NASEEM HAMED is to make the next defence of his World Boxing Organisation featherweight title against Paul Ingle on 10 April. Ingle's promoter, Frank Maloney, yesterday confirmed he was in "final and very deep negotiations" with the Hamed camp and the fight at Manchester's MEN Arena will be announced next week.
Ingle said yesterday: "Everybody will be expecting me to lose but I am going to win. Hamed is the champion and has got everything to lose. I'm hungry for the fight but I don't think he will be as hungry. He is getting bored with it all."
It marks an astonishing U-turn for Ingle, who earlier this month turned down offers of two world title fights - one against Hamed - to concentrate on a European title defence against Steve Robinson. But since then Hamed's camp have made a vastly improved offer, believed to be over pounds 300,000.
Maloney added: "When Hamed does fight Ingle, Hamed is getting knocked out."
Crawford Ashley's triple title defence against Clinton Woods, scheduled for Halifax on 6 February, is off. Ashley, who was to have defended his European, British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight titles, has a virus and the fight has been rescheduled for 13 March.
It is the second blow to the show after Ashley's original opponent, Henry Wharton, announced his retirement. However, the promotion still goes ahead, with Patrick Mullings' British super-bantamweight title fight against Scot Brian Carr now topping the bill.
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