Boxing promoter Phil Jeffries has been left out of pocket after having to move his English title fight – and he is delighted.
Sunderland’s Kirk Goodings had been due to fight Fishburn’s Gary Fox for the lightweight belt at Rainton Meadows Arena on March 1.
But with Sunderland now due to play in football’s League Cup final the following afternoon, Jeffries has rescheduled until March 7.
With tickets and posters for the original date already printed, the Black Cats’ penalty shoot-out win over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday was a costly one for Jeffries.
But as a Black Cats fan himself, he is not about to argue.
“Sunderland AFC have cost me a good few quid by getting to Wembley, but I’m not complaining at all,” said the father of 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Tony.
“A lot of Sunderland boxing fans will be going to Wembley that weekend – me included! – so it would have been a disaster to have a show on that night,” said Jeffries.
“The tickets had been going well but a lot of people leave it to the last few weeks to get theirs, and by then a lot who might have gone would have made plans for Wembley.
“I had to run around a lot on the Thursday getting tickets and posters reprinted. I don’t mind losing a bit of money under these circumstances but it could have been worse.”
Sunderland play Manchester City at Wembley at 2pm on March 2.
It will be the Wearsiders’ first major cup final since they reached the 1992 FA Cup final.
Their only previous League Cup final was in 1985.
As both were lost, it is 41 years since the club last won a major trophy.
Rearranging the Rainton Meadows show was more complicated because March is such a busy month for North East boxing.
Darlington’s Stuey Hall is expected to defend his world bantamweight title, and Jon Lewis Dickinson fights Neil Dawson to keep the British cruiserweight belt he has defended twice.
Sedgefield’s Bradley Saunders was due to fight on Dickinson’s undercard, at Gateshead on March 8.
But with Frank Warren promoting all those bouts, the chances are they will be lumped together in one Newcastle Arena show at the end of the month.
Newcastle promoter Mark Clauzel was also hoping to host his second show in March. With local fighters Jonson McClumpha, Jordan King, Paul Archer, Rob Ismay, Michael Hadfield, Lewis Scott, and Tommy Ward also working towards March 1, Jeffries did not want to rip up their plans completely.
“Everybody was training for the fight so I didn’t want to pull the show,” said Jeffries.
“I’m really looking forward to the top-of-the-bill show and (challenger) Foxy’s right up for it.
“I only want 50-50 fights on my shows, and this will definitely be one.”