News emerged this morning that the vacant British cruiserweight title fight between Craig Kennedy and Stephen Simmons had been cancelled and that the entire show that was due to take place on March 11th in Cardiff was postponed.
A minor controversy among Irish boxing fans was created last month when Cyclone, who are promoting the fight, chose Scotsman Simmons to replace the injured Matty Askin for the now-cancelled fight.
Many felt that Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy [9(5)-1(0)], who lost to Askin in a final eliminator back in November, should have been given the call by Cyclone instead.
The Lenadoon man, who has relocated to the Champs Camp in Manchester following the loss to Askin, expressed his disappointment on social media at the time and confirmed that he would have been willing to take the short-notice bout.
This morning it was revealed that Simmons too had pulled out of the bout, and many felt McCarthy should now be offered the fight that most, if not all, believe he should have been offered almost two weeks ago.
This however will not happen as McCarthy has today confirmed that, after discussions with his team, the proverbial ship had sailed.
When asked for comment, McCarthy told Irish-Boxing.com that “in regards to the British title, on [Sunday] February 19th Simmons was asked to step in for Matty as he hurt his hand.”
“Blaine McGuigan, the promoter, did not contact me or my manager Pat Magee. I was surprised and disappointed that he went to Simmons instead of me because I’m above him in the rankings and he wouldn’t box me in an eliminator [and BBBoC Celtic title fight] for the same title back in 2015.”
“Then on Wednesday [March 1st] Pat received a belated phone call from Blaine to say Simmons was out and would I step in.”
This call came too late for McCarthy, who explained that “Pat, Ensley [Bingham, coach] and myself discussed the offer and decided it was too short notice for a 12 round title fight. Blain was later informed of our decision and was told it was regrettable that he hadn’t contacted us on February 19th as I would have took the fight at that stage.”
McCarthy will continue to train as he looks to get back into domestic title action in the near future, with manager Magee previously suggesting a Commonwealth title tilt. The 26 year old is also a strong possibility to feature on the Matchroom Ryan Burnett Belfast homecoming bill, whenever that should take place.
Cyclone have stated that they are “liaising with the British Boxing Board of Control and the management of Matthew Askin to clarify when he will be ready to box Craig Kennedy for the vacant British cruiserweight title.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)