Copper Box set to host the battle of the boxing promotors
09:30 30 August 2013
Promotors go head to head on Copper Box show
Billy Joe Saunders’ clash with John Ryder at the Copper Box Arena next month is not only a rare British title clash between unbeaten opponents from gyms barely 10 miles apart, but represents a battle between boxing’s biggest rivalries, writes Len Whaley.
Saunders is guided by promoter Frank Warren and trained by the Tibbs team at Canning Town’s Trad TKO Gym and is challenged by Ryder, who fights under the Matchroom banner of Eddie Hearn and is trained by Colin Lake at the Hainault gym of east Londoner Tony Sims.
Warren v Hearn is a tussle at the top of British boxing, with Frank’s long-standing reign as the undisputed king threatened by his young rival from the Matchroom stable, launched years back by his father Barry.
The show, in the heart of east London’s Olympic site, is being staged by Warren’s colleague Andy Ayling’s Double A Promotions, who won the purse bids after Hearn’s offer was first accepted and then ruled out on a technicality.
There’s no doubt the defeat of Welsh world champion Nathan Cleverly was a blow to Warren, just as Darren Barker’s WBO title triumph a few hours later in the USA was a boost for Hearn.
Barker also brought glory to the gym of manager and trainer Sims where Ryder insists he can come through the Copper Box clash as British champion – and trainer Lake sounds his support.
“Billy Joe should suit John. He’s sparred and fought fellow southpaws and always handled them well,” said Lake.
“I expect Saunders to use plenty of movement, so John has got to cut off the ring and make him work. He can do that and take the title.”
However, father and son duo Jimmy and Mark Tibbs have studied Ryder’s fighting style and are confident their man can come through with his undefeated record and titles intact.
It goes almost without saying that Saunders has no shortage of self assurance.
“John Ryder is a strong come-forward fighter, but there is no way he is taking my titles when he meet in September,” he said.
“I am taking him seriously and working hard to get in top shape – I know I will have too much for him when we meet.”
Warren is looking for a sell-out success on the night, the first of a six-fight series at the Copper Box, where he parades some of the top names from his stable.
Dereck Chisora faces a heavyweight rival on the show, while welterweight Frankie Gavin, super-featherweight Liam Walsh and super-flyweight Paul Butler are all booked for title contests, with the action being screened on Warren’s BoxNation TV channel.
Former Repton favourite Frank Buglioni is named on the September 21 bill, which also features another former favourite from the Bethnal Green club, George Kean, on his professional debut.