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New video game eSports Boxing Club to feature Ultimate Team style mode with Joe Frazier added to growing big-name roster

BOXING fans will have the chance to fight as Joe Frazier in the upcoming eSports Boxing Club video game.

Steel City Interactive's new title is being eyed for release later this year on PC before being made available on consoles.

The desire for a new boxing title has ramped up significantly in recent months, not least with Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn talking up plans to sit down with EA Sports and discuss a fresh update of the Fight Night series.

Somewhat surprisingly, the mantle has instead fallen to Sheffield-based indie developer Steel City.

Reaction to the first trailer for eSports Boxing Club in April was incredibly positive and yet the studio has since taken that footage down, such is the progress they feel the game has made in recent months.

Working with 3D scanning experts Ten24, of Halo and Death Stranding fame, an updated clip featuring Sky Sports pundit Johnny Nelson received similar plaudits last month.

The former cruiserweight king is one of over 50 names already signed up to appear in the game, with Ricky Hatton, Scott Quigg, Enzo Maccarinelli and Frank Bruno also featuring.

Steel City confirmed to SunSport that Smokin' Joe Frazier will be joining them along with former two-weight belt holder Arturo Gatti.

As undisputed heavyweight champion of the world between 1970 and 1973, American fighter Frazier fought both Muhammad Ali and George Foreman twice - his last title fight coming against Ali in the legendary Thriller in Manila.

Icons such as Hatton and Nelson will also appear in the game in two versions - at their "prime" best and in their "comeback" form closer to the modern day.

Future additions are planned before the game's release and Steel City aim to update eSBC with regular "seasons" of roster updates, purchasable further down the line.

Exactly how many boxing superstars Steel City can assemble remains to be seen, with the studio admitting the unique difficulties of accumulating a wide roster.

With no single organisation or body to cut a deal with, many fighters have to be approached individually with some less keen to be involved than others.

The Yorkshire-based indie even sounded out Matchroom over their potential involvement before Hearn began publicly discussing his own Fight Night plans.

IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL

The "seasons" setup will also take the studio away from the typical mantra of releasing a game every 12 or 18 months.

Steel City intend to do this by being driven first and foremost by the gameplay.

The result could be the deepest boxing experience seen in gaming, featuring behind the scenes staff such as cut men, nutritionists and promoters to develop your fighter's career.

A Hardcore mode is also slated for the release, pushing players to their maximum with The Club mode likened to FIFA's huge Ultimate Team feature.

Here, players will be able to develop their own stable of fighters to compete online.

Online play is certainly at the forefront of Steel City's ambitions with the buzzing eSports market evidently integral to their plans.

Serious gamers are certainly being eyed up with the game set for PC release first before later dropping on the current generation of consoles, and eventually the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

With The Ring magazine, BBBofC, and WBC involved an online tournament fighting for a real-life WBC belt is also in the works.

Steel City profess to being big followers of the sport and want to take after the benchmark set by the hugely popular Fight Night series.

Those fans long-deprived of a serious boxing title will be desperate for them to succeed.

Lennox Lewis vs Joe Frazier simulated with Brit legend destroyed by brutal uppercut KO

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