BOXING fans will be back at the MECA for the first time since lockdown when a white collar event is staged at the venue next month.

Local promoter Rich Loveday will host a double-header on August 13 and 14.

“It will be the first boxing event in Swindon after restrictions open up, hopefully people will be venturing out to support this show," said Mr Loveday.

“It’s been a very tough time for some of my competitors over lockdown and this focus has helped them stay simulated.

“Swindon is a boxing town, we’ve got a good amateur background, we’ve got a good professional scene. White collar boxing is booming here.”

Mr Loveday wants to showcase how white collar boxing can be more of a draw for spectators than professional shows.

He said: “You go to a white collar event, it’s regular people fighting. It’s the entertainment value. 

“At some professional boxing shows that I’ve been to, you can hear a pin drop on some of the undercard fights, there’s no atmosphere.

“I watch a lot of local professional shows, it can sometimes be a home fighter fighting against someone flown in from Lithuania who’s just going to get beaten up. 

“People can go there and see their work colleagues, family members fighting, not people travelling two hours away to fight.

“This is a 50-50 fight between two guys, or two girls, along with some under-18s on the card.”
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Mr Loveday held two boxing shows behind closed doors this year, which did not have fans in attendance and were instead broadcast on pay per view.

This will not be the same situation next month, which will see fans be able to watch the fights live at the 1,800-capacity MECA.

Originally a white collar boxer himself on promoter Mark Neilson's shows, Mr Loveday has taken on the role himself and said the decision to choose Swindon as a venue was an easy one.

He said: “I was born and bred here, lived here all my life.

“I decided to do this six years ago and I’m still promoting to this very day. 

“There’s six other boxing promoters in Swindon, I do this all on my own, I’m a one man band.

In addition to the upcoming shows, Mr Loveday announced plans to bring former super-middleweight rivals Carl Froch and George Groves to Swindon this year for a meet and greet.