Close to sue British Board

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Ray Close is to sue the British Board over its decision to prevent him meeting Chris Eubank for a third time last year.

Close, a former European super-middleweight champion, is suing for losses resulting from the cancellation of a re-match with Eubank and the subsequent suspension of his licence after failing a brain scan.

Close has since been passed fit to box by the Boxing Union of Ireland but has been unable to secure a World Boxing Organisation title fight with Steve Collins, who took his place and beat Eubank in March 1995.

Close's manager, Barney Eastwood, said in a statement: "I have absolutely no axe to grind against the Board, nonetheless I feel sorry for Ray, who has lost the benefit of a guaranteed pounds 1.3m fight package.

"I have absolutely no doubt that Ray would have defeated Eubank, had he not been refused permission to box by the British Board, and thereafter reap the substantial financial rewards being enjoyed by his replacement, Steve Collins."

Close, 26, continues to train in Belfast despite having only one fight in two years. "I have obtained detailed medical opinions from various medical consultants from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the USA to the effect that I am, and always have been, medically fit to continue my boxing career," he said.