Northern exposure for Marsh contest

PUBLISHED: 11:33 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:59 05 October 2010

Matthew Marsh has learned that he must travel north for his British super-bantamweight title defence against Liverpool's Mark Moran

Matthew Marsh has learned that he must travel north for his British super-bantamweight title defence against Liverpool's Mark Moran after the eagerly awaited clash was booked for Greater Manchester this week.

The encounter between Britain's top 8st 10lb fighters will take place at Leigh Indoor Sports Centre on Friday April 17 after regular York Hall promoter Frank Maloney won the purse bid for the fight in a deal worth more than £30,000.

The decision to stage the fight in Leigh means that Moran, who is co-promoted by Maloney and VIP Promotions, will have crucial home advantage, with an army of supporters expected to roar on the Liverpool fighter.

"Both fighters sell a lot of tickets but Mark Moran's fans could swing the vital fight in his favour," said Maloney.

TKO gym boss Johnny Eames is less enthusiastic about sending defending champion Marsh into the challenger's home territory for the title defence.

But he remains confident that the 26-year-old, who usually boxes under the Sports Network promotional banner, will triumph.

Eames said: "I am not pleased with Sports Network - it's a pity that the fight will have to take place in the north when so many of Matthew's fans would have been able to see the fight at a London venue.

"But I don't think it will change the outcome. For me he will beat Moran wherever they fight."

Moran, also 26, was a team-mate of Marsh at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and won a bantamweight bronze medal at the championships.

Marsh captured the British title last June after outpointing Esham Pickering at York Hall and won a majority decision over Peacock gym rival Rocky Dean in his first defence of the belt.

The TKO boxer's only pro loss came when he stepped up to featherweight in October 2007 and was stopped in 11 rounds by Derry Matthews in a WBU title challenge.

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