Boxing: Hamed switches fight after US flops

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The Independent Online
NASEEM HAMED has been forced to switch the defence of his World Boxing Organisation featherweight title against American challenger Junior Jones to London after failing to impress in the United States.

The fight at Olympia on 11 March had originally been planned for New York, but has been moved to England after Hamed's latest disappointing performance in America.

Hamed won a unanimous decision over the World Boxing Council titleholder Cesar Soto in Detroit in October in a fight that was more wrestling than boxing. He was floored three times by Kevin Kelley at Madison Square Garden and struggled to an unconvincing win over Wayne McCullough.

"I wanted to bring the fight back to England, I want it to be in London this time as I haven't boxed in the capital for quite a while and I'm looking forward to it at Olympia," Hamed said.

Hamed may not be the undisputed champion when the fight takes place as he could find himself stripped of his World Boxing Council title. The WBC does not recognise the WBO division - and Hamed is refusing to relinquish that title.

"It's diabolical. There's going to be a time when I'm going to give all the belts up, or just keep the WBO one because they've been so loyal to me and I've been loyal to them," he said.

n Jacqui Frazier Lyde, the daughter of former world champion Joe Frazier, has decided to become a professional boxer and wants to fight Muhammad Ali's daughter, Laila, who made her ring debut in October.