British board faces legal action

  • Last Updated: July 4 2012, 10:19 BST

The Luxembourg Boxing Federation have issued legal proceedings against the British Boxing Board of Control in the latest twist in the row over the decision to stage a controversial bout between British heavyweights David Haye and Dereck Chisora.

Haye and Chisora are set to meet on July 14

The fight, due to take place at Upton Park in east London on July 14, has been sanctioned by the Luxembourg federation, with neither Haye nor Chisora currently licensed by the BBBofC.

The pair notoriously traded blows in Munich in February, when they clashed at a press conference which followed Chisora's loss to Vitali Klitschko.

The fall-out from the clash saw Chisora's licence rescinded by the BBBofC while Haye, who is technically retired, was largely unrepentant.

The British board have said they would rescind the existing licences of anybody involved in the promotion of the fight, but their Luxembourg counterparts, together with "a number of licence holders", have now responded to that threat.

"The Luxembourg Boxing Federation and a number of licence holders have today issued legal proceedings against the British Boxing Board of Control in relation to its behaviour over the Haye v Chisora fight on 14 July 2012," read a statement from the Luxembourg board.

"This is not something anyone wanted to do and neither is it a step we took lightly, but we felt we were left with no option.

"We have issued proceedings to prevent the Board from intimidating its own members into not participating in the fight.

"The Board has admitted that it can do nothing legally to stop the fight but it is still threatening to call its licence-holders to account for their involvement.

"The fight is going ahead on 14 July and over 28,000 tickets have been sold. This is a fight that the public want to see and is being broadcast live in the UK on BoxNation, EPIX in America, Sky Germany and in more the 60 countries."

The BBBofC were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Press Association Sport on Wednesday morning.

The Haye-Chisora bout has also attracted the wrath of the European Boxing Union, who last month confirmed their general assembly had passed a motion that decreed the Luxembourg federation would be thrown out of the European organisation if they continued to back the fight.

Despite that threat, the LBF subsequently voted in favour of backing the bout by eight votes to four at a special general meeting in Luxembourg.

The fight's promoter Frank Warren is also adamant that the WBO- and WBA-sanctioned bout is not under any threat.

"This is a good fight, a quality fight," Warren said last month.

"What happened in the past happened, it was months ago. The guys are not banned from boxing, the fight will take place - it is a good fight. It is a fight the fans want to see.

"The fact of the matter is...this fight is sanctioned by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation and is also sanctioned by the WBO, that is what it is, the rest of it doesn't matter."

BBBofC general secretary Robert Smith was unaware of the news when contacted by Press Association Sport on Wednesday morning but admitted he had known the LBF were planning legal proceedings.

However, Smith was not prepared to comment on behalf of the Board until the proper paperwork had been received.

"I've been aware this was going to happen for a while so there's nothing much more to say," he said.

"They told us before they were going to do it, we expected it and there really is nothing to say until we get all the details."