The British Boxing Board of Control’s (BBBoC) Stewards have not approved a request from Matchroom Sport’s Eddie Hearn for Paul Smith to make a voluntary defence of his British super-middleweight title against Swansea’s Tobias Webb (14-1-1, 2KO). Instead, the Stewards decided that Smith’s next defence of his title will be a mandatory defence against Commonwealth champion Rocky Fielding who defeated Webb via first round stoppage nearly three years ago in the final of Prizefighter. Having already fought in two all-Liverpool British title fights, Smith will have to go through another local derby to defend his British title for the third time and victory would see him own the historic Lonsdale belt forever. It is a blow to Webb who was hoping to build on his six round decision victory over Mountain Ash’s Nathan King earlier this month. The Welsh champion had began preparation for a proposed challenge to Smith by travelling to Germany where he is currently sparring WBO world champion Arthur Abraham, former European champion Eduard Gutknecht and fellow prospect Robert Woge. However, there was good news for Swansea boxing as the BBBoC nominated WBC International champion Chris Jenkins (13-0, 5KO) to face Commonwealth champion Willie Limmond (37-4, 10KO) in a final eliminator for the British light-welterweight title. British champion Darren Hamilton defends his title against Curtis Woodhouse on February 22nd in Hull. If successful in defending his title for the third time, Hamilton would own the Lonsdale belt forever and he is expected to vacate it to move on, whereas Woodhouse has said it will be his last fight ever, win or lose. It is likely that Jenkins and Limmond will be fighting for the right to contest the vacant championship. Purse bids for the contest must be submitted by 12th March and the contest must take place by the end of May. Matchroom Sport’s Eddie Hearn has already revealed the possibility of a show in Cardiff on May 3rd and this contest could take place then. IMAGE BY CIARAN GIBBONS

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