BOLTON boxers face a team of Manchester opponents as part of a big night of amateur boxing at the Reebok Stadium tonight.

The event, which is being organised by Bolton Council as part of the town’s Year of Sport Olympic legacy programme, features eight senior bouts.

The evening is being billed as a showpiece event to showcase Bolton as a growing centre for boxing.

The popularity of boxing in Bolton has increased significantly over the last five years, with a string of clubs set up and producing an impressive array of amateur and, more recently, professional fighters.

It will be preceded by a tribute to former Bolton News sports writer Liam Chronnell, who helped to increase the profile of the sport in the town before his sudden death in December, aged 33.

In the afternoon there will be a junior event featuring six bouts between boxers aged between 14 and 16, supported by an audience of teachers and pupils to showcase amateur boxing to Bolton schools.