Boxing: Bruno puts Europe on ice

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FRANK BRUNO has turned down the chance to be Henry Akinwande's next European heavyweight title challenger.

Bruno has told the British Board that he does not wish, for the present, to be considered as the European Boxing Union's next mandatory contender for a title he held eight years ago. He wants to concentrate on a new year warm-up fight following his unsuccessful challenge for Lennox Lewis's World Boxing Council championship in October.

Bruno's name was mooted when the British champion Herbie Hide withdrew from his nomination to fight Akinwande earlier this week.

Chris Eubank makes the next defence of his World Boxing Organisation super-middleweight title against the unbeaten former International Boxing Federation champion, Graciano Rocchigiani, in Berlin on 5 February. If he becomes the first man to beat the German, it would set up a third fight in June against the WBC champion Nigel Benn - assuming that Benn beats Henry Wharton in his next defence at Earls Court on 26 February.