Boxing: Calzaghe title defence falls foul of WBO rules

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Joe Calzaghe's 16th defence of his World Boxing Organisation super-middleweight title against Brian Magee at the King's Hall, Belfast, tonight was cancelled yesterday morning.

Calzaghe, 33, was told on Wednesday that his latest defence was off because of a planned mandatory defence that he is supposed to be making on 7 May against Mario Veit in Germany. Under the terms of the WBO, Calzaghe is forbidden to fight within a 60-day period before a mandatory defence. The proposed fight with Veit is just 49 days after tonight's meeting.

Calzaghe's promoter, Frank Warren, had agreed a deal with Veit's promoter, Peter Kohl, to allow Calzaghe to take the Magee fight first. However, Kohl called Warren late on Wednesday to say the German television company, ZDF, would not allow Calzaghe to fight. Warren was left with no option but to scrap Calzaghe and Magee.

At the ExCel Centre, in London's Docklands, the Amateur Boxing Association of England finals will still take place this evening. Perhaps the best boxer on display is Dale Youth's James Degale at middleweight. Degale, 19, has progressed during the campaign and meets Wolvercote's Steve Mullins.