Stewart misses out on Khan showdown

PUBLISHED: 14:20 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:32 05 October 2010

EAST London lightweight Dave Stewart saw his hopes of the biggest night of a seven-year ring career dashed last week following the news that a clash with superstar Amir Khan would not take place. Former British lightweight title challenger Stewart, traine

EAST London lightweight Dave Stewart saw his hopes of the biggest night of a seven-year ring career dashed last week following the news that a clash with superstar Amir Khan would not take place.

Former British lightweight title challenger Stewart, trained by Tony Sims at east London's TBS promotions gym, had accepted the offer of a meeting with the Bolton fighter in a televised tussle at Manchester's MEN Arena on September 6.

It would have been an against-the-odds battle for 6ft tall Stewart, who saw the clash as an opportunity to shake off the memory of his two setbacks against British champions Jon Thaxton and Lee Meager.

Both those title fight defeats came after battling displays from the Ayr-born former Repton amateur Stewart.

But after accepting the early offer of a fight with Stewart, who boasts 22 wins from his 24 paid outings, Khan scrapped the scheduled encounter in favour of a meeting with a higher-profile opponent.

Trainer Sims was informed that Khan's Sports Network promotions would prefer to match the top prospect with a foreign rival on the show which also features Dagenham fighter Nicky Cook's WBO world super featherweight title challenge against Edinburgh titleholder Alex Arthur.

Former WBA featherweight champion Derrick 'Smoke' Gainer, a Florida-based 35-year-old has since been suggested as the likely opponent for Khan on the Manchester promotion.

l East London-trained light heavyweight Tony Oakey and former Repton amateur star Courtney Fry should provide an all-action clash for fight fans after an October showdown was confirmed this week.

The winner of the meeting will step up with a challenge for title honours - but with both fighters well into their thirties, the outlook will not be bright for the loser.

Oakey, trained by Johnny Eames at east London's TKO gym, is looking to bounce back from a defeat by Dean Francis, who stopped him in the ninth round of a terrific tussle at the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth in June.

Fry, who won Commonwealth Games gold a decade ago during his amateur career at the Repton, scored the best win of his stop-start pro career at York Hall in February.

He blasted out the previously undefeated Tony Salam, shocking the big-punching prospect with an explosive sixth round success.

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