A THEATRE in Clacton has been recognised as a top boxing venue.

Professional boxing returned to the town's Princes Theatre in 2018 for the first time in almost 80 years when it hosted a series of bouts.

Last year world title unification fight were also held at the venue, which is run by Tendring Council.

The theatre has now been named as Venue of the Year at the British and Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) Awards.

Gianluca Di Caro, BIBA executive vice president, said: “I just love the Princes Theatre as a boxing venue and each and every show there is always something special, the staff are fantastic and so helpful;.

"It’s always a pleasure attending events there and I can’t wait for the next.”

Alex Porter, cabinet member for leisure and tourism at Tendring Council, said there was always a big atmosphere in the theatre on fight nights.

“Boxing has always proved really popular at the Princes Theatre, and this award is recognition of the support the venue gives to the support and catering for what audiences what,” he said.

“This award shows what an incredible venue the theatre is, not just for performances on the stage, but also in the ring – and not forgetting of course a brilliant wedding and events venue too.”

The next boxing to take place at the theatre is the Leap Of Faith night on February 29, featuring a number of amateur contests including Essex Boxing Organisation title fights, as well as professional bouts including the Super Middleweight International Masters title between Navid Irann and Ismael Molina Moreno.

Also on the ticket is reality TV star Ben Jardine taking on Marty Kayes.

The amateur shows are ABA affiliated and is the first home show for Colchester-based Willies Amateur Boxing Club, named after the all-time great Willie Pep.

Tickets can be bought through boxing promoter Tommy Jacobs on 07475 096532.