'This is my dream': Nigel Benn defends his comeback at 55 years old and insists he has NOT been refused a licence for controversial fight with Sadio Bika

0


  • Nigel Benn is set to return to the boxing ring in Birmingham next month
  • He says he would welcome further medical tests to prove his fitness to fight 
  • The 55-year-old confirmed he has made a formal application to BIBA 

Nigel Benn has denied being turned down for a licence to make a comeback at the age of 55

Nigel Benn has denied being turned down for a licence to make a comeback at the age of 55

The Briton, who last fought in 1996, is coming out of retirement for a November 23 fight

The Briton, who last fought in 1996, is coming out of retirement for a November 23 fight

Benn won the WBC super-middleweight title in 1992 after defeating Juan Carlos Gimenez

Benn won the WBC super-middleweight title in 1992 after defeating Juan Carlos Gimenez

Former world boxing champion Nigel Benn has denied being turned down for a licence to make a comeback at the age of 55 and said on Wednesday he welcomed further medical tests to prove his fitness to fight.

The Briton, who last fought in 1996, is coming out of retirement for a November 23 fight in Birmingham against Cameroon-born Australian Sakio Bika, a 40-year-old ex-world champion.

The former WBC super-middleweight champion confirmed he had made a formal application to the British & Irish Boxing Association (BIBA) for a licence.

‘I refute the claims that I re-applied for a licence with any other accredited sanctioning body (as has been stated in the press),’ he said in a statement. 

‘Therefore, I have not been refused a licence as alleged.’

British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) general secretary Robert Smith last month said Benn had asked them about a licence.

‘He was told that we would not consider it, given his age and how long he has been away from the sport. We will not be licensing this event, it will not be under our jurisdiction,’ he said then.

Benn acknowledged the risks and need to satisfy medical experts, but said also that he felt discriminated against because of his age.

‘I can confirm that I have made a formal application for a boxing licence with the British & Irish Boxing Authority. 

‘I refute the claims that I re-applied for a licence with any other accredited sanctioning body (as has been stated in the press). Therefore, I have not been refused a licence as alleged. 

‘It is my decision to box again (although may be seen by some as ‘controversial’). However, unlike many boxers, I have continued to maintain my fitness and healthy lifestyle since my last fight with Steve Collins.

‘I acknowledge the risks associated with the sport, and fully understand the importance of being fully assessed by medical professionals. Therefore, I’ve welcomed the requirements of BIBA to clearly establish that I AM ‘fit to box’. 

‘I have undergone numerous and regular medical investigations to confirm this, including periodic MRI brain scans. Now that I’m in the UK, within the next few weeks I have welcomed (at the request of BIBA) a further series of tests – including another MRI brain scan to provide clear clarification of my state of health.

‘BIBA are also facilitating additional safeguarding at ringside for my fight (which far exceeds the criteria of any other sanctioning organisation). My desire to box again is something that has remained within me for several years… It is MY choice alone, and I’ve not been persuaded or coerced by any other person. 

‘I feel like that I am being discriminated against because of my age. I can also confirm that I have chosen to fight an opponent who is a renowned former world champion in his own right. The challenge that I’ve set myself is high. 

‘This IS a tough challenge, but one that I feel I need to pursue to bring about final closure and an inner peace of mind for myself as a man. It’s NOT about the money, it’s about closing a desire that remains within my mind, body and soul. 

‘This is my dream, and I hope boxing fans around the world will embrace my wishes, and support and respect the fact that this is my decision alone.’

‘I’ve welcomed the requirements of BIBA to clearly establish that I am ‘fit to box’,’ he said. ‘I have undergone numerous and regular medical investigations to confirm this, including periodic MRI brain scans.’

Benn said he would have further tests in the next few weeks, including another brain scan, ‘to provide clear clarification of my state of health’ and there would be extra safety measures at the fight.

He has said he wants to fight again for ‘closure’, and personal peace of mind, rather than any financial reasons.



Source By Breaking News Website | BreakingNews.WS