Boxing: Holmes admits concealing injury

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The Independent Online
LARRY HOLMES, the former heavyweight world champion, yesterday said that he had earned a world title bout after fighting with a detached retina.

'I got a detached retina in my right eye three weeks before I fought Ray Mercer,' Holmes admitted. 'I kept it quiet. I could see partially out of the right eye.'

Last February, the 43-year-old Holmes scored a surprise 12-round points victory over Mercer in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and then earned a world title fight against Evander Holyfield in June.

'I went into the hospital immediately after the fight and had an operation,' Holmes added.

'I don't know anything about it, I don't recall anything,' Larry Hazzard Snr, the athletic commissioner for New Jersey, said. 'In order for a fighter to fight in the state of New Jersey, he has to have a thorough medical examination, so it's hard for me to say.'

Next Tuesday night in Biloxi, Mississippi, Holmes resumes his career by fighting Everett 'Big Foot' Martin in a 10-round bout.

'Since the fight with Holyfield, his eye has been completely healed,' Bill Lyons, the chairman of the Mississippi Athletic Commission, said.

Lennox Lewis, Britain's first World Boxing Council heavyweight champion this century, will receive his WBC belt at a charity gala night in London's West End on 14 January. Jose Sulaiman, president of the Mexico-based organisation, is to present Lewis with the belt which his arch rival, Riddick Bowe, rejected earlier this month. Bowe was stripped of the WBC's version of the title for refusing to fight Lewis after becoming champion by beating Evander Holyfield.

Robbie Regan's first defence of his European flyweight title was postponed yesterday because of an ankle injury he suffered in training. The Welshman's fight against Danny Porter, of London, was due to take place at Cardiff's National Ice Rink on 19 January and is now expected to take place three weeks later.

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