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Boxing: We're fighting Wayne's corner for title bid.

Byline: Tom Ross

BOXING is one of my favourite sports and has been since my dad and I got up in the middle of the night in 1964 to listen to the radio as Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston to win the world heavyweight title.

Clay later changed his name to Muhammad Ali and became arguably the greatest boxer ever.

However, the sport has often been tainted in the past and I believe it still is - not in the ring, but out of it.

You only have to see the lack of national media coverage of our very own Brummie middleweight champion Wayne Elcock, who fights Germany's Arthur Abraham for the IBF world middleweight crown in Switzerland on Saturday night.

Elcock has been treated shabbily by the national media, who have virtually ignored him in the build-up to this fight, with no coverage whatsoever.

I was reading Frank Warren's national newspaper column when he was quite rightly raving about Joe Calzaghe's world title achievements ahead of his last fight.

Also mentioned was Ricky Hatton's upcoming clash with Floyd Mayweather - but no mention of Elcock.

He is fighting for the IBF crown which, along with the WBA and WBC, is one of the recognised three big titles.

This is the weight Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn, Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roy Jones, Alan Minter and the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson all fought at.

In fact, Hagler won the IBF crown in the early 80s.

So you can see what a prestigious fight and what a big night this is for Elcock and the City of Birmingham.

Elcock is the British champion and beat the highly-rated Howard Eastman to get this crack at the title.

Eastman took Abraham the distance and in many people's eyes won the fight but the likeable Elcock has a great chance of bringing the title back to Birmingham.

I, like every sports fan, am wishing Hatton all the best when he takes on Mayweather in Las Vegas and, like millions more, will be watching it on TV.

I would rather be watching Elcock take on Abraham but, sadly, although the fight is being beamed to around 100 countries, England is not one of them.

Abraham likes to call himself King Arthur - well, Birmingham's Black Knight is coming to take your crown.

Good luck to Wayne on Saturday. You won't be able to read anything about the fight in the national papers but you will be able to read all about it in the Birmingham Mail and hear all about it on BRMB Radio.

We are definitely in his corner.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Dec 5, 2007
Words:434
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