By Terence Dooley
Manchester's Denton Vassell and Birmingham's Frankie Gavin will have to wait a little bit longer for their Commonwealth and British welterweight title fight after Frank Warren revealed that his June 15 bill at Wembley has been postponed until July 20 as Warren is working on a big heavyweight fight for his charge Dereck Chisora.
Chisora had hoped to meet America's Deontay Wilder, but Wilder's recent arrest has prompted Warren to delay the show for five weeks while he works on securing the services of Tyson Fury, Manuel Charr or Fres Oquendo for his 16-4 (10) heavyweight contender.
“I’ve had to postpone the show by five weeks because of the problems encountered with Wilder’s arrest after we were informed that he was OK to fight Chisora on the original date," said Warren. "The postponement to July 20th will allow time to secure an opponent for Chisora. It’s a value for money show with a cracking fight between unbeaten champions Frankie Gavin and Denton Vassell plus the fast rising unbeaten star Paul Butler, backed up with a top quality undercard."
"I just want to fight again and I’m hungry for another world title opportunity," added Chisora, who beat Hector Alfredo Avila in nine rounds last month to get himself back in the mix. "I’m confident that I have all the tools to beat Wilder and it’s a shame I can’t show it this time, but sooner or later we will clash and I will knock him out. I’m concentrating on my next fight and whoever is in front of me on July 20th is going to take a beating."
Paul Smith’s rematch against Tony Dodson for the British Super-Middleweight title, which was originally announced to take place on the card, will now headline a new show promoted by Warren to take place on Friday 28th June at the Liverpool Olympia. Full details of the card will be announced shortly.
Vassell, 20-0 (10), hopes to add Gavin's British title to his own Commonwealth belt as he is a free agent and the two titles would give him a lot of bargaining power for future fights. Gavin, though, is undefeated in 15, 11 by stoppage, and the slick southpaw is equally adamant that he will scalp Vassell en route to bigger things.
Bob Shannon, who trains Vassell, believes that the delay won't harm either man. Indeed, the veteran trainer is convinced that the contest will bring the best out of both boxers. "Denton's always in the gym anyway, so we know how to taper off and tweak things," said Shannon.
"This is a big fight, the delay won't hurt it — they're both professional fighters who will do what they have to do to make sure they're both 110% in the ring on the night. There are few guarantees in boxing, but this is one fight that will definitely live up to all the hype — we'll see the best of British welterweight talent when they get to that ring."
"It gives me more to bargain with because after this fight I'll have two belts," said Vassell, who handed Oldham's Ronnie Heffron his first pro defeat back in November to set the Gavin fight in motion.
An action-packed undercard features unbeaten light-heavyweight and 2010 Commonwealth Games Champion Calum Johnson from Boston; undefeated welterweight and 2008 Olympian/2007 World Amateur Championship Bronze Medalist Bradley Saunders; Southern Area Welterweight Champion Bradley Skeete; Former Southern Area Light-Middleweight Champion Steve O’Meara; Wembley Light-Welterweight Gary Corcoran; Harrow Weald Super-Featherweight Mitchell Smith; Canning Town lightweight Billy Morgan; Chingford’s unbeaten Tom Baker and Bowers Gifford John Dignum clash over four rounds at middleweight; plus Islington super-featherweight Joey Taylor.
Members of the public who have already purchased tickets will still be valid for the new date. For a refund please go to your original point of purchase.
Friday 31st May - Walsall Town Hall
Final Eliminator for the IBF World Lightweight Championship
Martin Gethin v Ameth Diz
WBO Intercontinental Cruiserweight Championship
Chris Keane v Neil Dawson
Friday 28th June - Liverpool Olympia
Vacant British Super-Middleweight Championship
Paul Smith v Tony Dodson
Vacant WBO Intercontinental Super-Flyweight Championship
Saturday 20th July - Wembley Arena
International Heavyweight Contest
British and Commonwealth Welterweight Championship
Frankie Gavin v Denton Vassell
WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Championship
WBO Intercontinental Super-Flyweight Championship
Plus a further big show to be announced.
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