Jamie McDonnell fails in appeal against stripping of IBF title

Jamie McDonnell
Jamie McDonnell

Jamie McDonnell has failed in his appeal against the IBF’s decision to strip him of his world bantamweight title.

The IBF vacated the title last week after McDonnell failed to return his contract for a mandatory defence - due next month - by the deadline.

Top promoter Eddie Hearn immediately appealed the decision but McDonnell last night was informed that objection had failed.

IBF president Daryl Peoples told the Star and Doncaster Free Press: “We have upheld the decision based on the ruling made on October 15.

“We found, under strict IBF rules, there were no grounds for appeal from Jamie McDonnell.”

Peoples added the two next contenders for the title will now be approached for a future contest. They are mandatory challenger Vusi Malinga and Stuart Hall, who McDonnell beat in a European, Commonwealth and British title bout in 2011.

Just hours before the decision was announced, McDonnell issued an emotive statement, directed at the IBF, revealing his side of the story of his split with manager Dennis Hobson and the events which led to the stripping of his title.

He said: “I firmly believe that a boxer wins a title in the ring and should only lose a title in the ring.

“I have dedicated my entire life to becoming a champion and winning your presitigious title was the greatest moment of my life.

“To have this taken away from me, particularly in these circumstances has left me shattered.

“I just don’t think it’s fair to take away my career and livelihood when I have been treated in such a way.”

McDonnell alleges he did not see the contract for a mandatory defence against Malinga until after the IBF’s deadline.

He revealed the contract stated he would defend the title on November 9 at Leeds Arena for $50,000, a sum he labelled derisory for a world title defence.

His statement in full read: “On May 11, 2013, I won the IBF bantamweight title against Julio Ceja, winning a world title was a life changing moment and every boxer’s dream.

“I am a professional fighter and rely on my earnings from boxing to pay my mortgage and bills.

“Despite being fit, willing and able to fight at all times, under the management and promotional guidance of Dennis Hobson I have only had three fights in two years and I have only had one fight in the last 12 months, without even a warm up contest to keep me active.

“I was very concerned about this and was in touch with Dennis Hobson, my then manager, for him to arrange fights for me.

“Finally, on September 19 I had a meeting with him at which two offers were put to me, one involving me fighting on BoxNation and the other on Sky Sports.

“I made it clear to Dennis Hobson that I wanted to fight on Sky Sports.

“On October 3, Queensberry Promotions made a press announcement stating that Dennis Hobson had done an exclusive deal for me to fight on BoxNation which was completely against my instructions.

“On October 4, I terminated my management agreement with Dennis Hobson and any alleged promotion agreements with him and/or Dennis Hobson Promotions Limited.

“I would like to make public the following:-

“Art no time had Dennis Hobson made me aware that I had a mandatory obligation to fight Vusi Malinga or that he had agreed terms for the fight on my behlaf.

“I had no knowledge of what my terms were i.e. where and when it would take place or even what my purse was to be or even apparently there was a bout agreement in existence.

“The first time I was sent a bout agreement was when the IBF sent it to my solicitors on October 16 at 5.36pm (after their offices closed at 5pm) when I was given one hour to sign and return this agreement or else I would be stripped of my title.

“In actual fact the first time I saw this bout agreement was on the morning of October 17 by which time I was receiving calls from the press sayingg I had been stripped of my title.

“The bout agreement states that I was to fight on November 9, 2013, which was only three weeks away, at Leeds Arena for a purse of US$50,000 the equivalent of approx £30,000 which is a totally derisory sum for a world title defence.

“As I have said, until this time I was completely unaware of the contents of this bout agreement and it is a fact that it has been sent to the IBF without my knowledge or consent.

“On October 16 I was stripped of this title – a decision made by the IBF which I will be appealing against immediately.

“I firmly believe that a boxer wins a title in the ring and should only lose a title in the ring.

“I have dedicated my entire life to becoming a champion and winning your presitigious title was the greatest moment of my life.

“To have this taken away from me, particularly in these circumstances has left me shattered.

“I just don’t think it’s fair to take away my career and livelihood when I have been treated in such a way.

“I ask that you and the board of directors review your decision at your earliest.”