Boxing: Eubank is sued by Watson

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The Independent Online
LAWYERS acting for the brain-damaged boxer, Michael Watson, yesterday issued a High Court writ for libel and slander damages against Chris Eubank, his opponent in the fight which led to his tragic injuries. Watson claims Eubank accused him of taking banned drugs.

He is also seeking libel damages from London Weekend Television over Eubank's comments broadcast live after he knocked out Watson in the 12th and final round of their WBO middleweight championship fight at White Hart Lane in September 1991.

TV viewers heard Eubank say: 'I want him tested to see if he had anything in his blood because he was too. . .he was so strong. . .I want him tested because no one is that strong. I want his urine tested because no one is that strong. No one can be that strong.'

Watson, 29 tomorrow, says in his libel claim that the words meant he had taken banned drugs prior to the title fight or that he was suspected of doing so, and that he tried to deprive 27-year-old Eubank of the title by cheating.

The writ alleges slander by Eubank in August 1992 at Homerton Hospital, east London, where Watson was recovering from his injuries. Eubank is alleged to have said in the presence of two of Watson's friends: 'I believe that Watson had taken banned drugs prior to his contest with me.'

Watson said he has been 'gravely defamed' and has suffered 'great professional distress'.