Boxing: Benn eyes a glittering prize

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NIGEL BENN has the chance to put one over on his arch-rival, Chris Eubank, in his sixth defence of the World Boxing Council super-middleweight title at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre tonight.

His challenger, Juan Carlos Gimenez, of Paraguay, took Eubank, the World Boxing Organisation champion, the full distance two years ago - and his five other defeats were on points.

Benn would like nothing better than to become the first man to stop him in a 53-fight career. It would launch a multi-million pound, seven-fight package for the promoters, Frank Warren and Don King - taking Benn through to the end of his career in some style. And it would underline King's intention to feature the 30- year-old on Mike Tyson's comeback bill. The former heavyweight champion is expected to be granted parole next spring.

Benn is excited at the prospect of sharing the spotlight with one of his idols. But he will take nothing for granted against the 33-year- old challenger, who has won six contests against modest opposition since losing to Eubank.

Benn said: 'Gimenez has fought twice for a world title and given a reasonable account each time. He's tough and experienced and I'm sure he will want to make the most of a third chance. So he has to be treated with a good deal of respect. There are no longer any easy fights in my book. I just want to keep my title and give a performance which will make the crowd happy.'

Benn usually manages to do that, and February's victory over Henry Wharton was impressive.

Wharton launches his bid for another title chance on the undercard, which also features two British championship bouts. Del Bryan defends the welterweight title against Lindon Scarlett and Robert McCracken puts his light- middleweight crown on the line against Steve Foster.

Ray Close, of Belfast, is suing the WBO after a controversial world title defeat by Eubank last May. He has issued writs against the WBO's president, Jose Torres, and three leading officials.