1. This Press Notice is issued by the British Boxing Board of Control (“the BBBofC”) in respect of the WBA Interim World Middleweight Championship between Dmitry Chudinov and Chris Eubank Jnr. held at the O2 Arena, London on the 28th February 2015.
2. The BBBofC has decided to issue this notice to correct misinformation that has been disseminated surrounding the appointment of officials for that contest.
3. That contest was due to, and did, take place, under the jurisdiction of the BBBofC. As such, in accordance with the BBBofC Rules and Regulations, it was for the Board to control the contest and appoint all officials, including the referee and judges.
4. That was recognised by the contract signed by or on behalf of both boxers, which provided as follows:
“ 3. Rules and Regulations
(a) Designation of the officials, referee and judges shall be made by the Boxing Commission (“BBBofC”). The final decision on all appointments will remain with the BBBofC. The parties agree to immediately write to both the WBA and BBBofC to request that all judges are from neutral territories from that of both CEJ and DC. ”
5. On the 6th February 2015 Robert Smith, the General Secretary of the BBBofC, advised that the BBBofC had appointed a BBBofC licensed referee and a BBBofC licensed judge to officiate at the contest, both of whom were on the WBA’s approved list of officials. He also indicated that the BBBofC would approve 2 judges appointed by the WBA from neutral territories from that of both boxers.
6. Subsequently, having had discussions with the promoter, Mr. Smith, on behalf of the BBBofC, agreed that the BBBofC would approve the appointment of all 3 judges from neutral territories from that of both boxers. Both the promoter and Chris Eubank Jnr. were content with that decision.
7. However, Dmitry Chudinov and his team were not content, even though such decision was in accordance with the terms of the contract as set out above and even though he agreed to be bound by the BBBofC’s Rules and Regulations. Indeed, at all material times he was considered as being a licence holder of the BBBofC.
8. Dmitry Chudinov insisted that the referee should also be from a neutral territory from that of both boxers. Contrary to what has been said in the media, Dmitry Chudinov was not within his rights to insist upon the referee being from a neutral territory from both boxers. He was certainly not within his rights to threaten that he would not box unless the appointed referee was stood down and a referee from a neutral territory be appointed.
9. The referee Mr. Smith had appointed was a world-class referee of immense experience and integrity. He was on the WBA approved list. There was absolutely no basis upon which his appointment could be criticised. It is common for a referee from the territory of one of the boxers to be appointed to officiate. Further, a regulatory body cannot allow a promoter and/or a manager and/or a boxer or anyone else for that matter, to dictate the appointment of officials. The appointment of officials is one of the most important roles of a regulatory body and is essential for the integrity of the sport of boxing.
10. On the evening of the contest Dmitry Chudinov was still maintaining, in breach of contract, that he would not box unless the referee appointed by Mr. Smith, on behalf of the BBBofC, was stood down and a referee from a neutral territory was appointed to officiate.
11. By reason thereof the BBBofC’s representatives present at the promotion and the appointed referee were placed in an invidious, intolerable position. As a result Mr. Smith was contacted. The position was explained to him. In the bests interests of the promotion, the innocent parties who would be adversely affected if the contest did not proceed, the public who had paid to attend the promotion and had subscribed to see the contest on television and the sport of boxing generally, he was left with no alternative but to agree that the appointed referee be replaced by a referee from a neutral territory.
12. The BBBofC wish to make it clear that, in respect of contests under its jurisdiction, it is the BBBofC who will approve and appoint all officials, including the referee and judges, and that what happened on the 28th February 2015 will not be allowed to happen again.
BRITISH BOXING BOARD OF CONTROL