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Spot the difference! Two versions of the same story side by side. On its own the version on the left is worrying, but we can only guess at the reasons for the version on the right having a different 'spin'.

I've lost my crown because of Sky TV claims Bingham

From Ian Gibb's World of Boxing
Daily Mail,
Tuesday November 17 1998

Sky TV were last night accused of dictating to boxing who will fight for titles shown on their sports channels.

British light-middleweight champion Ensley Bingham is considering legal action against Sky and the World Boxing Organisation over the way he was stripped of the WBO Intercontinental title last week.

Manchester's Bingham had originally agreed with his manager Frank Warren to vacate the British title in return for a crack at WBO world champion Harry Simon of South Africa in February.

That would have left Lewisham's Kevin Lueshing and Nicky Thurbin of Loughton to contest the vacant British title last Saturday on Sky.

But Bingham, also the WBO Intercontinental holder could not agree conditions for the world challenge and refused to give up the British title.

Suddenly Sky didn't have a championship fight last Saturday - then Bingham learned he had been stripped of his WBO title, leaving Lueshing and Thurbin with a belt to contest.

A Sky spokesman said last night: "The fight on Saturday which we carried live was announced as a WBO title fight, attended by WBO officials and the WBO belt was presented after the fight."

British Boxing Board of Control secretary John Morris said: "After Ensley contacted me I spoke to Frank Warren and he had no knowledge of any letter informing him that Bingham had been stripped of his title."

Bingham said: "My manager Frank Warren had verbally agreed that he could secure me a world title fight with Harry Simon and because of that wanted me to vacate my British title. I had no problem with that.

"I told Frank I wanted guarantees to which he verbally agreed but made so many restrictions I didn't feel it was acceptable. So I decided to keep my British title. That meant Lueshing and Thurbin had no title to fight for.

"Then, I saw on Teletext that they were fighting for my WBO Intercontinental title that I had not even vacated. John Morris got in touch with the WBO who said I'd been stripped for not defending within 90 days. That's ridiculous because, since I won that title in December 1997, at no time have I been ordered to defend it.

"The WBO says it sent a letter to my home. I never received it."

Saturday's points winner Lueshing announced he had an agreement to fight Simon for the world title - which means Bingham is frozen out. Bingham said last night: "I sent a fax to Sky's head of sport Vic Wakeling warning him that they were wrong to go ahead with a fight for a title that was still mine. I'm still waiting for a reply."

The Sky spokesman added: "A fax was sent to the Sky office on Saturday and we were unaware of Ensley's concerns until this morning. That fax has been forwarded to his promoters."

Bingo's Warren blast as World bid in ruins

By Stuart Brennan
Manchester Evening News,
Tuesday November 17 1998

Furious Ensley Bingham's world title dream is in ruins - and the top Manchester boxer is pulling no punches about who he blames.

Bingham says it is all promoter Frank Warren's fault. But Warren has hit back pinning the blame on the fighter.

The Moss Side star is livid after big-money plans for him to fight in South Africa for Harry Simon's WBO light-middleweight belt were KO'd.

Britain's biggest promoter Warren had lined up the world title shot for Johannesburg in January and wanted the Phoenix Camp fighter to give up his British crown in the meantime.

Warren wanted to pit Kevin Lueshing and Nicky Thurbin against each other for Bingham's title in Cheshunt last Saturday.

Fans who bought tickets for the show thought the fight was for the British title - but Bingham had not relinquished it! He says he insisted on holding on to his British title until his world title fight was a certainty.

"I wanted a guarantee in writing that the world title fight would take place, but when it came on the fax it had other clauses which I was not happy with. It would have meant vacating a British title which I had worked so hard for, and not being certain of a world title fight."

But Warren says that Bingham had already signed a contract to fight for the world title, but wanted to include a clause which was unacceptable.

Warren told M.E.N. Sport: "I told Ensley he should vacate the British title and should he then be beaten by Harry Simon, he could have another go at the British title.

"He said he would only go ahead with the world title fight if he was assured of a new British title bid within 60 days, if he should lose to Simon."

Bingham has complained to the British Boxing Board of Control because he has also been stripped of his WBO inter-continental title without his knowledge.

Bingham says: "The WBO haven't followed the proper procedure in taking that title from me.

"They said they sent me a letter giving me 90 days' notice to defend, but that is rubbish because such letters are sent to a fighter's manager. I won the title... and now politics have taken it away."

But Warren says that because Bingham signed to fight for the world title, he could no longer be inter-continental champion, under WBO rules.

The Board of Control has expressed its sympathy for Bingham's case, and has promised that the matter is not closed.

Board secretary John Morris told M.E.N Sport today: "I want Ensley's position from him in writing. We will be taking th matter up directly with the WBO president in Puerto Rico.

"I am very worried about the circumstances in which a British boxer was stripped of his title. I completely understand why Ensley is enraged - I would be as well."

Bingham is not about to let the matter rest - he is consulting lawyers with view towards taking legal action against both Warren and the WBO.

 


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