McCullough to fight despite ITV pull-out

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The Independent Online
Boxing

The bantamweight world champion, Wayne McCullough of Ireland, will still take on a 10-round fight in Denver, Colorado, tonight, despite the withdrawal of ITV television coverage.

The 26-year-old title holder was furious when Duke McKenzie pulled out earlier this week and he will now face Mexico's Julio Cesar Cardona. Matt Tinley, McCullough's manager, said yesterday: "After McKenzie withdrew, we flew over the British super- bantamweight champion, Richie Wenton, but then ITV rejected him as an opponent.

"So I offered six-figure sums to Billy Hardy, Colin McMillan, Robbie Regan and Steve Robinson and they all declined. Wayne was determined to fight and not to let down the fans at the 3,300-seater arena in Denver, which is a sell-out."

Cardona, a 21-year-old from Mexico City, holds an indifferent record of 26 wins and 11 defeats and should prove little threat to McCullough's unbeaten record. ITV still have the "Pocket Rocket" under contract for one more contest in their three-fight deal, which will probably take place in August.

Luton's Billy Schwer has relinquished his Board nomination to fight British lightweight champion Michael Ayers. Schwer, a former holder of the title, is looking to enhance his career at a higher level, starting with a European championship challenge against France's Angel Mona - and perhaps an International Federation title match against South Africa's Phillip Holiday.

Schwer is the official No 1 contender for Mona's title and his manager, Mickey Duff, said: "There's nothing to be gained in fighting Ayers because I see no point chasing a British title. I've been down that route."

Duff is sure to face stiff competition from the French promoters when the Mona-Schwer fight goes to purse bids, and will almost certainly need the backing of television money for the chance of home advantage.

"There's very good chance I can make a fight against Holiday, I haven't given up hope. But it all depends on dates and the meetings I'm due to have with the television companies. There are a lot of fights to bid for," said Duff, who expects his unbeaten Holloway lightweight, Colin Dunne, to be named as the new nominee to meet Ayers.

Bowe riot, page 27

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