Nigel Benn releases statement, denies boxing licence and coercion claims
UK legend Nigel Benn has been forced to make a statement regarding consistent speculation over his boxing licence application.
It was reported in the British media that Benn had been turned down by the British Boxing Board of Control.
The 55 year-old has revealed this was never the case.
Benn instead went to an alternative organization in order to obtain clearance to fight on November 23.
“I can confirm that I have made a formal application for a boxing licence,” said Benn. “I refute the claims that I re-applied for a licence with any other (BBBofC) accredited sanctioning body as has been stated in the press).
“Therefore, I have not been refused a licence as alleged. It is my decision to box again (although may be seen by some as ‘controversial’).
“However, unlike many boxers, I have continued to maintain my fitness and healthy lifestyle since my last fight with Steve Collins.”
Some negative press has emerged due to Benn’s decision to end a 23-year exile from the sport.
‘The Dark Destroyer’ move to dispell any fears on his safety against Sakio Bika, an opponent 15 years his junior.
“I acknowledge the risks associated with the sport, and fully understand the importance of being fully assessed by medical professionals.
“I have undergone numerous and regular medical investigations to confirm this, including periodic MRI brain scans. Now that I’m in the UK, within the next few weeks I have welcomed a further series of tests, including another MRI brain scan to provide clear clarification of my state of health.
“Additional safeguarding (will be available) at ringside for my fight (which far exceeds the criteria of any other sanctioning organization).”
Concluding by reiterating his quest for career closure – along with revealing it was solely his decision, Benn added: “My desire to box again is something that has remained within me for several years. It is MY choice alone. I’ve not been persuaded or coerced by any other person.
“I feel like that I am being discriminated against because of my age. I can also confirm that I have chosen to fight an opponent who is a renowned former world champion in his own right.
“The challenge that I’ve set myself is high. This IS a tough challenge, but one that I feel I need to pursue to bring about final closure and inner peace of mind for myself as a man.
“It’s NOT about the money, it’s about closing a desire that remains within my mind, body and soul.
“This is my dream. I hope boxing fans around the world will embrace my wishes. To support and respect the fact that this is my decision alone.”