Boxing: Jones' birthday bash

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The Independent Online
ROY JONES JUNIOR will stage a boxing birthday celebration in his home town of Pensacola tonight - even though it comes a week early.

The man who holds the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council light heavyweight titles will not be 30 until 16 January and wanted to stage his mandatory defence against Rick Frazier, a 39-year-old New York City police officer, on that date. However, he was blocked from doing it by Mike Tyson's comeback fight against Francois Botha on the same day at Las Vegas.

The left-handed Frazier, a policeman for 17 years, does not expect to ruin Jones' birthday celebration. He has fought only 22 times in a professional career that began in 1992 and there has been criticism of his No 1 ranking.

Jones, who often fought in Pensacola early in a career that began in 1989, will be appearing in his third championship bout in his hometown. In 1995, he defended the International Boxing Federation super-middleweight title by stopping Antoine Byrd in the first round and Tony Thorton in the third.

Birmingham's Anthony Maynard has been forced to withdraw from his all- British European lightweight title fight with Billy Schwer in London on 16 January.

The 26-year-old Maynard, the Midlands Area champion, was due to meet defending champion Schwer at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, but he has dislocated his shoulder in training.

Maynard's trainer, Pat Cowdell, said: "There is no way he can fight until the problem is sorted out."