British Boxing: Kevin McIntyre Update

Former champion Kevin McIntyre will find out tomorrow whether he will be installed as the mandatory challenger for the British welterweight title. McIntyre was stripped of his championship under controversial circumstances last month after the Stewards of the British Boxing Board of Control ruled that the title should be declared vacant owing to his continuing inability to make a championship defence as a result of injury..

Sheffield’s Kell Brook won the vacant belt by stopping Barrie Jones at the York Hall, London on Saturday June 14.

However, McIntyre claims Brook can’t call himself the real British champion. McIntyre said: “Brook can’t look in the mirror and say that he is the real British champion until he defeats me. I lost my title outside of the ring, and the boxing ring is where titles should be won and lost.”

McIntyre suffered an injury to his back, which his doctor diagnosed as mechanical back pain, when preparing to make his mandatory defence against Brook on the originally scheduled date of May 3 at Meadowbank Sports Centre.

Promoters Sports Network, who won the right to stage McIntyre-Brook through a winning purse bid, cancelled their show on May 3 and McIntyre was then to face Brook on June 14, but suffered a recurrence of his back injury and could not complete a sufficient training programme to fight at the York Hall.

Sports Network chief Frank Warren then made an application to the Board, giving a reason why he believed the title should be declared vacant.

McIntyre added: “It was interesting to hear David Barnes interview after he defended his British light-welterweight title against Barry Morrison at the weekend. Barnes said he felt like pulling out of the fight because he had injured a rib, and obviously that would have been the sensible thing to do if he was not 100 per cent.

“However, I wonder if the fact that I was stripped of my title had any bearing on his decision because Barnes had already withdrawn once against Morrison and perhaps he was worried about the consequences of doing so again.

“I think that titleholders will be forced into fighting with injuries because they have seen in my case that you can be stripped of your belt, even if you are genuinely injured and produce a doctor’s note and sports physiotherapist’s report.”

The Brook-Jones clash was approved subject to the winner waiving the standard six months grace afforded to first time winners of the British title and defending when so ordered by the Stewards of the Board and to the contest taking place on the date as given with no postponement.

Braveheart Promotions’ Boxing Operations Manager Grant Jeans has written to the Board to state that McIntyre should be installed as mandatory challenger.

Jeans said: “I realise that a number of other contenders will be considered for the mandatory challenger position, but I think it is evident that Kevin is the most deserving of a title shot among the leading contenders in the welterweight division.

“Kell Brook is not the linear champion, and will not even be widely regarded as the “rightful” titleholder until he defeats Kevin.

“Commonwealth champion Craig Watson recently suffered a third-round technical knockout defeat to Daniele Petrucci when challenging for the vacant EU Welterweight Championship on March 8 in Italy whereas Kevin has won his last four bouts.

“Kevin defeated welterweight contender Tony Doherty on July 21 2007, which should advance Kevin’s claim over Docherty’s.”

Scottish Area Secretary Brian McAllister has also sent correspondence to the Board stating that the overwhelming feeling among the Scottish Area Council is that Kevin should be installed as mandatory challenger.

Article posted on 08.07.2008

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