By Terence Dooley
The British Boxing Board of Control is set to licence Ricky Burns’s WBO lightweight title defence against Kevin Mitchell at Glasgow’s SEC Arena on September 22 and are likely to do the same again for Nathan Cleverly’s October 27 WBO light-heavyweight title fight with Vyacheslav Uzelkov at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.
This latest development has nixed recent rumours that the BBBoC could snub these contests due to the fallout from the recent Upton Park show featuring David Haye and Dereck Chisora, which was held under the auspices of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation and initially prompted a stern response from the Board. The ruling body, though, collapsed quicker than a drunk on a blancmange and later recanted their threat of immediate action against any BBBoC license-holders who took part in the event.
The WBO risked drawing the Board’s ire at the time of the show as the organisation put their WBO International heavyweight title on the line for the grudge match. In a strange bit of synergy, the title did not exist prior to the Haye-Chisora fight and was thought up, rubberstamped and minted just in time for the money spinning main event.
Indeed, the WBO also allowed Liam Walsh and Domenico Urbano to contest their vacant European lightweight belt on the undercard. Furthermore, the WBO’s International middleweight title, also newly minted, appeared for the first time when Matthew Hall dropped a close unanimous decision to Gary O’Sullivan further down the bill.
Frank Warren Promotions are staging the Burns and Cleverly shows. Frank Warren has always been quick to point out that BoxNation, in conjunction with Hayemaker, promoted the Upton Park bill. This means that Warren’s only offence that night was acting as Chisora’s manager and this was hardly an transgression in the end as by fight night no one, one suspects not even the Board, knew what action, if any, would be taken.
Since that night, Frank Warren Promotions have not staged a show, although this is hardly surprising given that the British scene has been on lockdown in recent weeks. This will change with Friday’s York Hall bill, which is headlined by Billy Joe Saunders’s Commonwealth middleweight title defence against Australia’s Jarrod Fletcher and promoted by FWP.
Given that Friday’s show will take place under the BBBoC there now no longer seems to be any logical grounds for any involvement from the LBF and the early months of the season could see a line drawn under British boxing’s summer of division and discontent.
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