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Sunday, March 28, 1999 Published at 11:41 GMT


Injury scuppers Hide title defence

Injury-plagued Hide has only been able to fight five times since 1995

Herbie Hide has again been forced to pull out of his WBO heavyweight title defence against Orlin Norris next Saturday.

The champion is unable to defend his crown at the Royal Albert Hall after suffering an Achilles tendon injury on a training run.

It is the third time that the clash between the injury-plagued British fighter and his American opponent has been called off.

In February Hide withdrew from the bout with a skin allergy, while Norris was uinable to take part last year due to a knee injury.


"I'm absolutely sick, gutted," Hide said.

[ image: Veteran fighter Norris has also suffered fitness problems]
Veteran fighter Norris has also suffered fitness problems
"I cannot believe I've had to pull out again. I have once again trained, sparred and spent thousands of pounds on bringing in top class trainers and sparring partners from the US.

"It's the third time I have been cursed by bad luck."

The further delay could cause problems for Hide's future plans, with the Norwich heavyweight due to make another WBO defence against the German-based mandatory challenger Vitali Klitschko in mid-summer.

Injuries have rocked Hide's career for the past four years.

Since losing the WBO title to Riddick Bowe in 1995, ending his first reign as champion, Hide has fought just five times.

  • Despite Hide's withdrawal the show goes on at the Albert Hall with Merseysider Paul Lloyd challenging Mexico's Marco Antonio Barrera for the WBO super-bantamweight title, plus the British championship pairings of Julius Francis against Danny Williams (heavyweight) and Ensley Bingham v Nicky Thurbin (light-middle).

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