Promoter Frank Warren will stage the first world title show at the Royal Albert Hall in over a decade when British star Nathan Cleverly headlines the legendary venue on the28th of April.
Unbeaten Cleverly, who defeated American Tommy Karpency last month, will make the fourth defence of his WBO World Light-Heavyweight title against the number four ranked Robin Krasniqi, subject to confirmation from the WBO.
The 25-year-old from Cefn Fforest will be the first Welshman in a championship title fight at the venue since Joe Calzaghe defeated Stephen Wilson in 1995.
Serbian Krasniqi, who is based in Germany, has a top record of 37 wins from 39 fights and his only two losses were on points early in his career. He won the European WBO title last October with a fourth round stoppage of Abdelkahim Derghal and defended it against Hakim Zoulikha in January, stopping him in the twelfth round.
The show will be televised live and exclusive on the New Home Of Boxing BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) which will also cover Bernard Hopkins’ highly anticipated WBC World Light-Heavyweight title rematch with Chad Dawson live from Atlantic City later that night.
Warren brought boxing back to the Albert Hall last October when he staged the Royal Albert Hall Cup for the charity Tickets For Troops that saw a combined UK Armed Forces team take on their US counterparts in a special Transatlantic amateur tournament.
And it was the Hall of Fame promoter who last staged world championship boxing there in 1999 when Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera defended his WBO World Super-Bantamweight title against Paul Lloyd.
Some of the biggest names in British boxing have fought at the Royal Albert Hall including Sir Henry Cooper, Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis and Prince Naseem Hamed and Warren is looking to add one of the biggest names under his banner to the illustrious list.
Warren said, “I’m delighted to bring big time world championship boxing back to the Royal Albert Hall next month with one of Britain’s biggest and brightest stars in Nathan,”
“We had a tremendous reception for our Tickets For Troops event in October that saw amateurs from the UK and US Armed Forces fight it out for the Royal Albert Hall Cup and the demand is there to see world championship boxing,”
“Subject to confirmation from the WBO, Nathan has got a tough defence against Krasniqi who’s never been stopped in 39 fights and is ranked number four so it’s going to be a hard test for him.”
Cleverly said, “It’s great to be the first boxer in over 10 years to open up the doors to the famous venue to boxing again,”
“I love boxing in London and I’m over the moon that Frank has put on my world title defence at the iconic landmark and it will be the start of many big shows,”
“It’s a who’s who of boxing who have fought at the Albert Hall and to add my name alongside greats like Lennox Lewis, Naseem Hamed, Nigel Benn and Joe Calzaghe is a real honour and dream,”
“It’s a good omen that Joe was the last Welshman to box there for a title when he beat Stephen Wilson for the British super-middleweight title in 1995 so I’ll be looking to carry on the Welsh winning run there,”
“Krasniqi got a good record and he’s bound to be a hard test for me. The better the opponents the better I perform and Krasniqi will bring out the best in me,”
“I’ll also be keeping a close eye later that night from the action in Atlantic City between Hopkins and Dawson and will be looking to face the winner,”
Tickets, priced at £40, £50, £75, £150 and £200, are available from:
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European Super-Middleweight Champion James DeGale (11-1, 8 KOs) will make his mandatory defence against Cristian Sanavia (45-5-1, 13 KOs) at the Nordic Fight Night in Frederikshavn on April 21. The fight will be co-promoted by Team Sauerland and Italian promoters Round Zero.
“DeGale versus Sanavia will be an exciting battle for the European crown,” promoter Nisse Sauerland said. “This is a great addition to the Nordic Fight Night. We are delighted to bring the very best of European boxing to Frederikshavn.”
DeGale, who won the gold medal for Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics, will make a first defence of the title he clinched with a majority decision against Piotr Wilczewski in Liverpool last October. Sanavia, a former WBC Super-Middleweight Champion, is convinced that the experience of 51 fights will lift him to victory. “DeGale had a great amateur career but he has never been inside the ring with somebody as experienced as me,” he stated. “This is my last chance to get back to where I belong, which is the very top of the super-middleweight division. I will win on April 21.”
Tickets for Nordic Fight Night in Frederikshavn are available at www.arenanord.dk .