Boxing: Lewis title hopes await court action

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The Independent Online
Lennox Lewis's quest to regain the World Boxing Council heavyweight title looks set to go into the courtroom instead of the ring.

The legal sparring could result in damages amounting to a total of around pounds 6.7m if the original agreements are not observed, Lewis' promoter, Panos Eliades, said yesterday.

Eliades is standing firm and refusing to agree to a 30-day delay to Lewis's fight against Oliver McCall after the promoter, Don King, last week named a date of 7 December for the fight to decide who succeeds Mike Tyson as the WBC champion.

The WBC, currently holding its annual convention in Buenos Aires, has gone ahead and pushed the deadline to 26 January. But Eliades' determined response is to file papers in a New Jersey court through Lewis' American promoters, Main Events.

Eliades believes it could be a "ploy" to hold up Lewis-McCall until Tyson's planned clash with the International Boxing Federation champion Michael Moorer in Las Vegas in March, and to include it on that major promotion at the MGM Grand Garden.

King won the right to stage Lewis-McCall with a bid in excess of pounds 6m submitted on 26 September, beating the offers of Eliades and Main Events (pounds 4.1m) and one of around pounds 3.4m from the American-based promoter, Cedric Kusher.

"There will be no extension," Eliades insisted. "I'm not standing for any more rubbish."

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