Judge tells WBC to put Lewis next in line

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The Independent Online
Lennox Lewis failed yesterday in his attempt to have the championship billing removed from today's World Boxing Council heavyweight title fight between champion Frank Bruno and Mike Tyson, but the former champion effectively achieved his aim when a judge hearing his case in a court in Patterson, New Jersey, ruled that the winner of the Las Vegas fight must make his first title defence against Lewis.

Lewis had filed a motion asking for an injunction against the WBC sanctioning the Tyson-Bruno bout, contending that he should have been give a chance to regain the title before Tyson.

While Judge Amos Saunders refused to lift the title sanction from Tyson- Bruno, he ordered that Lewis be involve in the next WBC heavyweight title fight or the council's champion would be stripped of the title.

"The judge in effect told the WBC to get their act together and give Lennox Lewis the next shot at the title," said Patrick English, an attorney representing the Lewis's promotion company.

"Lennox was very happy with the decision because they can't avoid giving him a shot at the title the next time around."

In their motion, attorneys for Lewis claimed that he is the legitimate mandatory challenger for the WBC title because he beat Lionel Butler in a 1994 bout. Lewis contends that at the time the WBC said the winner of that fight would get the next shot at their heavyweight title. The WBC instead sanctioned Tyson as the challenger for Bruno.