In a cautionary tale for fighters working with lesser-known promoters, Lucas Browne and Mahmoud Charr have been left high and dry in Dubai.
A heavyweight fight between the pair was due to take place on December 17 in the region, headlining a show put on by Iconic Promotions. The main event was dubbed the ‘WBC Fight For Peace’ on promotional materials.
As the boxers arrived, undercard and all, the Middle East Professional Boxing Commission deemed the event ‘impossible to go ahead with and comply with the safety and medical standards to run it safely.’
They then revealed that the promoter failed at the basic level of putting on a boxing show – namely no permits or venue – and that the company is banned from working in the region. The man behind it, who Charr names as Andre Spencer, has been unable to be reached for comment.
Charr, formerly Manuel now Mahmoud, told Boxing UK of the ordeal.
“I’m so sad what’s happened. What kind of promotion does this to us? We are all here, having flown from all over the world. We trained, we sparred, we are ready to fight. But what’s happened now – Andre Spencer f****d up.
He didn’t make the fight happen, he lied to all of us, the fighters, the promoters, the managers. And now, I come to this hotel, and some of the fighters here are on the street because the hotel was not paid. We signed the contracts, everyone was ready.”
It’s a far cry from the Tyson Fury bout Charr was angling for earlier in the year. His would-be opponent, Browne, also expressed disappointment – highlighting that it effects his family, too.
“I have a lot of plans for the kids, and I’ve got birthdays and all that sort of stuff, as well. It really does put a dent in all of it. Let alone my boxing career.
I was looking forward to fighting Manuel. We’ve spoken very gentlemanly-like over the years. He’s an absolute gentleman of a bloke and a champion. We were really looking forward to having a good fight, along with obviously everyone else who is here as well.
The way we’ve been treated, I’m just not happy with at all. It’s very unprofessional, and it shouldn’t happen.”
Top boxing promoter, Lou DiBella, slammed the event, branding it ‘an organised scam’.
“Many in boxing think the new holy grail of sites and big purse opportunities is in Dubai. Well, not for a bunch of fighters who just went there for a fight card that was an organised scam.”
You can watch the full Boxing UK interview below.