Eddie Hearn revealed why three of his fighters failed to retain their WBC rankings over the Clean Boxing Program drug testing policy.
The Matchroom promoter saw Lee McGregor, Chris Billam-Smith, and Conor Benn lose their places in Hearn says was an honest error.
WBC chiefs gave several other boxers notice that they no longer got considered for a place in the WBC ratings.
“WBC Clean Boxing Program administered by VADA has reported to the WBC rating committee that after multiple attempts to enroll a variety of fighters and after the grace period has lapsed for registration.
Consequently, the following fighters are out of The WBC rankings.
They will have the opportunity to enroll in the program for consideration by the rating committee.
#7 Cruiserweight – Chris Billam-Smith (GB)
#5 Welterweight – Connor Benn (GB).
#10 Super Lightweight – Mario Barrios (US)
#4 Featherweight – Mauricio Lara (Mexico).
#9 Bantamweight – Lee McGregor (GB).
Hearn explained why so many of his fighters took up those places when speaking at the Leigh Wood vs. Mick Conlan presser.
“It’s just that he missed out on some paperwork. There are a dozen fighters who haven’t filled out the form.
“It [the paperwork] is generally sent to a manager or trainer. Sometimes it doesn’t even get to the fighter.
“We spoke to them last night, they’re going to fill out the forms today, and they’ll be back in.”
Assuring that Conor Benn fully intended to get his place back at welterweight, Eddie Hearn added: “He’s on full UKAD 365-day-a-year random testing, which is twenty times more stringent than the WBC program. But this is still good for boxing.”
Mario Barrios, who will fight Keith Thurman in a WBC welterweight eliminator on Pay Per View, is already in the process of getting reinstated.
“One of the main guidelines of the World Council has always been to ensure the integrity of boxers, as well as to promote honest sports practices and with the greatest possible precaution.
“For this very reason, the WBC and VADA created the Clean Boxing Program. It has the objective of carrying out anti-doping tests that ensure the practice of boxing in a fair, safe, and clean environment for all athletes who get in the ring to conquer glory.
“As well as to educate the boxing family about the danger and disadvantages that doping can cause.
“Today, we received Mario Barrios enrollment in the Clean Boxing Program, which successfully got completed.
“Mario will be fighting Keith Thurman in a WBC elimination bout in the welterweight division on February 5th and will certainly be eligible for WBC ratings next month.”
Barrios faces Thurman on February 5th.
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