Queensbury Promotions will continue to capitalise on their success in the Midlands by returning to the region for a show in April.
Zach Parker (22-0, 16 KOs), the WBO number one super-middleweight contender, will fight in his home city of Derby on April 23.
“There’s a new venue opened up in Derby and he’ll be fighting April 23, so he’ll be making his debut in Derby. We’re looking to build a following with him in his hometown,” Parker’s promoter Frank Warren told Boxing Social.
“He’s done really well on TV since he’s been with us and getting good numbers and been quite exciting to watch. And we’re looking to get him into a position where we can hopefully do something with him at Derby’s football ground [Pride Park] in the future. He will get a shot at a [world] title this year.”
While Derby FC continue to battle relegation in English football’s Championship the only way is up for Parker. The powerful 27-year-old, managed by Neil Marsh, signed with Queensbury in February 2021 and racked up three early wins thereafter against Vaughn Alexander, Sherzod Khusanov and Marcus Morrison respectively.
While the undisputed king at 168lbs Canelo Alvarez is enjoying his rest and looking at a move to cruiserweight the rest of the pack need to fight.
“I’d like to see Zach Parker in with [Chris] Eubank Jr,” Warren stated. “I’d make that in a heartbeat if they fancy it.”
Queensbury’s boxing boom in the Midlands is led by the likes of Parker, Nathan Heaney, Brad Foster, Ekow Essoman and Liam Davies along with prospects Eithan James, Macauley Owen and Ezra Taylor.
Warren promoted four shows in the region last year which also featured the likes of Daniel Dubois, many well matched domestic fights and the sight and sound of Nathan Heaney’s enormous following. “That Midlands scene and what we’ve built up with all the guys there has been really good, really
lively. Good shows and we’ll continue to do that, but they’ll be bigger and bigger shows,” Warren says.
‘Lively’ is certainly one word to describe Heaney’s following. “It’s like Ricky Hatton’s lot on speed!” said Warren who promoted Hatton and delivered Kostya Tszyu to Manchester for a legendary night back in 2005.
Heaney will not be facing anyone near the calibre of Tszyu in 2022 but the dream of fighting at the home of his beloved Stoke City FC remains the target for everyone involved. “We’re working very hard at it,” Warren says. “He’s done brilliantly. He’s got a massive following and in the ring he’s exciting, he’s not boring to watch. I’d love to do that for him and for all his supporters because they’ve been the most amazing bunch of supporters in the country.”
One of Warren’s breakout stars has been Ekow ‘The Engine’ Essoman. The unbeaten 32-year-old from Nottingham looked every inch a talent when taking Chris Jenkins British and Commonwealth welterweight titles from him in July.
Three months later Danny Ball suffered a fractured jaw in the six
rounds he lasted with Essoman on a night that saw the champion defend the two titles plus his IBF European strap. The former Team GB Podium Squad member is now one place below the top 10 with the governing body.
“He has really impressed me,” says Warren.
“I’d make a fight with him, and Conor Benn and I’d do that tomorrow. He’s a tremendous fighter and he can fight. He’s a good boxer, he can whack, and I like him a lot and he will go places.”
While that would appear unlikely the Midlands crew of Essoman, Heaney, Parker and co. can look forward to many big nights close to home.