Boxing: Bowe opts to face Dokes

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THE venue for world heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe's expected first title defence against the former champion, Michael Dokes, scheduled for 6 February, is still undecided.

Rock Newman, Bowe's manager, believes New York's Madison Square Garden or Convention Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, were being considered. He confirmed that negotiatiatons were taking place for both sites.

Newman added that Bowe, who won the title from Evander Holyfield on 13 November, would prefer to fight in his native New York. But Newman said a fight at the Garden would be less lucrative.

'Bowe realizes he will have to take less money, substantially less, to have the fight in the Garden, but that's how much he wants the fight to be in New York,' Newman said.

Bowe, who grew up in Brooklyn, surrendered the World Boxing Council title this week rather than agree to the organization's demand that he fight Lennox Lewis. Bowe holds the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation titles.

Newman confirmed having met Donald Trump on Friday. Convention Hall is adjacent to one of Trump's three Atlantic City casinos.

Bowe's camp and television partner HBO, a US cable channel, wanted him to fight Alex Garcia first. But Garcia rejected their offer, Newman said.

Newman said Dokes, who has yet to sign the contract, will receive just over dollars 750,000.

Dokes, 34, won the World Boxing Association title from Mike Weaver in 1982 and successfully defended it once. He has a record of 50 victories, three loses and two draws, and is 7-0 this year.

Maurizio Stecca, of Italy, recovered from a first-round knock- down to become the European featherweight champion in Clermond Ferrand in France on Friday evening when he gained a unanimous points decision over the French title-holder Fabrice Benichou in a 12-round contest.