Boxing will be a big hit in Gardens
IT'S showcased everything from children's talent shows to Hogmanay's headlining acts.
Now the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens is going for a sporting first - a floodlit, 20-bout, boxing extravaganza.
A crowd of more than 2000 is expected as Edinburgh takes on London in the international-class amateur boxing event organised by Amateur Boxing Scotland as part of its drive to encourage youngsters to take up the sport.
The specially-constructed ring will be lit, with contingency plans in case of rain.
Former British ABA champion Bradley Welsh who now runs the Holyrood gym, is promoting the clash.
He said: "The aim is to stage eight youth bouts, followed by a dozen senior contests, and all 11 clubs from around the Lothians will be featured on the bill.
"Subject to matching with London competitors, we hope to have excellence in the form of Scottish champions including Josh Taylor and David Dickson (Lochend] and Jason Easton (Craigmillar] as well as new internationalist Chris Given and his Holyrood club-mate Martin Warner.
"Equally, there will be a selection of young boxers with just seven or eight contests on their record because we want to showcase the sport.
"The council has been particularly supportive since the idea was first mooted about two years ago and we finally have the green light to stage a show in 'Edinburgh's front garden'."
Mr Welsh said that Princes Street used to be a world-renowned centre for boxing, with the site of the current Princes Mall attracting such names as American world light heavyweight champion "Philadelphia" Jack O'Brien, more than 100 years ago.
If the show is successful, further ventures are planned in other cities while continuing at Princes Street Gardens.
A spokesman for Amateur Boxing Scotland said the event was a natural follow-up to sell-out internationals at Meadowbank Stadium earlier this year involving Scotland against Wales and North Ireland.
ABA chairman, Richard Thomas, said: "The UK amateur boxing scene is thriving. This event will showcase some of the best boxing talent we have and we hope this event will give fans a night to remember and whet their appetite for more."
Tickets for the event on Friday, September 9, priced at between 10 and 20, are on sale from Amateur Boxing Scotland and its affiliated Edinburgh gyms as well as XL Clothing Stores Edinburgh, Powerhouse Fitness Edinburgh and G-Star Edinburgh.
A city council spokesman said: "This sounds like a very interesting event and the fact it's taking place in such a prominent central location as the Ross Bandstand will no doubt attract lots of curious onlookers, as well as committed boxing and sports fans."
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