By Terence Dooley
The IBF have explained to BoxingScene exactly why they have upheld their decision to strip Jamie McDonnell of his bantamweight title for failing to tie down his mandatory defence against Vusi Malinga by the organisation’s November 11 deadline.
An appeal against their decision was made on McDonnell’s behalf by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom last week, but the IBF decided that there aren't sufficient grounds for an appeal despite McDonnell releasing an emotive eleventh hour statement urging the governing body to reconsider his case.
The IBF, though, have stood by their decision. ‘The grounds for an appeal are very specific,’ they stated. ‘Based on the IBF rules, he has no grounds to appeal the IBF’s decision to vacate the Bantamweight title. Rule 12.A of the IBF/USBA Rules Governing Championship Contests cites the grounds for appeal which are: 1. Miscalculation of the score where the correct score would change the outcome of the fight; 2. Inappropriate conduct by the referee which is alleged to have affected the outcome of the fight; 3. Misconduct on the part of the judges or referee which is alleged to have had a material effect on the outcome of the fight; 4. Imposition of penalties under Rule 14; and 5. Any other alleged violation of the rules of the IBF/USBA that may have a detrimental effect on the rights of the complainant.
‘In a letter Jamie McDonnell outlined various disputes he has had with his promoter Dennis Hobson. However, the IBF does not get involved in contractual disputes between promoters and boxers or boxers and managers.
‘The IBF is upholding its decision to vacate the bantamweight title. This is an unfortunate situation and we hope that he can resolve his issues and get his career back on track. IBF President Daryl Peoples has recommended that the ratings committee take into consideration Jamie McDonnell's situation and the information he presented in his letter when compiling next month's ratings.’
It means that South Africa's Malinga and Darlington’s Stuart Hall, who is managed by Hobson and rated at number three, are likely to contest the vacant crown, either in December or possibly January. It leaves McDonnell sweating on the IBF’s next ratings committee meeting. The best-case scenario is that they install him as the mandatory challenger, which means that whoever wins the vacant title will have to defend against McDonnell within six months as per IBF rules.
McDonnell, though, will take little or no comfort from this. The 27-year-old picked up the belt with a battling decision win over Julio Ceja at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium in May. However, that fight could pale into insignificance compared to the dual battle he faces against former handler Hobson — McDonnell claimed to have determined his contract with Hobson only for Dennis Hobson Promotions to issue a statement to the contrary — and the IBF, should the fighter opt to continue contesting their decision in the hope of having it overturned.
It means that, for the time being, McDonnell's next big fight will take place outside, rather than inside, the boxing ring.
McDonnell announces his decision to split with Hobson:
Dennis Hobson Promotions respond:
The original news story outlining the IBF’s decision:
Statement from Dennis Hobson Promotions about the IBF’s decision:
Jamie McDonnell’s plea to the IBF:
Please send news and views to [email protected] or Twitter @Terryboxing.