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Oldbury boxing promoter unveils British Boxing Hall of Fame plans
10:50am Wednesday 15th August 2012 in News
AN Oldbury boxing promoter is planning to bring the Boxing Hall of Fame to the Midlands.
Unlike the entrenched American hall of fame the British one has never taken off but Marcus Anderson-Hitchen is planning to give a boxing legacy to Birmingham and the Black Country.
He and partner, Midlands boxing stalwart Ken Purchase, are staging a week long Festival of Boxing next year to mark the hall of fame’s fifth anniversary and are planning to unveil the museum then.
Mr Anderson-Hitchen said: “We have never had a Boxing Hall of Fame in Britain, people have played at it. but it’s never been done properly.
“We are looking for premises or land in Birmingham City Centre where we can erect a purpose-built Visitors Centre and museum.”
The key to a recognised Boxing Hall of Fame is the legends associated with it and the standard of memorabilia and artefacts required to reflect British legends and unforgettable nights of boxing spanning three centuries.
Mr Anderson-Hitchen is the grandfather was renowned Oldbury boxer, trainer and manager Lesley Anderson and uncle was Kenny Cooper who fought for England in the Commonwealth Games and celebrated locally for his victory over Ken Buchannan in the ABA championships.
He said: “We have got a lot of memorabilia already and people are still giving us stuff, so by next summer we should be ready.
“Having grown up with boxing legends in the family I know all about the importance of reviving the great names and their achievements that have been long forgotten.
Ambassadors of the Boxing Hall Of Fame already include John H Stracey, Jake LaMotta, John Coyle, Terry Downes and Jane Couch and current boxers Scott Quigg, David Price, Mathew Hatton and Martin Murray have signed up as junior ambassadors.
If the format is successful like music and sports halls of fame in America the museum in Birmingham will become a major tourist attractions for fight fans everywhere.
Mr Anderson-Hitchen said: “It would be nice to have the museum open during the festival week and it will be staying in Birmingham.
“There will also be a grass roots foundation under our banner, which will be raising money for amateur boxing.
The Festival of Boxing is from 26th - 31st August, 2013, at the International Convention Centre and stars from British and world boxing will be descending on the event.
Two awards dinners will be held to honour past and present boxers and negotiations are underway to stage a world title fight to the Midlands for the first time in over decade.
Mr Anderson-Hitchen said: “We want a world title fight to end the festival with because it has been too long since this part of the world staged one.”