Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fannan Hits out at More Fight Delays; Ward Will Have to Wait to See If He Can Go for Title

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fannan Hits out at More Fight Delays; Ward Will Have to Wait to See If He Can Go for Title

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

NEIL Fannan has hit out at the British Boxing Board of Control after Martin Ward was made to wait another month to find out if he can finally fight for the English bantamweight title.

The 23-year-old from Newcastle was due to meet St Helens' Craig Lyon on March 31 as mandatory challenger.

But Lyon withdrew after being cut in February's points win over Yuri Voronin, and his promoter Ricky Hatton failed to provide an alternative date in time for this month's board meeting.

Ward's trainer and promoter believes if the boot was on the other foot, Ward would be ordered to name the day or relinquish his title.

"The Board told us yesterday they are still waiting for a date from Hatton Promotions," Fannan explained. "That's no real use at all to us. Now we've got to wait until the next meeting, next month.

"I was going to ring the Board and ask them why they came to this decision but I thought they would just fob me off.

"This is not sour grapes but if you're the big promoter you get away with a lot more than if you're just a small promoter.

"If the boot was on the other foot and it was Martin Ward holding up Hatton Promotions we would have got stripped of the title.

"They would say that's not the case, but you can bet 100% that's what would happen. It's frustrating. The same thing happened with Dave Dolan (another Fannan fighter). Months went by after his draw with Rob Norton (for the British and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles), and they said they couldn't find a challenger for him, so he didn't fight.

"I'm very disappointed. The title just remains stagnant, which is doing all the fighters out there out of work.

"They've got to give us at least a month's notice, so even if they told us tomorrow, by the time Lyon made his defence it would be 14 months on. …

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