hackney’s Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park.
The UK’s largest social enterprise, venue operator GLL, signed the year-long deal with boxing promoter Frank Warren, and the money raised will be reinvested in sporting opportunities in the Acquatics Centre and 7,000 seat Copper Box Arena.
Known as the “box that rocks” during the London Olympics, the arena nearby Hackney Wick hosted the handball and modern pentathlon fencing during the Olympic Games and goalball during the Paralympic Games.
At a press conference yesteray at the London Legacy Development Corporation’s headquarters in Stratford, chief executive Denis Hone, said: “The East End has always been the spiritual home for boxing and to have world class boxing coming into the Copper Box featuring the best in British fighters is fantastic, hopefully it will be an inspiration for people in this area to get engaged in sport and boxing.”
Frank Warren added: “In paying our rental some of that money is going towards other sports and helping youngsters to be able to achieve their goals and become the Olympic stars of tomorrow.”
Headlining the first event on Saturday September 21 will be the highly anticipated British Middleweight Title showdown between the unbeaten champion Billy Joe Saunders from Hatfield and the undefeated challenger John Ryder who lives in Upper Street, Islington.
The 24-year old, who has won all 12 fights he has fought since turning professional three years ago, with eight knockouts, told the Gazette it was a good feeling to knock out an opponent.
“I wouldn’t lie, obviously you care they are alright and they are safe, but you’ve never felt it until you’ve done it,” said Mr Ryder who got into boxing aged 12 and trained at the Angel Boxing Club in Goswell Road.
“You’d hope it doesn’t have lasting damage, I suppose if you keep getting knocked out every fight you might do, but if it’s every now and again I think you’d be alright.”
Boxing is hard work according to Mr Ryder, who eats a diet high in protein which is “set to perfection”.
“It’s non stop 24 7, you’ve got to live it, it’s more than gym and training, you’ve got to eat right, sleep right and cut out the little luxuries in life, like going out and socialising too often and getting drunk with your friends.”
The Copper Box will be one of the first legacy venues to re-open in July 2013 and is located in the west of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park near to the Press and Broadcast Centres.