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WBA To Let Lewis Keep WBA Crown

March 13, 2000

LONDON (AP) _ Lennox Lewis, the undisputed heavyweight champion, will be able to keep the WBA title, his promoter says.

Panos Eliades said he has been told by the WBA that Lewis will be allowed to hold his crown if he meets mandatory WBA challenger Johnny Ruiz as soon as possible after Lewis’ April 29 fight against Michael Grant in New York.

Eliades has booked London’s Earl’s Court for the Ruiz fight July 15.

The WBA has threatened to strip Lewis of the title because he committed to fight Grant before Ruiz.

``We’ve been informed that the WBA commission has voted 5-2 in favor of keeping the title intact by sanctioning our Grant fight along with the WBC and the IBF. It all looks promising,″ Eliades told The Daily Mail on Monday.

James Binns, attorney for the WBA, who lives in Philadelphia, said Monday knows of no ruling on the matter by the WBA. Binn said as far he knows the group’s executive committee still is being poled.

Meanwhile, a U.S. district court judge is expected to hold a hearing this month to decide if the IBF must withdraw its sanctioning of the Lewis-Grant bout.

David Tua of New Zealand sued the IBF in January. He said the IBF shouldn’t sanction the Lewis-Grant bout because he deserves to fight Lewis first. Tua is the IBF’s top contender.

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