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Thursday, May 6, 1999 Published at 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK


Hide to face Klitschko

Herbie Hide: Out of action for 13 months

WBO heavyweight champion Herbie Hide will face Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko at London Arena on June 26.

Hide, who has been out of action for 13 months, is looking for the chance to face fellow Brit Lennox Lewis.

"Hide v Lewis would be a natural for next year provided they remain unbeaten," said promoter Frank Warren.

Lewis must face Evander Holyfield in a rematch of their controversial draw in March, and Hide must deal with Klitschko, a mandatory defence, who is unbeaten and stopped all 24 of his opponents since turning professional in 1996.

Nigerian-born Hide, who is based in Norwich, has been dogged by ill health and injury since he won the vacant title against American Tony Tucker in two rounds in June 1997.

His record currently stands at 30 wins with one defeat coming at the hands ofRiddick Bowe.

A series of problems have dogged him this year, with a skin allergy forced and then a damaged Achilles tendon preventing him from defending his title against Orlin Norris.

"I feel good. I was already in training and I am mentally and physically prepared.

"I refused to lose when I first won the title, from Michael Bentt four years ago, but my young brother Alan died from leukaemia soon after the Tucker fight and I was not ready. Now I am."

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