Lawyers from international law firm Bird & Bird have won a significant case on behalf of the boxing middleweight champion Adrian Dodson. The hearing before the British Boxing Board of Control's Appeal Stewards succeeded in reducing his 18 month ban to nine and backdated to October 1999. In effect the ruling has reduced his time out of the ring by 13 months.
The original case was brought by the Southern Area Committee of the BBBofC following an incident during a title fight for the Commonwealth Middleweight Championship on 5 October 1999 when Dodson bit his opponent in the last minute of the twelfth round. He was fined and banned for 18 months.
Dodson's defence was led by leading sports litigation partner Trevor Asserson and assistant solicitor Roderick Christie-Miller, together with assistant solicitor Sam Rush from Bird & Bird's Sports department. Bird & Bird argued that the decision was 'unfair' and 'unreasonable' because Dodson (29) would suffer greatly from an 18 month absence from the ring. Trevor Asserson, on behalf of Adrian Dodson, contrasted his severe penalty with the lesser 15 month ban imposed on Mike Tyson for a more serious offence.
Robin Simpson QC in summation stated that Dodson's case had been 'extremely well presented' and that Adrian Dodson has behaved well since the offence and has apologised.
Speaking after the hearing Adrian Dodson, whose previously unblemished boxing career consisted of 3 World title fights, 2 Olympic appearances and 170 amateur wins, said, 'I am happy they agree that the original ban was unfair.'
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