WBN has been in contact with the Commonwealth Boxing Council on Thursday following their decision to strip Briton Derry Mathews of his lightweight title despite the champion suffering an injury.
Honorary Secretary of the CBC, Simon Block, has given his views on the situation after Mathews called the move ‘a disgrace’ and stated that he planned an immediate appeal when speaking to WBN on Wednesday night.
The 30 year-old was relieved of his belt after failing to guarantee a defence against mandatory challenger Richard Commey by May 3, and Block has now put the CBC’s main arguments across on the matter.
“Firstly, let me state that I have the greatest respect for Derry as he is a fine competitor and quite rightly won the BBBofC’s ‘Sportsmanship Award’ last year. But when considering what move to make on the title, we had to consider the following points:
“Derry got his Commonwealth opportunity in March last year, even though the CBC would have preferred to see a return between Crolla and Gethin for the vacant title, which didn’t happen,” Block explained to World Boxing News.
“With the Mathews v Crolla contest a draw, Derry got a further opportunity in July and this time was successful with that superb come from behind win against Tommy Coyle.
“That same month Richard Commey became the mandatory contender by winning an officially sanctioned final eliminator. Commey would have reasonably have expected to be boxing for the title after three months, which is a usual CBC requirement in a contest when the champion wins the title via a voluntary challenge.
“In this case, the CBC instead exercised it’s discretion to permit Derry to make a voluntary defence in September, but again, Commey might reasonably have anticipated boxing for the title after a further three months from that voluntary.
“At that time an agreement was not possible between the parties so it was necessary for the CBC to institute purse bid proceedings which delayed matters again, enabling Derry to take part in his unsuccessful WBO European challenge against Stephen Ormond.
Block continued: “Bidding promoters were then advised that the contest had to take place prior to 14th March, 2014 and Queensberry Promotions won the bidding on 30th October advising a date of 7th March, 2014. On 5th January, Derry hurt his hand and went to see a doctor the next day, and then again on 3rd February. I was advised late January or early February, but did not receive a medical certificate until this month, which was dated the 26th of February.
“Queensberry were advised by me informally that Derry needed to be fit to box to meet his mandatory and that they needed to promote the contest prior to the end of April as not only did the rights of Derry need to be considered, but also the rights of Richard Commey, who had been waiting patiently since July.
“Following a protest from the President of the Ghana Boxing Authority, who is also a CBC Director, a vote was taken and the CBC Board determined that Derry needed to make the defence as soon as possible and that Queensberry needed to promote the fight with Commey by 3rd of May.
“The CBC also stipulated that confirmation of both had to be received by me in my office no later than 5pm (UK time) yesterday (12th March). Having heard no further news from Mathews or Queensberry by that deadline, and despite having attempted to call Derry direct (the phone was cut off with no voice mail facility), the decision of the CBC Directors came into effect automatically at 5pm yesterday without further notice.
“Whilst Derry may feel aggrieved, organizations like the CBC are obliged to take into consideration both the champion and challenger in these matters.
“Whilst the CBC was prepared to permit Derry a reasonable period of time to recover from an injury, that time could not be indefinite and a final decision needed to be made.”
Judging by this response from the CBC, Mathews recent appeal looks to have zero chance of gaining any u-turn and Commey is set to be given his chance to claim the belt against the next available challenger.
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