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Frank Warren planning return of boxing shows in Wales

Nathan Cleverly shows off his belts at Cardiff City Stadium
Nathan Cleverly has never headlined a show in his home country

Promoter Frank Warren says he plans to stage Cardiff's first major fight night since 2008 later this year.

He considered bringing Nathan Cleverly and Enzo Maccarinelli to the city for the first defences of their European titles on 18 September.

That fight card has gone to Birmingham, but Warren remains intent on reviving the boxing stage in Wales.

"I'm going to be doing one or maybe two shows down in Cardiff by the end of the year," Warren told BBC Sport Wales.

"We've had some great times there over the years bringing through Welsh talent like Colin Jones, Steve Robinson, Robbie Regan, Joe Calzaghe and Enzo Maccarinelli.

It's inevitable that I will get a big homecoming in Cardiff

Nathan Cleverly

"There are some good youngsters coming through, we need to get the thing back up and running and show the Welsh fans that they've got some really good boxers to be proud of."

There has been no major fight card staged in Welsh capital since Gavin Rees lost his WBA light-welterweight title to Andreas Kotelnik at the Cardiff International Arena in March 2008.

European light-heavyweight champion Cleverly is the fast-rising star of the Welsh boxing scene, but he has not fought in the country since an appearance on Joe Calzaghe's undercard at the Millennium Stadium in November 2007.

Lennox Lewis v Frank Bruno
Cardiff has a long history of staging major fight cards

The Cefn Fforest man has never headlined a card in his own country, and since his last Cardiff appearance he has fought in venues as diverse as Las Vegas, Widnes, Swindon and London, winning British, Commonwealth and European titles.

Meanwhile, former WBO cruiserweight champion Maccarinelli has revived his career, travelling to St Petersburg for a stunning European title win in April.

Warren had talked of putting the two on a show in Cardiff, before opting to include them as part of a major seven-fight programme at Birmingham's LG Arena.

"I had thought my next fight may have been in Cardiff," Cleverly told BBC Sport Wales.

"It would have been a nice homecoming, but I've got to go in and do a number on this guy [Karo Murat] as if it is in Cardiff.

"It's inevitable that I will get a big homecoming in Cardiff. By then I'll hopefully be a big household name in Wales and it will be at a big arena - Cardiff City football stadium or the Millennium Stadium."

To win a world title back in my home town would be a fantastic feeling

Enzo Maccarinelli

Warren added: "[A major show in Wales] is on the horizon, the trouble is that the Cardiff International Arena only holds 5,000.

"Nathan is very capable of becoming a big star and filling the Millennium Stadium up again."

Swansea's Maccarinelli, meanwhile, has another dream as he seeks to become the first Welshman to regain a world title.

"It would be awesome to bring big-time boxing back to Wales and I've had talks with [Swansea's] Liberty Stadium," Maccarinelli told BBC Sport Wales.

"That would be fantastic for me and the country if it works out.

"It could be a possibility. To win a world title back in my home town would be a fantastic feeling."



see also
Cardiff's greatest fight nights
04 Jun 10 |  Boxing
Cleverly plots world domination
07 Jul 10 |  Boxing
World title tilt awaits Cleverly
01 Jul 10 |  Boxing
Macca out to burst Frenkel bubble
05 Jul 10 |  Boxing
Rees stopped in WBA title defence
22 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Nathan Cleverly in photos
08 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Enzo Maccarinelli in photos
27 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing history in photos
24 May 09 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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