Boxing: Hamed books an October date in Detroit

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The Independent Online
NASEEM HAMED will take on the World Boxing Council featherweight champion Cesar Soto on 22 October in Detroit.

Hamed, who holds the rival World Boxing Organisation's belt, will be making his third appearance in America, where he has so far been unable to produce his best form despite attracting huge viewing figures.

The show, being staged at the Joe Louis Stadium, will also see the Ulsterman Wayne McCullough challenge the unbeaten Mexican Erik Morales for his WBC super-bantamweight title. McCullough, the former world bantamweight champion, last year lost on points to Hamed in Atlantic City and previously lost on a split decision for the WBC super-bantamweight title to Daniel Zaragoza.

Morales subsequently dethroned Zaragoza inside the distance and has gone on to establish himself as the best fighter in the division. The hard- hitting young star from Tijuana is eager to step up and challenge Hamed, who should be offered a good test by Mexico's Soto. A spokesman for Top Rank, which is promoting the bill, said: "This is a great double header and both fights look very exciting."

Meanwhile, the WBO super-middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe, unbeaten in the ring, has been forced to cancel his American debut in Las Vegas on 18 September. The Welshman sustained the injury in his last defence against Australia's Rick Thornberry, and specialists have told him he needs more time to rest.

Calzaghe was lined up for a place on the Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad world welterweight unification fight at the new Mandalay Bay Resort.