Hamed fights London defence

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The Independent Online

Britain's Naseem Hamed will defend his WBO featherweight title against American challenger Junior Jones at London's Olympia on March 11.

Britain's Naseem Hamed will defend his WBO featherweight title against American challenger Junior Jones at London's Olympia on March 11.

The fight had originally been planned for New York but was switched to England after Hamed's disappointing performance in the US in October, when he won a unanimous decision over WBC titleholder Cesar Soto in Detroit.

Hamed had struggled in previous trips across the Atlantic. He was floored three times by Kevin Kelley at Madison Square Garden and struggled to an unconvincing win over Wayne McCullough.

"I wanted to bring the fight back to England," Hamed said. "I want it to be in London this time, s I haven't boxed in the capital for quite a while."

Jones, of Brooklyn, New York, is a former WBO super-bantamweight champion. He is 47-4 with 27 knockouts.

In his latest outing, Jones won a majority decision against Tracy Harris in Las Vegas on Nov. 13.

Hamed may no longer be the undisputed champion by the time he faces Jones.

The WBC has threatened to strip Hamed of its version of the title because it doesn't recognize the WBO division. Hamed is refusing to relinquish the WBO crown.

"It's diabolical," he said. "I've come to the conclusion in my mind that there's going to be a period of time when I'm going to give all the belts up, or maybe just keep the WBO one because they've been so loyal to me and I've been loyal to them."

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