Tony ‘Sugar’ Salam has made history by becoming the first boxer to be voted into a Prizefighter event.
Londoner Salam, 26, was victorious in the public vote and will now be competing in Prizefighter Super-Middleweights at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, on Wednesday, June 30.
“This is why the United Kingdom is the one of the greatest countries on the planet,” said a delighted Salam. “I had everybody from every race and place voting for me.
“This is the biggest opportunity in my life and I'm going to show the world that I'm the best and most entertaining super-middleweight out there.
“All I have ever wanted is a chance and now I'm taking part in the greatest competition in boxing and I promise all the fans that I will not let them down and will fight with everything I have got.”
Promoters Matchroom Sport threw open the final spot to the public via voting on the official website and more than 5,000 votes were received.
Salam gained more nominations than Olympic gold medalist James DeGale and Commonwealth champion George Groves, while undefeated Welsh fighter Jeff Evans was also well backed.
Salam lives in Stoke Newington in north London and will be backed by a large amount of support at the event, the 13th Prizefighter tournament.
After a glittering amateur career that saw him represent England at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and win a British ABA title in 2004, Salam is regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in boxing.
He has fought ten times as a professional with five of his nine victories coming inside the distance, including a triumph over Richard Horton in January 2009 to win the Southern Area belt.
Salam has also beaten some Prizefighter stars including Cruiserweights champion Ovill McKenzie and Nick Okoth, the Cruiserweights II runner-up.
Salam’s manager Spencer Fearon, who led a Facebook campaign to vote for Salam, believes Salam will thrive on June 30th.
"I'm so pleased that the fans have given Tony this chance,” said Fearon. “Prizefighter is everything that boxing needs and this platform will show just why Tony has been avoided in the past.
“To get more votes than DeGale and Groves shows his popularity and I want to say a big thank you to the voting fans, without them we wouldn’t be in it to win it.”
"The people have spoken and Tony 'Sugar'’ Salam will get his big chance on 30th June at York Hall,” said Matchroom Sport’s Eddie Hearn.
“Prizefighter is all about giving prospects the platform to showcase their skills, heart and determination and the profile that a Prizefighter victory gives you, puts you straight in line for a title shot.'
There are two further changes as Liverpool’s Tony Dodson and Scotland’s Stevie McGuire have both had to withdraw due to struggling to make the weight.
Their replacements will be 19-year-old Patrick Mendy from Reading and Dudley’s ex-Midlands Area champion Sam Horton.
The line-up is Daniel Cadman (Waltham Abbey, Essex), Paul David (Northampton), Peter Federenko (Sheffield), Sam Horton (Dudley), Eddie McIntosh (Birmingham), Patrick Mendy (Reading), Tony Quigley (Liverpool) and Tony Salam (Stoke Newington, London).
Tickets are on sale now and cost £35 (unreserved), £60 (ringside) and £100 (VIP) and are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.