By Jake Donovan
It took Tony Hill two tries, but the British middleweight eventually made weight for his showdown with unbeaten countryman Billy Joe Saunders.
The bout serves as the co-main event for Saturday’s show at Royal Albert Hall in Kensington, UK, the first boxing card at the historic venue in more than a decade.
Saunders weighed in at 159 ½ lb (11st, 5 ½ lb); Hill hit 160 lb (11st, 6 lb) on the second try after weighing slightly over the limit on the first try. At stake is a regional title.
In the evening’s shared headliner, Sam Webb and Matthew Hall collide in a junior middleweight regional title eliminator. Both fighters came in under the limit at 153 lb (10st, 13 lb).
The bout is a step up in class for Saunders (12-0, 8KO) who captured Olympic gold for Great Britain in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. The 22-year old southpaw has been steady since turning pro in 2009 but has yet to face anything that can be classified as a test, whether on paper or in reality.
Hill (8-2, 4KO) is by no means a world beater but always offers a good account of himself. The bout comes two days shy of his 26th birthday, hoping for a celebratory occasion as he enters the contest on the heels of a disappointing points loss to Kerry Hope last October.
Unbeaten light heavyweight titlist Nathan Cleverly was scheduled to face Robin Krasniqi in the evening’s original headliner. Those plans changed when Cleverly was forced to withdraw after a viral infection compromised his training camp.
The show will air live on Boxnation in the U.K.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to JakeNDaBox@gmail.com