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Open Letter To The British Boxing Board Of Control – Sub Section To European Boxing Union and EBU Member Countries



Specific attention: Mr Robert Smith, Mr Charles Giles, Mr Bob Logist and Mrs Enza Jacaponi

Dear Robert, Charles, Bob and Enza – As you are aware I personally authorised the Malta Boxing Commission sanctioning of Shiya Ozgul versus Chris Jenkinson, which took place immediately after the BBBofC sanctioned bouts concluded, at York Hall in London on Friday, 18th October 2013.

The sanctioning of the bout was legally and professionally undertaken, including full medical coverage – two doctors including a neurosurgeon, ambulance and two paramedics – as well as overseen by licensed officials, including timekeeper, supervisor, world renowned referee and two inspectors.

My reason for doing so, was initiated by the failure by the British Boxing Board of Control’s head office to ensure that requests for information, such as the engagement of a foreign boxer, to reach ourselves in adequate time.

The letter from BBBofC head office arrived on the morning of the 17th October, we responded immediately and submitted the request by e.mail, after which we were informed that the request was submitted too late.

The promoter, TRAD TKO Events Johnny Eames, spoke with Dennis Gilmartin at BBBofC head office and explained the situation, unfortunately his pleas for assistance from the BBBofC fell on deaf ears.

I took particular umbrage over this, as this lack of support for a long time BBBofC license holder not only put the event in financial danger, but also would have prevented the two boxers involved in earning a living.

The BBBofC does not employ, or financially remunerate the boxers in any way, as such the BBBofC have no right to hinder or prevent any legally licensed professional boxer plying his or her trade with such restrictive action(s).

Whilst yes, the BBBofC is a professional boxing sanctioning organisation, it is also a members club and as such should be assisting the membership, not hindering them with restrictive practices.

As managing director of TKO Boxing Gym Limited I decided that the actions of the BBBofC were totally unreasonable and as such in my other role of co-founder and Vice President of the Malta Boxing Commission decided to ensure that the fight would indeed take place, in order to prevent both the financial loss to TRAD TKO Events as well as loss of earnings for the boxers.

In addition, as you are also aware the same week I authorised the Malta Boxing Commission licensing of WBO European Super Featherweight Champion Ben Jones, so that he could box Juli Giner in Barcelona, Spain on the 18th October.

I authorised the request after being informed that the BBBofC head office had refused permission, once again stating that the request arrived too late – even though it was e.mailed to the BBBofC head office some ten days prior, but not acted upon, allegedly due to Mr. Gilmartin being away from the office.

My actions were undertaken solely to ensure that Mr. Jones would be able to ply his trade, as is his legal right.

On the matter of the rights of European domiciled and licensed professional boxers to ply their trade within other European countries, I had previously consulted Lawyers specialising in European law to ensure that the Malta Boxing Commission operated within the parameters of European Union law.

However, to ensure there were no changes since doing so, I contacted lawyers again this week and have been assured that the rights of the boxers, to ply their trade, are the same as previously stated – as contained within the following EU directives and articles.

European Parliament and Council Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States amending Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC.

Article 20(1) TFEU establishes the concept of EU citizenship by stating that ‘Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union’, while Article 21(1) TFEU provides that ‘Every citizen of the Union shall have the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, subject to the limitations and conditions laid down in this Treaty and by the measures adopted to give it effect’.

Additionally, please note that under current Home Office regulations, sportsmen attending an international competition do not need work permits.

I suggest that the BBBofC and the European Boxing Union and it’s members – who had previously refused to allow their boxers to fight in the United Kingdom on Luxembourg Boxing Federation and German Boxing Association sanctioned events, due to objections by the BBBofC – take the time to study these directives and articles.

The British Boxing Board of Control IS NOT Government sanctioned, it does not have any legal standing or any right, to be the sole professional boxing sanctioning organisation operating within the United Kingdom, under European Law.

The BBBofC is a Limited Liability company, as such like any other company should refrain from operating restrictive practises in order to prevent competition in the field of operation, or face the consequences of their actions.

The European Boxing Union, which is also a Limited Liability company, are also subject to the same laws, both company and European.

It should be noted that Mr. Peter Stucki had stated in writing last year, that the EBU is only a Championship Sanctioning organisation and not a governing body.

As such the EBU should confine their actions to the sanctioning of European Championship Boxing and not involve themselves in politically motivated acts, as they did in the case of the expulsion of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation at the request of the BBBofC, as well as the case of an application by Iain Weaver for a Spanish license following objections by the BBBofC.

It should be noted, that on co-creating of the Malta Boxing Commission, I insisted that we base ourselves on the BBBofC, who I totally respected, as I felt the BBBofC were the elite National Sanctioning organisation within Europe, however since the recent removal of members voting rights and various other outrageous actions that have followed, I now feel that the BBBofC standing has fallen to an all time low.

The Malta Boxing Commission were also a proud member of the European Boxing Union, however my admiration for the organisation is also at an all time low, following the disgraceful way that the EBU allowed the BBBofC to manipulate the expulsion of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation as well as the assisting of the BBBofC in their efforts to coerce fellow EBU members to do their bidding.

Whilst the actions authorised by myself last week were due to exceptional circumstances and are not the Malta Boxing Commission’s intended operating procedure, I/we reserve the right under European law to ply the trade of the Malta Boxing Commission and TKO Boxing Gym Limited, and it’s associated companies, within the confines of Europe, including the United Kingdom, and as such should I/we ever feel that the BBBofC, the EBU or associated EBU members, apply any restrictive practices that affect the rights of our members, license holders and/or TRAD TKO boxers to ply their trade, I/we will ensure that the BBBofC and/or EBU and/or EBU Member organisation(s) face the consequences of their actions.

Yours sincerely

Gianluca Di Caro