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King's quick chance to win back crown
King Davidson has been stripped of his WBO International light middleweight title – but will incredibly get the chance to win it back at Southampton Guildhall in just eight weeks time.
The WBO took the decision to remove the belt after the Southampton-based Nigerian boxer failed to defend in over a year since winning it against Phillip Kotey.
Davidson has been lined up to defend the title no less than four times since that day in June last year.
But every time the fight has fallen through for a variety reasons, varying from shows being cancelled through to injury.
There appeared little prospect of a defence around the corner and, with other promoters wanting to get their fighters to scrap for the title, the WBO took the decision to strip him of his belt.
However, Davidson has just signed a big money five-fight sponsorship deal with Arik Airlines, the national airline of Nigeria.
Continued on page 61 The significant amount of money they have pledged is to help Davidson develop his career, and that will contribute towards funding a fight for the now vacant title at Southampton Guildhall, the headline act of a show on November 16.
Davidson’s trainer, Wayne Batten, said: “It’s great news for King that he can get to fight for this title again.
“It has been a frustrating year really since he won the title. We have been preparing for a fight several times only for them to fall through and then we got the news the WBO was going to strip him.
“You can’t really blame them for that but due to the unfortunate circumstances of the fights falling through they have been really understanding and have agreed to allow King to have the first shot at the now vacant title.
“These are really exciting times for King.
“The sponsorship deal with Arik Airlines is great news for him, and for boxing in Southampton.
“They are pledging a lot of money as they believe King can become a full world champion and are prepared to back him to get there as quickly as possible.
“If King wins back the belt he will be back in the top ten of the WBO rankings and then we are in place to get him some very high level experience before hopefully a crack at a world title.
“This should mean some great fights and great cards in Southampton and we just hope the people of Southampton really rally behind King because if he does well it will open up a lot of chances for other fighters in the city.”
Davidson’s appearance on the Guildhall bill so soon after a show scheduled for today failed to happen will doubtless help ticket sales and provide a strong headline fight.
The rest of the bill is still being put together but Batten has almost an embarrassment of riches at his disposal.
Other local big name fighters such as Tony Hill, Matty Tew and Joe Pigford are all itching for an outing and then there are several others who have recently joined Batten’s gym and a host from in and around the area that want to get on a high profile local bill.
It means that a card packed with action and some good prospects is pretty much guaranteed.
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