Early defence for Robinson

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The Independent Online
BOXING Steve Robinson, the World Boxing Organisation featherweight champion, will make a mandatory defence of his title on 4 February at the National Ice Rink in Cardiff.

his manager, Dai Gardiner, is not happy with the date, preferring one at the end of the month. There is no decision yet on Robinson's opponent, as he has to wait for the new WBO rankings, out next month, to reveal the No 1 challenger.

Frank Warren, the promoter, says 4 February is the only date available because Frank Bruno and Chris Eubank have televised fights during February.

Eubank, the WBO super middleweight champion, has made a £5,000 bet at 33-1 that he will stop Ray Close, the mandatory challenger, in the first round on 11 February. He pledged to stop Close with his punching to the body when they meet in Belfast.