Boxing: Referee's book leads to disciplinary hearing

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The Independent Online

Mickey Vann, arguably British boxing's top referee, will appear beforea disciplinary hearing at the British Board of Control's office in Cardiff today to face 14 charges of bringing the sport into disrepute.

The charges against Vann emanate from his entertaining autobiography, Give Me A Ring, which was published in May 2003. Vann, a former boxer and ballroom dancer, has been the third man in over 370 title fights since taking charge for the first time as a referee in 1978.

He was the referee when Lennox Lewis retained his world championship against Frank Bruno in 1993 and recently he has been in the middle for eight of Ricky Hatton's World Boxing Union light-welterweight title fights, including the 2002 fight that saw him disqualify a boxer after being attacked in the ring by the fighter's father. In 1993, Vann was questioned by a special committee of the United States Senate about links between boxing and organised crime because he had officiated at fights that allegedly involved criminal activity.

"I know I'm a bit of an extrovert but I've never done anything wrong and it looks to me like the board has got it in for me," said Vann, who can be a referee for five more years under British rules.