BOXING is set for two blockbusting Hartlepool v Sunderland derbies at the Stadium of Light next month.
Summer Rumble 4 promoter Phil Jeffries has had confirmation from the British Boxing Board of Control that Gary Fox v Lee Mould and Jonson McClumpha v Greg O’Neil will be for Northern Area titles.
The two North-East confrontations will headline the outdoor extravaganza on Sunday, July 13, when Jeffries and co-promoter Steve Wraith plan to stage a dozen bouts.
“I’m proud to put these two fights on,” said Jeffries who held a media conference today at the Stadium of Light.
“I want genuine 50-50 contests on the shows I’m promoting and these four lads will be going hell for leather for the belts.”
Fox and Mould will be battling it out for the light-welterweight championship.
Mould, known as “Lightning”, is unbeaten in five contests –four wins and a controversial draw for the vacant British
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Masters Bronze light-welterweight title – will provide a difficult challenge for Fox.
The “Fishburn Fox”, trained by Neil Fannan, will be excited by this opportunity to get back on the winning trail.
The 28-year-old crowd-pleaser has lost on his last two appearances - both high-profile lightweight contests against Scott Cardle and Kirk Goodings.
His bid to wrest the English title from Goodings ended in an eighth round stoppage in Newcastle in March but this time he is moving up a weight division where he will be stronger.
The 10-round bout also has the added spice, if any was needed, that Fox will be going up against his first pro trainer, Mal Gates, from South Shields.
The O’Neil v McClumpha showdown is even tastier.
Sunderland middleweight McClumpha has not fought in eight months, but the unbeaten 23-year-old, who is managed and promoted by Jeffries, is a boxer looking to go places.
O’Neil, like town neighbour Fox, has lost his last two contests, both at the top domestic level.
But the Gus Robinson Developments fighter, from Horden, will view this match as his chance to climb up the middleweight ladder.
Both boxers can punch and the judges may not be required to score this one.
“These fights would be brilliant even if there were no titles riding on them,” added Jeffries.
“But the fact there are belts to be won just adds to the excitement.”