Gilbert & Schopper Press Release:
Kelvin Davis’ appeal will be heard by a panel of IBF-appointed arbitrators in Las Vegas on Saturday, February 26, 2005, at the MGM Grand Hotel. The IBF
stripped Davis’ cruiserweight title vacant on the alleged grounds that Davis violated IBF Rule 4 by failing to honor his contractual to face manadatory contender O’Neill Bell. Davis was scheduled to fight Bell in St. Louis on February 5, 2005. The bout did not take place although both Davis and Bell showed up to fight.
Davis was prevented from entering the pre-fight press conference and was told by promoter Don King Promotions that he would not be allowed to fight unless he signed a new long-term promotional agreement. Davis, who filed for bankruptcy protection late in 2004, refused to sign the deal that was offered and the fight was taken off the show.
Davis’ attorney Mark Schopper filed the appeal with the New Jersey-based sanctioning body on February 17, 2005, and sent in the required $10,000.00 application fee for the appeal. The bases of the appeal include that the IBF did not follow its own rules relating to mandatory bouts, purse bids, and the procedures by
which a title may be vacated. “Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money to pay to get the IBF to follow its own rules,” said Schopper, “But we are confidant that when all of the facts are presented, the appeals board will restore Kelvin’s title of cruiserweight champion.”
Davis will be attending the hearing, where he will be represented by Schopper and his partner Joey Gilbert, who is not only an attorney but also a professional boxer. Gilbert is one of sixteen boxers cast on NBC’s “The Contender” which premieres March 7, 2005. “I know how hard boxers train and what it takes to fight at
this level,” says Gilbert, “And for a fighter to have his title
taken without losing in the ring is a gross injustice.”