A boxing bout planned for Penrith has been knocked out quicker than anticipated.
The EVAN Theatre at Panthers was to be home to one of the biggest boxing matches of the year in November with Paul Fleming and Billel Dib scheduled to go toe-to-toe in ‘Bad Blood’.
But after a press conference last Wednesday descended into a farce, the planned event has been called off.
In sensational scenes, Billel Dib’s cousin Billy at one stage stormed the stage, branding Fleming a “racist prick”. It came after things started to get fiery between the two fighters, with verbal jabs back and forth and Billel Dib at one stage taunting Fleming by saying “you sound like a spastic”.
Fleming had criticised Dib and his team for challenging him to this latest fight as he was leaving the ring after his most recent win.
“They rock up and they mob you outside of the ring,” Fleming said.
The press conference was briefly halted but then continued, but the fight has since been declared a no-go.
“D&L Events held a media conference on Wednesday, October 19 at the Penrith Leagues Club,” said Dean Lonergan, D&L Events Director, who was promoting the fight.
“It was staged to promote a fight card to be held at EVAN Theatre on November 30 headlined by super-featherweights Paul Fleming and Billel Dib.
“While there was nothing physical, D&L believes what took place was beyond the acceptable banter associated with boxing events and for that reason have decided to withdraw the event from its calendar.”
With a combined record of 31 KO’s and a furious rivalry that goes back years, the November 30 bout was being billed as the “most anticipated, electrifying, Super Featherweight fight in the country”.
These former training partners have well and truly gone their separate ways and, in the process, earned themselves each a top 15 spot in the world rankings.
The event would have marked boxing’s big-time return to Penrith. For years the EVAN Theatre was home to some of the biggest boxing fights Sydney had to offer.
“I fell in love with the theatre when I first saw it. It holds about 800 and we expect to have everyone shoulder to shoulder and the atmosphere will be spectacular,” Lonergan said before the press conference debacle.