Boxing - McDonnell cuts ties with Hobson

IBF bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell (21-2-1) has 'cut all ties' with Sheffield promoter Dennis Hobson, who was instrumental in securing McDonnell home advantage for his world title winning fight with Julio Ceja at the Keepmoat Stadium in May.

Only last week, news surfaced that a deal had been agreed between Hobson and Queensberry Promotions, run by the sons of Frank Warren, for McDonnell to defend his world title on subscription channel BoxNation. However, according to the Doncaster Free Press, McDonnell insists he knew nothing of the deal.

Liam Hoden wrote yesterday: "McDonnell has been frustrated over a lack of in-ring action over the past two years and is disappointed he has yet to secure a date, opponent or venue for the first defence of his IBF world title."

LiveFight's Shaun Brown spoke to Hobson: “I need to find out what the foundations are of this. I need to see if there’s any mischief being made, I’ve got an idea where it’s coming from.  I don’t have anything else to say just now. I will be making a statement through myself or my legal representative that will make people sit up and take notice.”

At today's London press conference for Darren Barker v Felix Sturm in Germany on December 7, Matchroom will announce another new addition to it's stable. This could well be McDonnell. Back in August, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn told the Doncaster Free Press:

“It might sound harsh but outside of Doncaster and particularly outside of boxing, people don’t really know who he is.

“That shouldn’t be the case because Jamie has great crossover appeal. He’s a good looking kid and he’s a very exciting fighter. But he needs to be built up before he is a top draw main eventer and the way to do that is being a part of big shows with TV deals."

Matchroom get on well with the IBF, and if signed, McDonnell would be the stable's third current IBF World champion (with Darren Barker and Carl Froch). Matchroom would be able to provide McDonnell with plenty of opportunities to cost-effectively strut his bantamweight stuff in the UK.

But it might not be McDonnell. Last week, news came via Stephen 'Smigga' Smith's solicitor that the British super featherweight champion had 'terminated his agreement' with W Promotions (which, incidentally, was placed in administration on September 3rd, two weeks after Smith captured the British title with a sublime uppercut against Gary Buckland).

The statement read: “I’ve been with W Promotions since I turned pro and during that time have held the British Featherweight and Super-Featherweight titles. Now though the time has come to pursue my career away from W Promotions. As such I’m today announcing the termination of my contract with W Promotions.

"I would like to thank everyone at W Promotions for the support and guidance they’ve given me. A special thank you to Dean Powell - like so many other boxers out there I appreciate everything he did for my career.”

This caused a not-altogether unfamiliar response from the aforementioned Queensberry Promotions, which issued the following retort:

"Frank Warren has received a letter in which Stephen Smith says that he wishes to terminate his Approved Boxer/Management Agreement. This letter was sent nearly seven weeks following his successful challenge for the British title in August and after it was announced he was to be part of an historic show where all three of the Smith brothers would defend their British Championships on the same night.

"However, the letter does not disclose grounds to validly terminate the agreement and so Stephen Smith remains under contract to Frank Warren. Any party seeking his services must contact Mr. Warren in the first instance to comply with the rules of the BBBofC.

"Mr. Warren will defend his rights as both the Manager and Promoter of Stephen Smith and a complaint has already been lodged at the British Boxing Board of Control and a letter sent to his solicitors. Other parties, who we are aware have induced Mr. Smith to breach his contract and in doing so have tortuously interfered with Mr Warren’s rights, will also be the subject of action through the BBBofC and the Courts.

Queensberry, however, did get a fairly low key pre-emptive strike in yesterday when they announced that Enfield's Evangelou Brothers - light welter Chris 'The Flash' (9-2) and light heavy Andreas 'The Ace' (7-0-1) - had jumped ship from Matchroom to hook up with Warren United at Queensberry. Only Chris has appeared on a Matchroom bill this year, losing to Danny Connor at Wembley Arena. The Brothers Evangelou will box at the Copper Box on Saturday 30th November, along with European Heavyweight champ Dereck Chisora and British middleweight boss Billy Joe Saunders.

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