Boxing: King sets the title wheels in motion

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The Independent Online
HENRY AKINWANDE will fight the winner of the world heavyweight championship unification bout between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, according to the promoter Don King.

Britain's former World Boxing Organisation heavyweight champion, who has a record of 33 wins, one defeat and one draw, suffered his only defeat last year to Lewis when he was disqualified for failing to fight.

He was to have faced Holyfield last June, but the fight was cancelled when Akinwande tested positive for hepatitis.

The good news for the Dulwich-born, Akinwande, who is now based in the United States, came in New York on Monday night as Lewis and Holyfield set the stage for their long-awaited heavyweight unification on 13 March.

"When you wait for a long time and you cry, you finally get what you want," Holyfield said. "On 13 March, Lewis cashes in. But I will be ready. I will be the undisputed champion. I will be wearing the belt."

King compared the fight to the famed 1971 Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier bout at the Garden, playing the role of circus ringmaster with his customary panache.

"The British are coming. Get ready and be fortified," King said. "I want all the Brits to come along with the Union Jack and sing along. We're allies. It's probably the greatest event you have seen in a long time."

The four-times world champion, Terry Norris, announced his retirement 12 hours after failing to win the Word Boxing Association light-middleweight title in Paris. The American was stopped in the ninth round by Frenchman Laurent Boudou-ani - his third straight defeat.

Norris contested 25 world title fights and retires with 47 wins and nine defeats. His career featured wins over Sugar Ray Leonard, Don Curry, John Mugabi and Meldrick Taylor.