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[26 FEB 99] BOXING NEWS
Professional Boxing Returns To Coventry

Professional boxing returns to Coventry for the first time in 10 years tonight when local hope Dean Pithie fights for the WBC International super-featherweight title.

The 25-year-old from Willenhall will perform in front of 1,200 fervent fans at the Coventry Sports Centre. Tickets were an instant sell out and promoter Jess Harding is already considering further shows in the city which spawned Bobby Arthur, Danny McAlinden and Errol Christie.

Pithie takes on South African Andrew Matabola after original opponent Frenchman Alfif Djelti pulled out.

And the Coventry fans are going to be in for a treat. City featherweight Richard Evatt is on the card, just a fortnight after losing in Poland, along with the unbeaten Mark Payne and Neil Simpson.

Harding said:

"I am very much surprised that everything sold out as quickly as it did. To sell out a show like this in four days is fantastic and it reflects the interest in the local fighters and the quality of the bill.

"I remember all the famous names of boxing who have come from this area and hopefully we can bring a few more through who will go on to be champions.

"Dean and Richard certainly have that potential and Mark is building a good, solid reputation. It is becoming more difficult for me to find him opponents.

"Everything is ready for what should be a very good night on the Coventry sporting scene."

Pithie lost his WBO Intercontinental belt last year and his bout against the 29-year-old former South African featherweight title holder represents a chance to re-establish himself in the top class.

He will also be fighting in front of the Sky TV cameras and the bout will be shown next Wednesday. BBC Coventry and Warwickshire have struck a two-match deal with Harding.
  

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CWN / Sport / Boxing / News / 26 Feb 99

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