Title fight off after health scare

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A TOWN boxer’s dreams of landing a British title lay in tatters today after medics stopped him from fighting after detecting a brain bleed.

Nigel Wright, 31, was due to meet Ashley Theophane at Peterlee Leisure Centre on Saturday night to challenge for the Londoner’s light-welterweight belt.

But the 31-year-old was left “devastated” by the British Boxing Board of Control’s (BBBC) decision to stop him from fighting following a routine annual scan.

Wright’s coach insists the failed scan does not mark the end of Wright’s boxing career, but the scan will now be examined by a panel of experts.

Wright fights out of the Gus Robinson stable, and he had previously vowed to do all he could to win the British title as his own way of paying tribute to the late town businessman, who was his promoter.

Coach Peter Cope said: “The BBBC are not saying Nigel can’t box ever again.

“But Saturday’s fight with Theophane is definitely off.

“Nigel is absolutely devastated – he’s in a state of shock.

“Robert Smith from the BBBC rang up yesterday afternoon and said there was bad news. I couldn’t believe it.

“Since his last scan, in 2010, Nigel has had a bleed on his brain.

“It doesn’t mean it’s happened in a fight – it could have happened when he’s banged his head off the kitchen cupboard or the back door, or anything.

“The BBBC can’t take any chances and we respect that. They have viewed this on the scan and now the plates have to be sent to three independent consultants for them to examine.

“This can’t be done before Saturday so the contest has had to be called off.

“There is never a good time for something like this, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time, less than three weeks after we lost Gus.

“Nigel was absolutely right for this fight – physically and mentally.

“I believe everything was set up on Saturday for him to win, I genuinely believed he had a real, real good chance.

“I’m gutted for him and I’m gutted for the Gus Robinson team, but the most important thing now is Nigel. He has a beautiful wife and two daughters and his health is paramount.

“We’re all in bits at this, but we are going to have to wait to see what the team of specialists say.

“Unfortunate and unlucky does not begin to describe the situation.

“The gym’s totally deflated and there have been a few tears, but we’re going to have to try to get behind Peter [Cope] and his bout on the undercard on Saturday.”

Despite Wright’s KO, the show will go on with Chris Edwards’ British flyweight title battle against Shinny Bayaar topping the bill.