Boxing: Duff quick to defend McMracken: British champion finds support from his manager after NEC riot

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

MICKEY DUFF sprang to the defence of the British light-middleweight champion Robert McCracken yesterday. Duff, who manages the unbeaten fighter, countered criticism of the boxer after some of his supporters became involved in fights prior to Saturday's bout with Salford's Steve Foster at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

The promoter Frank Warren is refusing to have either boxer on any more of his shows and ITV have also decided not to broadcast McCracken fights. Duff, however, said: 'I have never had any problems in Robert's previous 19 fights and I will be happy to stay with him for another 19 as well.

'I have seen what Frank Warren has said about not promoting Robert again, but that was the first time he has used Robert in 20 fights. Unfortunately what has happened is that a lot of good fans have got the blame for what a few did.'

McCracken is pleading with his fans to end the trouble and said: 'This has got to stop as it is harming my career. I need to have a chat with these people to make sure that it does not happen again. If it does then I can't see me being promoted on a show in Great Britain again.'

Duff is also flying to Las Vegas this week to try to secure a long-awaited world title fight for his European welterweight champion Gary Jacobs. He hopes to persuade either the IBF champion Felix Trinidad or the WBC title-holder Pernell Whitaker to face Jacobs.

'I spoke to Don King in Birmingham last weekend and he said that he will negotiate to give Gary a shot at the title,' Duff said. 'Facing Pernell Whitaker is not out of the question and there is a good chance that we can get Gary a world title fight.'

Jacobs will warm up for his proposed title shot by appearing on Duff's promotion in Wolverhampton on 5 October when he faces the American Rusty Deroven.

The former world champions Michael Nunn and Simon Brown scored victories on Monday night in their first fights since being dethroned this year. Nunn, who lost his WBA super middleweight title in February, knocked out Salvador Maciel, of Mexico, with a left uppercut 54 seconds into the first round of their scheduled 10-round bout in Las Vegas. Brown had a tougher time with Maciel's brother, Nestor, rallying in the final three rounds to take a close but unanimous decision.

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