It was announced at a press conference yesterday by Promoter Eddie Hearn that Stephen Smith is intending to defend his British Super-Featherweight title against Gary Sykes on a tournament he is promoting in Manchester on 23rd November.
Both Mr Hearn and Mr Smith have been written to by Solicitors and further contacted by the BBBofC regarding the existing contractual position of Mr Smith but have both seemingly ignored the regulations of the BBBofC and also the legal documents Mr Smith is bound by.
This fight has already been approved and formally sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control and contracts have been lodged by the registered managers of both boxers for this contest to take place on Frank Warren’s show at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Saturday 7th December. A circular issued by the Board on 10th October confirms this.
Robert Smith, General Secretary of the BBBofC, confirmed, "I have agreements from the managers of both fighters for the fight to promoted by Frank Warren and we have have been notified that it will take place on 7th December.
Frank Warren is Stephen Smith’s licensed manager of record with the Boxing Board. Mr Warren and Mr Smith have both put in letters of complaint and we’ve requested that they provide us with detailed documentation of what they’d like us to hear.
Initially, Gary Buckland was due to defend against John Simpson and Stephen Smith and Gary Sykes were due to meet in a final eliminator.
When Simpson got injured, Smith got his opportunity to fight for the title - and Sykes agreed to temporarily step aside - with the written agreement from all parties concerned that the winner of the Buckland-Smith fight would box Gary Sykes next on a Frank Warren promotion. Smith got his title shot on that condition.
As we speak, there is no reason why Stephen Smith shouldn’t defend his British title against Gary Sykes on a Frank Warren show. We have agreements lodged with both Smith’s manager Frank Warren and Sykes’ manager Steve Wood for that contest to take place in Liverpool on 7th December. Bar injury, there is no reason why that contest shouldn’t take place on that date, regardless of whether there is a dispute. If Smith doesn’t fight Gary Sykes next, he will be stripped."
Mr. Warren remains the registered manager of Stephen Smith. He has received no approach from Eddie Hearn, or those representing him, to make an offer for Stephen Smith to fight on their promotion on 23 November 2013 pursuant to the regulations of the BBBofC and the terms of the Approved Boxer/Manager Agreement that exists between Frank Warren (Manager) and Stephen Smith (Boxer).
Other parties, who Mr Warren is aware have induced Stephen Smith to breach his contract so have tortuously interfered with Mr Warren’s rights, will also be the subject of action through the BBBofC and the Courts.
A complaint has been made already to the BBBofC against Mr Smith and Mr Hearn and others and they have been asked to deal with these complaints under Regulation 24/25 as a matter of priority.