Tony Jefferies in action against Roy Meissner during the English Light-Heavyweight Title Fight at the Crowtree Leisure Centre, Sunderland. Picture Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Big time boxing is most certainly returning to the North East, with a whole new influx of young boxing talent hitting the mainstream.

But what do the old guard think of the direction in which North East boxing is heading?

Former Sunderland boxer Tony Jeffries spoke out on the rise of the regions boxing: “I’m very proud of the North East boys, they’re putting the area back on the map.”

The leader of the resurgence is almost certainly Sunderland born Josh Kelly, who now fights out of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom stable and trains under the watchful eye of Adam Booth.

Jeffries went on to say: “We have always had great boxers in the North East, we’ve just never had anyone to take it to the next level.

“I think Josh Kelly could be the man to do just that,” the 32-year-old added.

Alongside Kelly is Lewis Ritson, who is also promoted by Hearn and Matchroom and another fighter who is tipped for the top.

Add to that list Jay Hughes, Darren Surtees and Isaac Macleod.

Glenn Foot is also carrying the North East flag with pride. The 30-year-old fought Josh Leather only last weekend in a very good fight in Newcastle on Frank Warren’s ‘No Ifs No Buts’ card, but lost a close decision on points.

The show was the second big show to come to the region in just four months, after Matchroom Boxing brought their ‘NXTGen’ show to Walker Activity Dome only a few months ago.