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King wants Lewis-Akinwande bout movedd

May 2, 1997

LONDON (AP) _ The Lennox Lewis-Henry Akinwande WBC heavyweight title fight is in jeopardy, just days after it was announced.

The all-British bout was set for July 12 in Atlantic City, N.J., but Don King, Akinwande’s promoter, is barred from doing business in the state since he was indicted for wire fraud in 1994.

King wants the bout moved to London or Nevada. But Panix, the London company that promotes Lewis and is staging the bout, will press to keep it in Atlantic City.

Panos Eliades, the head of Panix, said Friday that moving the fight could cost him between $300,000 and $400,000. He wants King to pick up the shortfall if that happens.

Eliades said if he can’t resolve the problem, he’ll ask the WBC for purse bids. Under that arrangement, the highest bidder would be awarded the fight.

If Panix wins the bid, King would be out and the Atlantic City site could go ahead, Eliades said.

``We don’t have a lot of time,″ Eliades said. ``We plan to have Lennox fight July 12 in Atlantic City.″

He said if Akinwande can’t fight, the WBC would select the next challenger, Croatian Zeljko Mavrovic.

In November 1995, New Jersey casino regulators barred King from holding a Mike Tyson-Buster Mathis Jr. fight in Atlantic City because of his legal troubles.

King, whose trial on wire fraud charges in New York ended in a mistrial, was still under indictment in August 1994 when the New Jersey Casino Control Commission banned him from doing business with casinos, which were to sponsor the bout.

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