The ‘box that rocks’ – the 7,000-seat Copper Box Arena which acted as the handball arena at the Olympics – is to host a series of boxing matches, beginning with Billy Joe Saunders, the unbeaten British middleweight champion. Venue operator GLL and boxing promoter Frank Warren have concluded a multi-fight agreement. Warren said:
This is a superb setting for boxing. The Copper Box is what all the investment in the Olympics was about – legacy and giving London a fantastic arena. I’m looking forward to bringing the big fights to this venue.
Dennis Hone, CEO of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said:
This shows the Park’s true potential as a fantastic visitor destination that will leave a lasting legacy in east London.
The venue’s operator GLL already has a grassroots programme with boxing. Phil Lane, Head of Sport at GLL, said:
GLL is a strong supporter of boxing at all levels. Through our GLL Sport Foundation we provide financial and practical backing to Olympic medallists Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams and sponsor Repton Boxing Club, one of the oldest and most successful boys clubs in London.
The Copper Box Arena is the first of the permanent legacy venues to open on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (27 July 2013) and the deal for boxing has been warmly welcomed by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) who oversee all Park activity.