Royal Albert Hall set for more than eight boxing shows a year

BOXING promoter Frank Warren wants tomorrow’s show at Kensington’s Royal Albert Hall to be the start of many at the historic venue.

Billy Joe Saunders will meet Tony Hill for the vacant Commonwealth middleweight title and Warren, the last to stage a fight there when Julius Francis beat Danny Williams over 12 rounds for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles in 1999, plans to do so once more on a regular basis.

“In an ideal world, I’d like to do at least eight shows a year, but we’ve got to talk about that,” said Warren. “I put the last show on in 1999 and on Saturday we want to party like it’s 1999.

“This is a chance for them [Saunders and Hill] to show their talent in, without a doubt, the best boxing venue in the world. For atmosphere, you can’t get any better than this. The audience is so close to the action.”

Saunders, 22, who fought at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, was nine when Francis beat Williams on a bill that also featured Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera’s first-round stoppage of Paul Lloyd for the WBO super-bantamweight title, but can recall the evening. He said: “I watched the [last] show; I had a look at it the other day. The venue alone is unbelievable.”