Boxing


Letter from Frank Warren to BBBofC

Dear Mr Smith, I refer to the press release which you issued earlier this week in which you state that any member of the British Boxing Board of Control who participates in the Haye v. Chisora fight “will be deemed to have terminated” both his membership of your Board and his licence. As you know I am Dereck Chisora’s manager and even if I am not at the fight I will be ‘participating’ in accordance with your definition of this word in the press release.

I write to make two complaints about your press release. The first is that there are no substantive grounds to revoke my licence and the second is that you have not properly complied with any procedural requirements..

Substantive Grounds

Under Rule 4.12 of your own Rules and Regulations, as a licence holder I can participate “(a) in or at a Promotion which is licensed by the BBBofC; or (b) in or at a Promotion organised by a Federation, Commission, Association or Controlling Authority affiliated to, or recognised by the BBBofC”. The Federation Luxembourgoise De Boxe is a Federation affiliated to and recognised by the Board; both are affiliated to the EBU. As that Federation is sanctioning the Haye v. Chisora fight, my participation is not a breach of your Rules.

You have not communicated your complaint to me at all, but in the press statement your concern appears to be that a member who participates in the Haye v. Chisora fight would “bring the sport of boxing into disrepute”. As I say, were the Board to really consider that I was bringing the sport into disrepute then I would expect you to have set out the charges against me by letter and with a level of particularity.

I cannot see how I can be bringing boxing into disrepute for the following reasons (which list is not exhaustive):

*It cannot be because the fight is unlicensed, because it is licensed by a Federation older than the Board, affiliated to the EBU and which has the same medical provisions, testing, safety provisions and insurance as the Board;

*It cannot be because David Haye is fighting and is not licensed by the Board. If this were the case, you would object to almost every fight taking place overseas. Indeed, I note that the Board has not complained that the WBA is bringing the sport into disrepute, despite that organisation licensing Mayweather’s fight even though he has a conviction for domestic violence;

*It cannot be because Dereck Chisora is not licensed by the Board, for the reasons above. Also, if the Board did consider that Mr Chisora should not fight again, it would have banned him for life. Instead it withdrew his licence but invited him to apply for a licence with the Board or with another sanctioning body when he wished to do so;

*It cannot be because of safety reasons. Not just because the Federation has the same procedures as the Board, but also because the Board took no sanction against Promoter Barry Hearn after he ignored the Board’s refusal to grant Julian Jackson a licence to fight in the UK against Herol Graham and staged the fight in Spain. Indeed, the Board supplied officials for that fight and gained financially. Further, whilst the Board has been found guilty of negligence (in relation to Michael Watson), the Federation has had no such decisions against it;

*It cannot be because there is a fight sanctioned in the UK by the Luxembourg Federation. This is because the Board has licensed fights in other jurisdictions, as have many other Federations and Associations and because of the principle of free trade across Europe.

Procedural Grounds

If in fact you really did consider that I, a licensee, is guilty of misconduct because of my ‘participation’ in the Haye v. Chisora fight, then you need still to comply with Rule 25. The Board would need to send me a formal complaint and require me to answer it and attend before the Board. You have not done so.

My Complaint

My concern is that by issuing the threat contained in your press release you are trying to stop me from being involved in a legitimate and lawful fight governed by another Federation and to interfere with my freedom to work and to earn a living. I am worried that you have taken this decision not because you are really concerned about the fight (for the reasons I set out above) but because you are fearful that you will lose your monopoly in the UK.

I require written confirmation that you will not seek to take away my licence if I remain Dereck Chisora’s manager. As you have catapulted this issue into the press, then I consider it is reasonable for me to seek your confirmation by close of business on Wednesday 16 May 2012. If I do not receive your confirmation then you will receive a formal complaint from my solicitors followed by proceedings (including injunctive relief should they consider it necessary and appropriate). Of course there may well be issues of costs and damages associated with your actions and I put you on notice that I will be seeking these also if so advised.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Frank

Article posted on 12.05.2012



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