By Terence Dooley
Liverpool's Derry Mathews has been left bereft, bewildered and without a title after the Commonwealth Council revealed that he has been stripped of their lightweight crown. The Council stated that he was supposed to secure a mandatory defence against Richard Commey by the 12th of March, with a May 3rd deadline set for the fight itself, but confirmation of the contest did not come through so they have taken the Liverpudlian's title from him. Ghana's Commey, 17-0 (17), will fight for the vacant belt against a fellow contender.
Mathews, 34-9-2 (19), has struggled with hand injuries since dropping a decision to Stephen Ormond for the WBO's European title in December. Ironically, the 30-year-old was named as the co-recipient of the Commonwealth's Contest Of The Year award following his draw with Anthony Crolla in March of last year. Mathews also received an award for Sportsmanship from the Council after winning and defending the belt against Tommy Coyle and Curtis Woodhouse (TKO 10 and four respectively). Maybe next year they will hand him the prestigious Fighter Most Disappointed By Our Decision To Take His Belt Away award.
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