In-form British trainer Joe Gallagher has expressed his frustration to WBN after learning that an agreed last minute bout between his fighter Hosea Burton and British light heavyweight champion Bob Ajisafe will not be going ahead.
Ajisafe was due to challenge for the vacant Commonwealth title in his hometown of Leeds this weekend, although scheduled opponent Daniel Wanyonyi has withdrawn and Gallagher revealed he was then approached about the availability of 12-0 Burton.
After initially accepting the offer to step in for Wanyonyi, Gallagher has been informed that Ajisafe is no longer interested in the clash and is aiming for a lower profile bout on the Josh Warrington v Dennis Tubieron bill on Saturday night at the First Direct Arena.
“Bob Ajisafe was due to fight for the Commonwealth title this Saturday against the Kenyan Daniel Wanyonyi, but because of the political situation with the rioting and everything else over there he has struggled to get his Visa,” Gallagher told World Boxing News in a Wednesday afternoon call.
“It was put to us on Monday would Hosea Burton step in and fight Ajisafe instead. We said we would grab it and take that fight no problem. Bob’s the British champion and Hosea had a win on Saturday, so we jumped at it. Matchroom put Hosea forward as an opponent to the Commonwealth council and they sanctioned it, so it looked like it was a go-er.
“Now it’s not like Bob Ajisafe is not used to taking fights late as let’s not forget he fought Matty Clarkson at last minute, so why can’t he fight Hosea Burton with him coming in last minute instead? It was obviously a last minute thing for Hosea and we were willing to step in with the British champion at a few days’ notice and take the fight, yet he’s the British champion who has been training to fight for twelve rounds for the Commonwealth title and has sold two or three hundred tickets.
“Instead of giving his fans a Commonwealth title fight against Hosea Burton, he backs out and wants to fight a six or eight rounder.
“Hosea Burton was ready to grab his opportunity with both hands. He’s had a check weigh-in by two board members and we put the fight forward, but Bob Ajisafe doesn’t want it. He fighting on his home turf, Hosea is highly-ranked, but has never fought for a title before so how can he be worried?
“The Commonwealth should turn around say he’s not the mandatory no more because Hosea was willing to fight him and I think Ajisafe should lose that spot,” he added.
Burton, 26, stopped Joe Hillerby in the fourth round of their bout in Newcastle last week on the back of a five-month absence and boasts a career best win over Jahmaine Smyle back in June 2013. Burton’s willingness to mix it with the experienced Ajisafe shows how far ‘The Hammer’ has come since turning pro three years ago, although it looks like the Manchester-based boxer will be forced to wait a little longer for his chance.