Sports Listings: Plan Ahead

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The Independent Online
FOR the boxing supporter, no fewer than four world championships, all held by Britons, are being defended in England and Scotland over the next two months.

Paul Hodkinson, from Kirkby, on Merseyside, makes the third defence of the World Boxing Council featherweight championship he won in November 1991 in Belfast. His challenger for the match on 3 February at Olympia, London, is the Puerto Rican, Ricardo Cepeda, now based in New York. Cepeda is a big puncher with 16 knockouts in his 23 wins from 26 starts, though he lost his last fight. Hodkinson is a fast, compact boxer, and a cumulative puncher who has never been stopped.

For his next defence, Chris Eubank, the World Boxing Organisation super- middleweight champion from Brighton, boxes the American Lindell Holmes at Olympia on 20 February. The Detroit fighter and former International Boxing Federation title-holder at this weight has been beaten only once in the last five years.

Nigel Benn and Pat Clinton defend their titles on the same card at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow on 6 March. For both boxers, it is their second defence. Benn, in fact, fights Mauro Galvano, the Italian from whom he won the World Boxing Council super-middleweight crown after three rounds in Rome last October.

Clinton won his World Boxing Organisation flyweight title last March when he outpointed Isidro Perez, from Mexico, in Glasgow, his home town. He has been beaten only once in 21 professional bouts and meets the South African, Jake Matlala, who, at 4ft 10 1/2 in, is the smallest professional in world boxing. The South African champion is experienced, but has lost nine of his 45 fights.

WBC featherweight championship: Paul Hodkinson (Kirkby) v Ricardo Cepeda (PR) - National Hall, Olympia, London, 3 February.

Tickets: Ringside pounds 60; Stalls pounds 40, pounds 30, pounds 20 available from Olympia Box Office 071-373 8141 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday) or Frank Warren 0992-505550.

WBO super-middleweight championship: Chris Eubank (Brighton) v Lindell Holmes (US) - Grand Hall, Olympia, London, 20 February.

Tickets: Ringside pounds 150 and pounds 100; Stalls pounds 75, pounds 50, pounds 40, pounds 30, pounds 25 available from Olympia box office (071-373 8141), Way Ahead (071-403 3331), Ticketmaster (071-344 4444), First Call (071-240 7200), Matchroom Ticket Hotline, 10 Western Road, Romford, Essex RM1 3JT (0708-730480).

WBC super-middleweight championship: Nigel Benn (Ilford) v Mauro Galvano (It).

WBO flyweight championship: Pat Clinton (Glasgow) v Jake Matlala (SA).

Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow, 6 March.

Tickets: Ringside pounds 100; Stalls pounds 75, pounds 50, pounds 30, pounds 20 from SECC ticket office (041-248 3000) or from Way Ahead, First Call and Matchroom Ticket Hotline.

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