Hardy is next for Hamed: Boxing

Billy Hardy is the surprise challenger for Naseem Hamed's International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organisation featherweight titles.

The 32-year-old European champion will meet Hamed at Manchester's Nynex Arena on 3 May on a promotion which will coincide with the Evander Holyfield- Mike Tyson World Boxing Association heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas.

It was expected that Hamed would pursue one of the other titles on offer, probably the WBA version held by Puerto Rico's Wilfredo Vasquez.

But Hardy, the WBO No 1 contender, now gets a third chance to win a world crown. His previous two attempts were for the IBF bantamweight title of the Mexican Orlando Canizales, the first fight going to a split decision in Sunderland, with the champion stopping the Briton in the rematch in Texas.