Graham enters fight with pact to retire

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Herol Graham has agreed a deal before his second comeback fight against Craig Joseph at the Elephant and Castle Leisure Centre tonight. It has been struck not with his new promoter, Frank Maloney, but with his doctor.

"I've got a pact that if I get beat up I am quitting," the 37-year-old said. "If the fight is wickedly hard and I get bruised up, I'm getting out even if I win. I don't need it."

Graham's return has won nothing like unanimous approval in the British fight game, even though the Boxing Board of Control's medical men cleared him to return last November for an unimpressive points victory over America's Terry Ford.

Even Maloney is not convinced that Graham is doing the right thing and the defeat of the 40-year-old Sugar Ray Leonard at the weekend has done nothing to foster positive thoughts in Maloney's mind.

"It's all in Herol's hands," he said. "I'm not sure that a great champion and ambassador, like Herol was, should really go down to this level.

"I don't really want to see him struggle against kids who couldn't have licked his shoes in his heyday but Herol just kept pestering me. He must have phoned me 25 times in one week to put him on my show."

Graham was undoubtedly different class in his day, with reflexes which were quite astonishing. They cannot be as sharp now but the southpaw should still have too much left for Joseph.