The ashen white look on Dean Powell’s face when it became clear British Light-Heavyweight champion Peter Oboh was refusing to defend his crown despite being at the venue, having made weight and with the crowd in their seats was a postcard picture. No words could convey the disbelief better than Powell’s jaw resting on his knees.
Sky Sports performed admirably in extracting the positive from the situation by getting cameras back stage to capture the drama unfolding. Ed Robinson, Sky’s irrepressible ringside terrier was clearly in his element. A video of Oboh’s vague explanation for his actions is featured on the VODPOD links on the right.
Poor Tony Oakey, back from suspension and fit he was forced to explain to the travelling Portsmouth fans that he wouldn’t be competing. Oboh deliberatley left his decision late to cause maximum disruption to the promotion and while I can’t help but feel a pang of empathy for the frustration and neglect he’s felt over the past three years, a period where he could not find an opponent willing to challenge for his belt, I have to conclude that too many suffered from his actions for them to ever be justifiable.At almost 40 and with the usually passive Board Secretary, Simon Block animated and decisive in his on-camera criticism of the much-avoided former champion it is hard to see how Oboh can ever show his face at a British fight card again. Block’s comments were over the top when suggesting Oboh would never fight in a British ring again, but it certainly reflected the disappointment of promoter Frank Maloney.
It has to be said, the undercard stood up to the closer analysis demanded by Haye’s quick finish and Oboh’s withdrawal. Fair play to Maloney for making some eager, even contests down the card.