Jamie McDonnell has been stripped of the IBF world bantamweight title, the organisation has confirmed.
A failure to agree a fight with mandatory challenger Vusi Malinga within a required time frame is the reason provided by the IBF.
In a statement to the Star and the Doncaster Free Press, an IBF spokesperson said: “Jamie McDonnell did not supply signed contracts for his mandatory defence scheduled for November 9 within the prescribed time according to IBF rule.
“By not doing so his title was declared vacant.”
The IBF also confirmed an appeal against the decision had been lodged by Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn.
McDonnell has no official relationship with Hearn but it has been speculated that he would sign with Britain’s leading promoter after last week declaring his intent to leave previous manager Dennis Hobson.
The Hatfield bantamweight told the Star and Free Press earlier today – prior to the release of the statement – that he had not been informed by the IBF of their decision.
He said he would be ‘gutted’ to discover it was the truth.
The decision comes during a tumultuous fortnight for the 27-year-old following his decision to part company with manager Hobson.
Sheffield-based Hobson has disputed the act and lodged a complaint with the British Boxing Board of Control who will hold a hearing to decide whether the contract will be cancelled.