BRENT RICE VS GAIGE IRELAND: JUNE 22 IN MELBOURNE THE DEAL WAS DONE, BUT THE STORY TOOK A TWIST THIS WEEK.
Both TGW & Smithy’s Promotions and Hoskings Promotions wanted to host the bout for the vacant Australian lightweight title between the two top ranked fighters in the division Gaige Ireland and Brent Rice and it went to purse bids. April 13 the ANBF announced Hoskings Promotions had won the purse bid and would host the bout on June 22 at Malvern Town hall.
However it now appears it won’t.
“ANBF National secretary Andrew Campbell contacted me this week to advise me Lyndon Hosking notified the ANBF that the date he had based his purse bid on for the Australian light weight title had changed to July 27. As a result the winning bid by Lyndon Hosking has been declared null and void and second placed purse bid by myself is now the selected bid ,” Brendon Smith said.
“They’re the words from the ANBF secretary.
“To me it’s pretty straight forward, Brent Rice vs Gaige Ireland for the Australian lightweight title here in Toowoomba on July 13.
“We went into the purse bid in good faith, we put our best foot forward hoping to secure the bout, we were unsuccessful, Brent Rice honoured the deal and is prepping to fight in Melbourne on June 22.
“Now that Lyndon Hoskings purse bid has been declared null and void by the ANBF, Gaige Ireland’s camp should be mandated to honour the ANBF ruling just like Brent Rice has.”
The Aussie title is currently vacant after recent holder Jacob Ng relinquished the belt after fighting for the IBF World Youth title. In the ANBF ratings Gaige Ireland is ranked number one and Brent Rice number two.
“From our end it’s pretty simple for Gaige Ireland it’s either a yes or a no,” Brendon Smith said.
“If it’s a no, we rightfully should be given approval from the ANBF to seek out another contender to face Brent Rice for the Aussie title.
“Either way I trust the ANBF will honour the purse bid, they’ve ruled Hoskings Promotions bid null and void so Smithy’s Promotions is therefore now the successful bidder.
“We’ve earned the right for the bout to be staged in Toowoomba and Brent Rice has earned the right to be in one corner and Gaige Ireland has earned the right to be in the other corner.
“The ball is firmly in Gaige Ireland’s court.”
On paper it’s a great match up of two Aussie fighters who are seeking a second Australian title.
Rice is the former National super featherweight champ and Ireland is the former light weight National champ.
“They’re recognised by the ANBF as the top two fighters in the lightweight division,” Smith said.
“Brent is moving up in weight after campaigning all of his career as a super featherweight.
“Purse bid rules dictate the fight will be in Toowoomba on July 13 on TGW & Smithy Brings the Big fights 23.
“Now I trust the ANBF will enforce their own rules.
“I believe the ANBF should mandate Gaige Ireland’s camp to advise whether they accept the bout, if not we need to get moving on sorting a suitable replacement.
“July 13 isn’t far away, we want this sorted as soon as possible.”