Kevin Maree determined to bring big-time boxing back to Burnley — and he has ambitious plans to stage a stadium show at Turf Moor!
Kevin Maree is determined to bring big-time boxing to Burnley — and he wants newcomer Reece Farnhill to be the face of his campaign.
The 23-year-old middleweight will have to earn his spurs before headlining a stadium show, but his manager has already earmarked Turf Moor as a potential venue.
The Sandygate ABC star has certainly played his part to date having won both of his professional fights convincingly while sporting his claret and blue shorts.
And he walked out to The Dubliners’ “The Wild Rover” when out-pointing Scott Williams on debut at the Sheffield Arena in May.
Maree said: “If he keeps winning then we’ll hopefully be able to stage title fights at Turf Moor in the years to come. What a tremendous event that would be!
“We’ll start with the leisure centre, but we don’t want to think small.
“Reece is a very special talent, he’s in a very solid stable, one of the most prominent in the country at the moment, so it’s not just a throw away comment. There isn’t much in boxing that we haven’t already done.
“I’ll be the first person demanding that this happens.
“Let’s make it a reality and get on that pitch at Turf Moor.
“We’ve had fighters involved in many stadium shows and I’ll be throwing my weight behind this.”
Maree’s ambition could well appeal to new Burnley FC owners ALK Capital, headed by visionary chairman Alan Pace, with the American investors already making revolutionary plans for the club’s future.
That’s a conversation for another day, with planning for the Clarets’ Premier League preservation at the top of the ‘to do’ list, but there’s no reason why the journey towards that point can’t continue in the background.
Farnhill, who fought 53 times as an amateur, winning 40 of those bouts and stopping more than 50 per cent of his opponents, will be back out at Colne Municipal Hall on December 12th, with his opposition yet to be named.
“He’s done what I expected of him and more,” said Maree.
“He’s coming from a tremendous amateur pedigree but, even still, the first couple of fights are always interesting.
“Some boxers just don’t click into the professional style, though Reece has gone in the opposite direction and shone.
“He’s got in there and he’s been completely dominant, despite going up against two really tough lads.
“He’s been convincing.
“We’ve got the product that we thought we had, somebody very special who we believe can go a long way.”
Maree owns one of the deepest pools of competitors around the 160lb-168lb mark.
Farnhill will enter a division that includes the likes of Mark Heffron, Dan Catlin, Jake Andrews, Rob Magill, Nathan Cawood, Mark Jeffers, Ryszard Lewiki, Leon Willings, Connor Lawrence, Shakiel Thompson, Zak Chelli and Charlie Schofield.
Some are likely to cross paths on their way to landing honours, which carries the prospect of selling out a football ground.
Maree would love to emulate what Matchroom achieved with Anthony Joshua at Wembley and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, though the most realistic scenario would be to replicate Josh Warrington’s homecoming at Elland Road in 2018.
He added: “We’ve probably not had any direct attachment with Burnley since the Warren Stowe days, but Reece is ready to fully embrace it.
“He wears the claret and blue shorts associated with Sandygate and he walked out to ‘No Nay Never’ on his debut.
“I can only see that affiliation with the town growing.
“He’s an all-action fighter, he’s aggressive, exciting, he just wants to get in there and get the job done.
“He’s a typical ‘throwback’ fighter, who can be very unassuming, but he completely changes when he gets through those ropes.
“We’re desperate for the people of Burnley to get behind him because we think he’ll be a real fans’ favourite.
“I think we’ve got a real shot at hosting a night of boxing at Turf Moor in the future where Reece will be starring.”