Boxing: Wharton's wait over

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The Independent Online
CHRIS EUBANK and Nigel Benn yesterday completed the formalities for Saturday's title fight at Old Trafford by agreeing that the winner will defend the World Boxing Council super-middleweight crown against Henry Wharton.

The Manchester showdown was conditional on both men agreeing to fight the York-based Wharton, the leading contender since last December, within 90 days. 'I haven't actually seen the letters,' John Morris, the secretary of the British Board said, 'but I am assured they have been signed by both men.'

Benn must lodge a percentage of the dollars 50,000 (pounds 33,000) compensation with the WBC for keeping Wharton waiting in order to claim his pounds 1m purse. Wharton has yet to receive any cash and an appeal will be made at the WBC convention in December.

The promoter Barry Hearn has confirmed that, since the bout is under WBC jurisdiction, Eubank's World Boxing Organisation title will not be at stake. In the event of Eubank's first defeat, however, the WBO would almost certainly declare its title vacant.