Boxing: Woodhall critical of King

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Richie Woodhall's attempt to win the World Boxing Council middleweight title in Las Vegas later this month is on the brink of being scrapped.

The Telford fighter is due to meet the champion, Keith Holmes, in Las Vegas on 13 July as part of the undercard to Mike Tyson's bout against Bruce Seldon. But now the fight is almost certain to be called off as the American promoter Don King wants Woodhall to sign a contract giving him options on his next four fights if he should beat Holmes.

Woodhall has refused to meet the demand. "I haven't worked as hard as I have to get into this position just to sign my life away with someone like Don King. Everything was agreed ages ago, but now King is saying that he never agreed to anything. He is bad news and it's really terrible.

"It's less than two weeks to the fight now, so I can't really see it going ahead, and my manager, Mickey Duff, has told me that it's 95 per cent certain to be off." Duff has tried repeatedly to resolve the situation and last week he wrote an eight-page letter to the WBC president, Jose Suliaman, listing his concerns. There has been no response from the WBC.

The Cuban boxing squad for the Atlanta Olympics has been weakened by the defection of two medal hopes. Joel Casamayor, the bantamweight gold medal winner from the Barcelona Games, and Ramon Garbey, the national light-heavy- weight champion, fled the Cuban Olympic training camp in Guadalajara, Mexico, last week. They are now being held at the United States Immigration and Naturalisation Detention Centre in San Ysidro, California, where their case for asylum is being presented by a local attorney.

The loss of Casamayor ruins Cuba's plans to field an unprecedented four reigning Olympic champions in Atlanta. His defection to the US had been expected for some time by the Cuban authorities. Casamayor has been a notable absentee from Cuban squads visiting the US in recent years, although he has been a regular at other international tournaments.