AT the grand old age of 65, Eddie Neilson is planning to make his return to professional boxing.
However, this time, the former heavyweight fighter, who faced former world champion Frank Bruno and world title-challenger Joe Bugner in the early 1980s, will be working behind the scenes with his two sons Mark and Tony as they get ready to stage their first professional show.
Under the promotional banner of Neilson Boxing, the two brothers from Swindon made their name in the squared circle by staging some of the town’s biggest white collar shows.
Mark and Tony walked away from the unlicensed scene in December 2014.
The brothers, who have spent time working with Keith Mayo’s KM Promotions, will now stage their first professional show in June, with Kelly Morgan finally getting her chance to fight for the WBC Silver middleweight title against Gifty Ankrah after the original bout in March was cancelled.
“Dad has been pushing us for quite a while to be involved in the professional game. He is an ex-pro and still loves it,” said Mark.
“He has been pushing us. He said: ‘come on boys, you need to get into the pro game. They need you and you need them’.
“He is really pleased and glad to be involved, and will be sat at ringside watching the big fights.
“We are looking at maybe a small hall venue, with five or six fights, and packed to the rafters for the first show.
“We have agreed for Kelly Morgan to fight for the WBC Silver title in a 10-rounder.
“Ryan Martin will be in a six-rounder. Also on the bill will be Danny Bharj, Gloucester’s (Akeem) Riiddy Ennis-Brown and Andy Harris; and Jack Budge, who trains out of the Sanigar’s Gym in Bristol.
“We have got two dates pencilled in for the mid-to-end of June. The Plan B is already confirmed, so we know that we have got a show on. We are just waiting for the nod on the other venue.”
The Neilson brothers say the idea, at first, will be to stage two or three small hall shows locally and one larger show in hopes of expanding further into Wiltshire and beyond.
And now they have got their heads around the extra rules and regulations that come with licensed shows.
Tony said: “We are not sure where we are going to end up. We are going to take it one step at a time.
“We did that with the unlicensed white collar boxing; started small and ended up with more than 2,000 people at the Oasis.
“We are going to start small give people locally the opportunity and expand that out to different areas as we grow and see where that ends.
“We are not afraid to go as big as we can. We are in the sport because we love it.”