Warren appeal for Bugner turned down

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Joe Bugner has suffered another reverse in his bid to make a British comeback. The British Board of Control have rejected a second application from the promoter Frank Warren for the former British heavyweight champion to fight Scott Welch for his World Organisation Inter-Continental title in Glasgow on 16 March - three days after Bugner's 46th birthday.

Warren urged the Board to reconsider their original decision not to grant Bugner a licence to box next month. The Board agreed and their emergency committee considered the appeal over the last three days. But the full championship committee, plus several senior stewards, came up with the same answer.

The Board assistant secretary, Simon Block, said: "The Board very carefully considered the further application from Frank Warren, and a copy of his points were circulated to an emergency committee. But having regarded all of that, the committee still do not feel able to grant permission for Bugner to box at this time."

Warren hoped to put Welch-Bugner on the WBO featherweight title promotion in Glas- gow featuring Prince Naseem Hamed's first defence against the Nigerian Said Lawal.

It would have given Sky TV a double attraction before screening Frank Bruno's World Council heavyweight clash with Mike Tyson in Las Vegas a few hours later.

Warren had spoken of taking the Bugner fight to the Republic of Ireland - which is outside the Board's jurisdiction - if he could not get the former British and European champion approved by the authorities. After this second rejection, that could be Warren's course of action if he is determined to put the fight on.

The British light-heavyweight champion, Crawford Ashley, will pursue the WBC title at the Newcastle Arena on 2 March. The Leeds fighter will meet three-times former world champion Mike McCallum in a 12-round bout billed as a final eliminator for the WBC championship.

McCallum has a first-class track record against British opposition, beating Michael Watson and Herol Graham in world title bouts. The winner will be looking to challenge the WBC holder, Fabrice Tiozzo of France, for his title.

Warren will back Nigel Benn's WBC super-middleweight title defence against Thulane "Sugar Boy" Malinga with Tom Johnson's defence of his Inter- national Federation featherweight crown against Colombia's Ever Beleno. Middlesbrough's Cornelius Carr, who lost to WBO super-middleweight champion Steve Collins in his last bout, will have an eight-round fight on the bill.