ITV stuns fight game

The fight game was trying to come to terms yesterday with the fact that ITV is to tail off its coverage of major boxing.

Fighters such as the European super-middleweight champion, Henry Wharton, Billy Schwer and Joe Calzaghe have all featured prominently on ITV and last year the company screened three of the top five viewing-figure events - all boxing - with Nigel Benn's World Boxing Council title fight against Gerald McClellan leading the way with an audience of 13.6 million tuning in.

ITV are, however, committed to showing the next two fights of Ireland's WBC bantamweight champion, Wayne McCullough, before reducing boxing coverage.

Gary Newbon, ITV's boxing co-ordinator and controller of Central Sport, said: "It is not true to say we have totally dropped the sport. Indeed, we have the commitment of two more McCullough fights. After that we will only be interested in the blockbusting fights that will put us in the top 10 ratings."