McAllister ‘devastated’ after losing five stone for axed title fight at Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Arena

Lee McAllister.
Picture by Scott Baxter
Lee McAllister. Picture by Scott Baxter

After shedding five stone in 12 weeks Lee McAllister admits he is devastated at the late cancellation of his title fight in Livingston.

The Aberdeen Assassin dropped from 16 stone to 11 stone for a super-welterweight WBU title clash with Justice Addy of Ghana.

McAllister was set to top the bill at Livingston FC’s Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday, the first open air live boxing event in Scotland since Mike Tyson fought at Hampden in summer 2000.

However, the entire event – arranged to promote mental health awareness – was scrapped on Tuesday due to red tape.

McAllister, 36, said: “I am devastated.

“All the fighters are devastated.

“For this to happen so close to the show is very sickening for us.

“I knocked my pan in for this fight and lost five stones in 12 weeks.

“For it to be pulled is so disappointing.

“My sympathy goes to all the fighters as they are the ones who have spent the last 10 to 12 weeks in a training camp to get ready for their bouts.

“The event was Punching the Stigma for mental health issues and we were trying to do a good thing.”

McAllister was set to fight for the first time in almost a year since stepping up five weight divisions to face Danny Williams at heavyweight last July.

McAllister successfully made the 14st 4lb weight to face former European and Commonwealth champion Williams at heavyweight.

McAllister weighed in much heavier for his fight against Danny Williams.

The Aberdeen Assassin beat Williams by 10th round stoppage at the Beach Ballroom.

However, in the aftermath of that fight McAllister’s weight ballooned to more than 16 stone due to injury problems.

Having completed a remarkable weight loss, the former two-weight Commonwealth champion aims to keep himself in shape ready for the rescheduled fight.

He said: “After the disappointment of the event being cancelled, we have to pick up the pieces and make the best of a bad job.”

Aberdeen boxers Nathan Beattie and Craig Leadbetter were scheduled to fight on the bill with Fraserburgh’s Adele Steinbach also on the card.

The event is set to be rescheduled for Saturday July 6 with a venue yet to be confirmed.

McAllister said: “Hopefully the people who bought tickets for Livingston will still come to support us at the new date.

“The show will go ahead and I just have to keep myself ticking over until then. It should still be a title fight for myself and I don’t see that changing in any way.

“The full bill should still go ahead as it was.”

One of the organisers of Punching the Stigma stated on their official social media page: “The Livingston show was great in theory, but we had so many hurdles. Never say never, but it was just trying to pull a rabbit out the hat and I was all out of magic.

“We spent four hours yesterday (Monday) in Livingston civic centre with the police and council. What I’ve been through the last few weeks has been some of the hardest in my life.”

Police Scotland confirmed they were not responsible for the show’s cancellation.

A West Lothian Council spokesperson said: “The licensing committee met to consider an application for a temporary public entertainment licence for the proposed event on Monday 10 June. They agreed to delegate authority to the chief solicitor to grant a licence if certain conditions were met.

“We have since received notification that organisers have now cancelled the event.”