Cage Warriors: Ballymena welterweight Rhys McKee's title shot postponed

Rhys McKee
Ballymena's McKee has won 10 of his 12 professional fights

Ballymena man Rhys McKee says he is "absolutely gutted" he won't be able to fight for the Cage Warriors title on May 16 but "totally understands" the decision to postpone the Belfast show.

Cage Warriors announced they had to postpone their upcoming Belfast and Birmingham cards due to new government measures relating to the coronavirus.

The Belfast event will instead take place at the SSE Arena on 16 September.

"This was definitely the best decision," said McKee, 24.

Headline act McKee, who was set to fight for the Cage Warriors welterweight title, added: "It's bittersweet in a weird way because with this global issue, it was going to be very difficult to have a high quality training camp.

"I wanted to travel and bring different sparring partners in and it was evident that wasn't going to happen."

The Northern Irish fighter admitted he had a feeling the fight was in jeopardy due to the implications of social distancing and the latest government orders to only leave home for essential reasons.

"For me it was clear it probably wasn't going to happen. It would have major implications on a fight camp."

With sporting events throughout the world being cancelled and postponed, McKee added: "It's in the best interests of everyone involved to go in 100% prepared. I'm not angry, I totally understand, we'll get it eventually."

Cage Warriors president Graham Boylan apologised to fans for the postponement, adding that bills will return as soon as possible.

Last week Boylan was forced to move the Cage Warriors London show to Manchester at late notice after the original London venue was forced to close due to the coronavirus.

Belfast man Joe McColgan who lost to Mason Jones in that behind closed doors title fight in Manchester was also set to feature on the postponed Belfast card as were Derry's undefeated prospect Paul Hughes, Newry man Decky McAleenan and rising Dublin star Ian Garry.

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