Graham Earl has released a statement on why his August 13 rematch with Michael Katsidis has fallen through, and says it wasn't a decision made by him to pull out of the fight, or a failure between the two fighters to come to agreeable terms.
Earl, 32, says that the British Boxing Board of Control refused to approve the fight. Earl has not fought since 2009 and doesn't have a win over an opponent with a winning record since 2006.
"I just want to say that I am totally gutted as I believe there is no real reason for not giving me approval to go to Australia and fight.
"The Boxing Board have been happy to accept my boxing license renewal every year, at no time have I been suspended or told I cannot box any more.
"I would have understood if I had failed my medical, but I haven't so do not understand why they say it is not in my best interests or that of the sport.
"The Board are letting people come back after years out of the sport, sometimes when they are aged 42 or 43 and still allows them to fight.
"I'm 32, for the past two years I've been in training all the time, even though not actually fighting, and my last fight had a win. So there cannot be any excuse not to allow me to fight.
"When you pay for your license and they accept the payment that means you are licensed to box, so what valid reason could they have for stopping me boxing after accepting my license renewal each year.
"Since I started professional boxing my license has always been paid on time. My license was valid to August this year, when I knew the fight with Michael Katsidis was to go ahead I paid for my license renewal early and all next year is already paid for.
"Boxing is my life, I am a boxer this is what I do for a living. They should at least give me a valid reason for their actions rather than just saying it is not in my best interests or that of the sport."
Scott's Take: Earl is taking legal advice right now on the situation, but my guess is it doesn't lead to much of anything. I'm guessing we may see him back in the ring sometime this year, though, against a lesser opponent than Katsidis. If he truly wants the Katsidis rematch, he might just have to prove he's still in the shape he says he is, and then it could be easier to make that fight.
But as much as I think the decision is, in its way, reasonable, or "good for boxing" or whatever, it does ring a little hollow -- the BBBofC and every other commission in the world regularly allow clear mismatches. As a fight, I think Katsidis vs Earl II is predictable and sucks, but how is it notably awful or dangerous or whatever? That's the question here.