By Terence Dooley
BoxingScene has received confirmation that the IBF have notified the relevant parties of their decision to strip bantamweight world titlist Jamie McDonnell of his crown, citing a failure to set up his mandatory defence against Vusi Malinga as a reason. The mandatory defence had a November deadline, but with no sign of it on the horizon the governing body have opted to strip the Doncaster-based boxer of the title he won in May. Malinga was due to fight an eliminator against Joseph Agbeko to decide the top spot only to be elevated into mandatory contention when a deal to fight Agbeko fell apart.
'Jamie McDonnell did not supply signed contracts for his mandatory defense scheduled for November 9 within the prescribed time according to IBF rule,' stated the IBF when responding to BoxingScene earlier today. 'By not doing so his title was declared vacant. The IBF has been notified that Eddie Hearn plans to appeal the IBF ruling.'
McDonnell earned his belt by decisioning Julio Ceja at Doncaster's Keepmoat Stadium. However, the 27-year-old recently announced his desire to part company with Dennis Hobson Promotions, who in turn announced that McDonnell is, and will remain, under contract to them, a stance that was backed by the BBBoC's Robert Smith last week.
McDonnell, 21-2-1 (9), could now face a double fight, one against Hobson, should he continue down that path, plus a battle to keep the title that he worked so hard to win and was desperate to defend. The IBF's statement that Hearn is now fighting McDonnell's corner in a bid to get him reinstated, and presumably set up the mandatory defence, has further served to muddy the waters.
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