Boxing: Bruno set for Hide meeting

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The Independent Online
(First Edition) FRANK BRUNO and the World Boxing Organisation heavyweight champion, Herbie Hide, are being lined up to meet in a major clash of British muscle next April.

Bob Arum, the American promoter, has estimated the proposed fight, earmarked for an outdoor site in London, would be worth pounds 2m-3m and rival last October's Lennox Lewis-Bruno meeting in terms of appeal.

First, Bruno must overcome Ray Mercer in the Hong Kong 'High Noon' promotion and Hide must withstand the challenge of America's Tommy Morrison in the first defence of his WBO title.

Hide has said that a fight with Bruno is stipulated in his contract, although other permutations are possible, such as Hide against Mercer, depending on the Hong Kong results.

It would give Bruno a fourth shot at a version of the world title after unsuccessful attempts to dethrone Tim Witherspoon, Mike Tyson and Lewis.

And the winner could be manoeuvred into a a unification showdown with one of the other champions, if the politics can be overcome.

'Hide can sell in the States if he beats Morrison,' Arum, who is co-promoting the Hong Kong fight, said. 'He could turn out to be the best heavyweight in the world today. And Bruno could be sold in the States as well, because he's well known.'

Bruno also has a chance of meeting the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation champion, Michael Moorer, and insists that he would only fight Hide for the 'bigger slice of the cake'. Hide would not argue with that, doubtless conceding that Bruno would bring more to the bargaining table in terms of gate receipts and television revenue. 'All I want is a fair rate for the job,' Hide said.

Meanwhile, the financial details, which had cast doubts over the Hong Kong show taking place, still do not appear to have been finally settled by John Daly, the head of the Hemdale film company, who is underwriting the costs of the promotion.

Arum said: 'The financial problems are no longer a problem. Daly just works that way. It could be a financial success.'

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