Disappointment for Amir as opponent pulls out

BOXING champion Amir Unsworth has retained his Midlands Area title but not in the way he had anticipated.

Set to defend his belt for the first time on Saturday night at his home venue of Northgate Sports Hall in Sleaford, Amir’s bout was called off at three days’ notice after his opponent, Northampton’s Jamie Spence, withdrew from the 10-round clash with a bout of flu.

The collapse of the main event meant the whole show had to be cancelled.

A furious Amir said: “I’d had a check weigh-in with the British Boxing Board of Control and made the weight for the fight, then that evening I got a phone call from my trainer, Carl Greaves.

“Before Carl said anything I knew that Jamie had pulled out because he’s done it before. We were supposed to fight in November last year and he pulled out.”

He added: “I’ve actually got the flu myself! I’d had it all week but I was so prepared and focused that it wasn’t going to stop me getting into the ring. To be honest, I think he bottled it. I don’t think he ever intended to fight me.”

Jamie, the British Masters champion, disagreed. He explained: “I had a cold and by the Tuesday it had turned into a fever. It was so bad there just wasn’t any way I could fight.

“If he wants to say I’ve bottled it, then that’s his opinion. I know for a fact that if he was feeling how I was feeling he’d have pulled out too.

“I’m gutted because it’s the second time it’s happened now. I just hope I can get another shot at his title.”

Amir replied: “There’s no chance I’m going to fight him. I’m not putting myself through 10 weeks of hard training for him to pull out again at the last minute. The only way I’ll fight him is if the Board demand it.”

Although having not thrown any punches, Amir still holds the Midlands belt and he could now get a shot at the national title.

Amir said: “I’m sorry this fight didn’t go ahead. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who bought tickets - who can get a full refund - the three sponsors of the show, to Carl for the training and to 1 Mercian regiment for giving me the time off and supporting me yet again.”