Alexander Povetkin’s WBA World Heavyweight title defence against Hasim Rahman has been withdrawn from the show at West Ham United on Saturday 14th July. The fight was to feature on the card being topped by David Haye and Dereck Chisora’s eagerly awaited WBO/WBA International heavyweight showdown. Due to licensing conditions at West Ham United, Haye vs Chisora could not start later than 10pm and with German TV network ARD insisting, due to their Saturday night scheduling, that Povetkin vs Rahman must fill that slot and be before Haye vs Chisora, that time frame was impossible to work to. The show is being televised in sixty-plus countries, many with more than a one hour time difference, so to get everyone to agree to ARD’s preferred order would be impossible.
EPIX will broadcast the fight live in the USA and they need to be comfortable with the start time too. If Haye vs Chisora, which is the main attraction on the show, was to go on before Povetkin vs Rahman it would have had to start no later than 8:20pm meaning that Povetkin v Rahman could potentially have taken place in front of an empty stadium with the majority of fans leaving to catch trains and other public transport.
With the fight being withdrawn from the show, Manchester’s big-hitting Matthew Hall will now challenge unbeaten Irishman Gary O’Sullivan for the Vacant WBO International Middleweight title and Cromer’s exciting Commonwealth champion, Liam Walsh faces new opponent Italian Domenic Urbano for the Vacant WBO European Super-Featherweight title.
Unbeaten Oldham welterweight Ronnie Heffron features in an eight round contest, plus Stockton-on-Tees lightweight prospect Bradley Saunders will go in over six rounds and Lithuanian super-middleweight Sergej Rozvadovsky over eight rounds.