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Monaco is synonymous with international sporting events. Starting in January with the Rallye Monte-Carlo on the treacherous Alpine roads above Monaco, the glamorous principality enjoys a packed sports calendar throughout the year. Among other illustrious events and competitions there is the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters Series, an annual fixture at the Monte-Carlo Country Club since 1897. The heralded Monaco Grand Prix follows in May drawing nearly 200,000 people to the second smallest country in the world, while Herculis, one of the most important international athletics meetings of the year, likewise draws spectators in their thousands to the principality in July.
If Monaco is globally renowned as a sporting capital, perhaps boxing would not be the sport most closely associated to the principality however. Mr Camille Blanc may argue otherwise, having established the first ever international bout more than a century ago between British contender Jim Sullivan and Frenchman Georges Carpentier in the Condamine for the European middleweight championship. Since then boxing has made fleeting visits to Monaco in 1920, 1931, 1935 and 1939. Boxing later punctuated the Principality’s sporting calendar in the 70s and 90s and more recently saw Monaco host the Monte Carlo Pro Boxing Masters in 2005 and 2006 to cap a long, if inconsistent, history with the discipline.
However, the Casino de Monte Carlo and prestigious African promoter Golden Gloves are looking to change the course of history. After signing a partnership and launching the first edition of the Monte-Carlo Boxing Bonanza on March 2013, neither side have looked back. Now the fifth instalment in what is expected to be a long series of box office boxing events is to take place on 25th October.
The last event to date, “KO at the Casino”, was held on June 21st, 2014 in the elegant Salle Médecin of the Casino de Monte-Carlo before an exclusive audience of 300 fans. The lucky attendees witnessed four international quality fights including a bout for the WBC Middleweight Silver World Title between the English champion Martin Murray and the Ukrainian Max Bursak.
The latest edition of boxing fights in Monaco entitled ‘Title Tornado’ sees Martin Murray return to the scene of his victory over Bursak to take on Italian challenger Domenico Spada, this time at the beautiful Salle des Etoiles. The legendary 1000m² arena has previously hosted high profile events such as the Bal de la Rose and added a touch of class to the Monte Carlo Sporting Festival.
With spectacular views looking out onto the beautiful Monegasque bay, the Salle des Etoiles will provide a dramatic setting to four full blooded fights. The event will be broadcast in China, Canada, Western Europe, and Africa and similarly the competitors will be arriving from all corners of the globe.
Starting at 6pm with an amateur fight featuring Monegasque boxer and France Junior Champion Hugo Micallef, the evening then sees the first of four 12 round world title fights between China’s Xiong Zhao Zhong and South Africa’s Hekkie Budler for the WBA Minimumweight World Title.
The night’s second fight for the IBF Bantamweight World Title will be contested by the American Randy Caballero and British boxer Stuart Hall, with a large British following expected to attend to cheer on their representative in the superlightweight category.
The penultimate fight bills Colombian Eleider Alvarez against South Africa’s Ryno Liebenberg for the WBC Light Heavyweight Silver Belt before the evening’s final and most highly anticipated match between Spada and Murray for the WBC Middleweight Silver Belt. Close to one hundred Murray fans will be visiting the Principality to see his fight with heightened expectations in the wake of heavy odds in his favour against the lesser ranked Italian combatant. The Italian is not new to fighting for World Titles however. A long-time boxer since the age of 13, Spada has already fought for the WBC Silver middleweight title before as well as the WBC International middleweight title twice and has thrown a warning shot to Murray before the fight: “Try to hug me like you did with Bursak for 12 rounds and I will knock you out. I am a fighter. I am coming to fight. Let’s give the fans a match for the ages.” Murray, himself a highly experienced boxer, will surely be unfazed by the threats and is certain to provide the crowd with an entertaining clash at the Salle des Etoiles.
Be sure to arrive at such a monumental occasion in appropriate fashion. Choose the French and Italian Riviera’s leading helicopter charter company Heli Securite to arrive in style in form Nice or Cannes to Monaco and finish your grand entrance with a luxury supercar rental. Choose from a vast fleet of the finest sports cars including fifteen of the greatest marques in automotive history to celebrate the grandeur of the Boxing Bonanza event. Buy your tickets for Monaco’s most eagerly awaited boxing fight of the year here.