Peters: I wanted Bernard to forfeit world crown

BRIAN PETERS revealed after Saturday night’s disaster at the O2 that he had suggested to Bernard Dunne that he might forfeit the WBA world super bantamweight title and go down another route rather than face the mandatory challenge of Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym.

The Thai challenger, shunned by the best super bantamweights in the world, had been waiting for a shot at the world title for 18 months and, after he won the belt from Ricardo Cordoba, the WBA left Dunne with no option. Dunne’s promoter Peters and Hunky Dorys did exceptionally well to get the fight to Dublin.

“He (Bernard) has had two mandatories and they resulted in his only two defeats,” Peters said. “I suggested to Bernard that he forfeit the belt but he wanted the fight.

“It’s easy to see where he was coming from. It is a very prestigious belt – it’s the WBA belt that Barry McGuigan held.”

While the crushing defeat left Dunne’s future in doubt, Peters insisted that the Dubliner, who will be 30 in February, will come back.

After the fight, Dunne spent less than an hour in Beaumont Hospital where he underwent a thorough examination conducted by Professor Jack Phillips, consultant neurosurgeon to the Boxing Union of Ireland. He was given a clean bill of health and returned to join his family.

“Thankfully Bernard is fine,” Peters said. “His pride is wounded because he was so desperate to give the country a lift.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, Poonsawat was just too strong but I’ve no doubt he will bounce back. After the Kiko Martinez defeat, there wasn’t too many predicting Bernard would go on to win a world title, but he did and he can come back from this setback as well.”

Peters said no snap decision will be made regarding Dunne’s future. “Obviously we’re all very disappointed right now but once the dust settles we’ll look at our options and see what direction we go from here. There are no excuses, Bernard was beaten by a great, great fighter last night and I’m sure Poonsawat will enjoy a long and successful reign.”


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