The British Boxing Board of Control has announced that its stewards will “be considering” Saturday’s controversial Hamzah Sheeraz v Bradley Skeete fight at their meeting on Wednesday. 

Sheeraz won the bout, which was for the WBO’s “European” belt at super-welterweight on a ninth-round stoppage, but the controversy will centre around the eighth round, where Sheeraz punched Skeete up to three times while on the floor, having knocked him down. 

Referee Steve Gray docked Sheeraz a point and discounted the knockdown, but many believed that he should have been disqualified, especially as the final punch on the floor, a big left hand that knocked Skeete off his knee to the floor, was a blow he never seemed to recover from. 

While Skeete was given time to recover, he was knocked down again moments later and for a third time early in the ninth round, prompting the stoppage. 

The Board’s general secretary Robert Smith was the supervisor at Saturday’s show and was sat closer than anyone else to Sheeraz’s illegal blows. 

The situation could be similar to the WBC flyweight title fight between Charlie Edwards and Julio Cesar Martinez in 2018, when Martinez’s finishing blow was blatantly landed when Edwards was on the floor. On that occasion, WBC president, Mauricio Sulaiman, who was present, took the ring microphone to announce that the result would be changed to a no-contest. 

It would be unprecedented for the Board to do similar, as they have always lived by the rule that “the referee’s decision is final”. However, with television coverage of such incidents so overwhelming, the stewards might consider it is time for the Board to move with the times. They could also decide to sanction Gray if they feel his actions were not of the required standard, or fine Sheeraz. 

Skeete called the action “disgusting” and called on the Board to change the result to a no-contest. 

Meanwhile, Sheeraz has responded to the controversy by offering Skeete, who dominated the first seven rounds, a rematch and while he admitted hitting Skeete when he was down, he said it was not “a deliberate act”. 

“Things happen in fights and during any combat sport but above all else, especially in boxing, we have to remember that this is a sport of gentlemen,” he said in a statement. 

“Bradley Skeete boxed superbly and must be feeling aggrieved that hie performance did not bear fruit, but I am not and will never be a cheat although I concede that it was an unintentional foul could have cost me the fight and then I would be asking for redemption. 

“Based on this, the only honourable thing to do, so to put matters to rest, is to offer Bradley Skeete a rematch. There was not a rematch clause in the contract, this is me asking my team to make the fight so that there is not controversy or criticism going forward. 

“To get where I am going, I can leave no stone unturned and no question marks on my record. Therefore, providing the BBBoC, WBO and Bradley’s team are in agreement, we will rematch in early 2022 and hopefully this will settle any controversy once and for all.” 

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.