Joel McIntyre explains late South Parade Pier headline act bout cancellation and reveals 'massive news' for Chad Sugden summer showdown
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The Leigh Park light-heavyweight discovered the British Boxing Board of Control had sanctioned his July showdown with Chad Sugden in Newark for the vacant English title.
That positive news had been received in the build-up to his planned headline act South Parade Pier bout with Poland's Pawel Strykowski on the Atlantic Promotions show.
But upon McIntyre's arrival at the pre-fight weigh-in hours before the contest, there was no sign of the 19-4 fighter’s scheduled opponent.
As it turned out, Strykowski had not travelled from his native Poland and the planned main event for the show had to be scrapped.
McIntyre explained: ‘I turned up for the 4pm weigh-in (on Saturday afternoon). I spoke to the board, everyone else involved - doctor and everyone - got on the scales, weighed-in, as all is routine, basically there was no sign of the opponent.
‘The latest I've ever had someone pull-out was the day before the weigh-in, but never that late. It has happened, but never that late.
‘You can't stress over stuff you have no control over. I did everything I had to do, came down here, no opponent - what else can I do? You can't stress about stuff you have no control over, that's one thing I have learnt.’
But there remains plenty of reason for cheer, with McIntyre now confirmed to get his shot at reclaiming the English light-heavyweight title he previously held in 2016.
Having only returned to the ring in October last year after a U-turn on the retirement decision he made in 2018, McIntyre has been chasing this opportunity.
Now it will arrive on the back of just 30 seconds in the ring in the past four years when he faces 12-2-1 27-year-old Sugden at Newark Showground on July 15.
McIntyre added: ‘We've been working behind the scenes, my manager (Chris Hitching of Atlantic Promotions) has been tirelessly on the phone to lots of different people - the board (British Boxing Board of Control) - possible opponents etc.
‘So we now have a match-up planned with Chad Sugden, we have that sorted, we put that to the board and we've had confirmation they've sanctioned that for the vacant English title (light-heavyweight). That's massive good news, you know.’