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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 5 March, 2003, 09:16 GMT
York Hall facing knock-out
Supporters demonstrate outside York Hall
Supporters demonstrate outside York Hall
A fight to save a venue known as the home of boxing, enters its final round as the local authority decides its future.

York Hall in Bethnal Green, east London, has been earmarked for closure by Tower Hamlets council, claim the venue's supporters.

The arena, which was built in 1929, has been the boxing home of fighters such as Audley Harrison and Chris Eubank.

And Charlie Magris, a former world boxing champion, told BBC London: "In 1968 when started boxing, I was 11-years-old and York Hall was the place to.

"You can never replace York Hall. It was a one-off."

Boxing promoter Frank Warren has offered to buy York Hall to save it from possible demolition.

Leisure facility

As well as profile support from the boxing world, hundreds from the local community have singed up in its cause, which also houses a swimming pool.

They are to march the afternoon from Mile End to Tower Hamlets town hall on Wednesday to coincide with the council meeting that will decide York Hall's fututre.

But Paul Martindill, from Tower Hamlets Council insisted no decision about the venue's future has been made, but said: "What we have to do as a council is look at York Hall as a leisure facility which is what it is.

"Boxing is part of that, but we are concerned about the standard of the facilities we have got there at the moment which we think in some areas is quite poor.

"We are also looking at other options that are different ways of using the centre which would be better for attracting more children, more families, people with disabilities etc..."




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC London's Jane Birch
"The council says it's too expensive to run"



SEE ALSO:
Sport stars fight to save arena
04 Jan 03 |  England
Harrison back on home soil
19 Dec 02 |  Boxing
Arthur joins Calzaghe stable
04 Dec 02 |  Boxing
Heavyweight duel at York Hall
11 Oct 02 |  Boxing
Interview with Audley Harrison, boxing champion
09 Jun 02 |  Breakfast with Frost


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