Earl slams BBBofC decision over Katsidis fight

LUTON boxer Graham Earl has released a statement hitting out at the British Boxing Board of Control after his fight with Australian Michael Katsidis was postponed last week, writes Mike Simmonds.

The 32-year-old had agreed a rematch with Katsidis, who beat him when the two last met in February 2007.

But it was announced last week that the bout, which was due to be staged in Australia, was no longer going ahead after the BBBofC refused to grant Earl permission to fight.

The statement read: “I just want to say that I am totally gutted as I believe there is no real reason for not giving me approval to go to Australia and fight.

“The Boxing Board have been happy to accept my boxing licence renewal every year, at no time have I been suspended or told I cannot box any more.

“I would have understood if I had failed my medical, but I haven’t so I do not understand why they say it is not in my best interests or that of the sport.

“The Board are letting people come back after years out of the sport, sometimes when they are aged 42 or 43 and still allow them to fight.

“I’m 32, for the past two years I’ve been in training all the time, even though not actually fighting, and my last fight had a win. So there cannot be any excuse not to allow me to fight.

“When you pay for your licence and they accept the payment that means you are licensed to box, so what valid reason could they have for stopping me boxing after accepting my licence renewal each year.

“Since I started professional boxing my licence has always been paid on time.

“My licence was valid to August this year, when I knew the fight with Michael Katsidis was to go ahead I paid for my licence renewal early and all next year is already paid for.

“They should at least give me a valid reason for their actions rather than just saying it is not in my best interests or that of the sport.”

For a full boxing round-up including Michael Devine’s next bout, see this week’s News/Gazette.