Boxing: Reprieve for Board of Control

THE BRITISH Board of Control's slim prospects of surviving as the sport's governing body improved yesterday when it was placed in administration.

The Board, formed in 1929, lost a high profile legal battle with stricken boxer Michael Watson in September and, despite winning the right to appeal in October, looked set to suffer serious financial losses if it lost their appeal. Watson was thought to be looking for pounds 1m but that figure was negotiable.

Watson suffered a blood clot on the surface of his brain after his fight with Chris Eubank for the World Boxing Organisation super-middleweight title at White Hart Lane in September 1991 and claimed the Board was liable for his condition. He can walk with assistance and needs two permanent carers.

In September, after winning the case, Watson and his solicitor, Michael Toohigg, denied that their intention was to ruin the Board. Toohigg revealed that he had sought meetings in an attempt to save the Board unnecessary costs in a case that nobody thought they could win.

Watson said at the time: "I just want to see improved safety procedures so that nobody suffers like me in the future." Since Watson's victory another boxer, Chris Henry, who suffered a similar but less damaging injury has made enquires and may take action against the Board.

Barry McGuigan, the former featherweight world champion who is now the outspoken president of the Professional Boxers' Association, had little sympathy for the Board's latest predicament. McGuigan said: "The Board has itself to blame. It needs to be accountable for its actions and it is not, it has never been. What is required is a complete restructuring with the welfare of the boxers paramount." McGuigan was being touted as an outside bet to replace John Morris, the Board's general secretary, who retires next week.

However, McGuigan's opinion was not shared by the country's top promoter, who has long been a vocal supporter of the Board, Frank Warren, even during its worst days. He said: "It is a shame. Without the Board there would not be any boxing in Britain and that is serious." At present, there are nearly 700 active licensed boxers.

Yesterday's decision at the High Court means that the Board will continue to licence boxers under the supervision of the joint administrators, Andrew Andronikou and Ladislav Hornan. It also means that there is effectively a safety barrier surrounding the Board's secret finances and that until they are out of administration nobody, including Watson, will be able to get any money.

Morris has been criticised in the past for his perceived arrogance and there has been much talk since he announced his retirement in November that the new man at the helm should be independent. Morris will now take up a position as an advisor to the World Boxing Council.

The Watson case has cost the Board pounds 300,000 and an appeal could have cost them another pounds 100, 000. So yesterday's announcement was not a great shock. Now the Board, and whoever takes over, has some time to find a way out of the mess.

Danny Cipriani of England breaks clear to score his second try
Life and Style
New research says leaving your desk can help you to avoid serious illness
Arts and Entertainment
tvSPOILER ALERT: Like a mash-up of 28 Days Later, Braveheart, The Killing and Lord of the Rings, this GoT episode was a belter
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral