Sweeney Boxing promoter Tony Lindie hopes tomorrow night’s Capital Festive Fight Night event at Meadowbank Stadium will be the first of many shows to be staged in Edinburgh.
The Paisley-based boxing promotion company are confident they can build on this weekend’s boxing extravaganza, an event that will feature nine competitive fights as six of Edinburgh’s home-grown stars are joined by Dundee duo Ronnie Clark and Davie Drummond as well as Coatbridge’s Craig Windsor Jr.
With 1200 passionate fans expected to descend upon one of the country’s most popular boxing venues, Lindie feels there has been a shift in power, with more talent now beginning to emerge from the east.
“We’re looking to do between four and six shows per year at Meadowbank,” Lindie said. “Sweeney Promotions has only been going a year-and-a-half and we’ve put on a show in Paisley, a couple of shows in Glasgow and then moved into Dundee. But we now see Edinburgh as a hotbed of talent like it was many years ago. These boxers deserve to be fighting in their own city and not having to travel all the time. I don’t know why the other promoters, apart from Alex Arthur, haven’t come into Edinburgh before now.
“This will be our first show in the city but we’ll be looking to take that forward. I think there will be a great atmosphere generated from the crowd.”
Super bantamweight boxer Gareth Stemp makes his long awaited return from injury and is relishing the opportunity to debut in his hometown as a professional. With Trademark Recruitment Ltd now on board in a new sponsorship deal, the 28-year-old is ready to relaunch his career.
Stemp said: “I’ve not boxed in Edinburgh since I turned professional and the last time I was here was when I was amateur and won the Scottish title, so I am looking forward to it.
“I’ve been struggling with sponsorship since I turned pro but thankfully I now have a sponsor on the go. We can all get to that level if we have some backing because if you look at the guys who have won or are challenging for British titles, they have that funding. I’m here now and ready to go and hopefully stay injury-free”
Gary McMillan is thrilled to be fighting in his home city. He said: “The last two shows that Alex (Arthur) put on here at Meadowbank have been successful and people are turning up because it is something that has been missing. A lot of people can’t afford to go and watch fights through in Glasgow with the costs of getting through and the ticket as well, so it’s great to have this in Edinburgh.”
Reflecting on his light middleweight British title eliminator defeat to Liam Smith last month, McMillan added: “It wasn’t me that was in the ring in my last fight with Liam. He did what he had to do but he was there to be beat. I just didn’t do it and never felt right.”
Craig McEwan is another individual coming off the back of a disappointing defeat after his loss in the first round of the Prizefighter event in London just over a month ago. The 30-year-old, however, hopes to end 2012 on a positive note tomorrow. “I never boxed well at all in the Prizefighter but I still thought I’d done enough to win,” McEwan said. “I’m over it now though and I’m looking for a big 2013. It’s time now to really knuckle down and get something from the sport. I want to end this year with a win and then start looking for titles and bring them back to Edinburgh.”
Doors open at 6.30pm tomorrow, with the first fight scheduled for 7pm. The six Edinburgh boxers on show will be: Jason Hastie, John McCallum, Craig McEwan, Gary McMillan, Gareth Stemp and John Thain.