The European Boxing Union has ordered a quick purse bids process for a vacant European middleweight title clash between Barnet's Darren Barker and Italian Domenico 'Vulcano' Spada.
Former European champion Barker was due to fight Matthew Macklin to try and regain his old title but in the wake of Barker's promoter Hennessy Sports winning the purse bids, the proposed and highly anticipated match collapsed. Macklin will now fight Winky Wright in Las Vegas in April.
There is no reference on the EBU website as to whether Macklin was stripped of his EBU title or whether he gave it up.
The EBU wrote to its national federations today: "Following to our letter of 8th February last, we inform you that the EBU middleweight vacant title will be disputed, in short terms, between Darren Barker and Domenico Spada.
"Therefore, we are calling for the purse offers and the last term to receive the bids will expire on Monday 28th February 2011 at 12 noon (Rome office hour).
"However, if before such a date we receive the contracts duly signed by all the parties, the purse offers will be declared null and void. Please be advised that this championship must be held not later than 30th April 2011."
30 year-old Roman Spada, 32(16)-3-0, has lost two matches on points to Sebastian Zbik, each for a supposed interim WBC title. Other than this, there are no real stand out names on his log.
Barker could do with a bit of luck. He was assaulted by a group of cowards whilst trying to help someone out in Watford last June (incredibly the assailants escaped jail despite attacking Barker with a bottle, knocking him unconscious and kicking him whilst on the ground) and then saw a much needed big fight against Macklin disappear. A purse bids situation against an Italian is savage amusement but let's hope some progress is made.