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Monday, 27 May, 2002, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Cotton to officiate Lewis-Tyson
MikeTyson (r) beat Denmarks's Brian Nielsen in October 2001
Tyson beat Brian Nielsen in October 2001
Veteran referee Eddie Cotton will adjudicate in next month's much-awaited clash between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson.

WBC president Jose Sulaiman backed Cotton to take charge of the fight, which takes place at the Pyramid Arena in Memphis on June 8.

"Cotton has officiated at 19 world title bouts and possesses great experience in boxing, and also the physical qualities necessary, to perform at this remarkable fight," said Sulaiman.

"Everybody including Lewis and Tyson know very well that in the ring he is the boss."


I know what Tyson is planning
Lennox Lewis' trainer Emanuel Steward

The judges called on to adjudicate the winner on points should the fight go the distance will be Bob Logist of Belgium, Anek Hongtongkam of Thailand and Alfred Bukwana of South Africa.

"Both the WBC and the Tennessee Athletic Commission were very keen that four different continents were represented by the ring officials," said Sulaiman.

Lennox Lewis's trainer Emanuel Steward earlier said he expected Cotton to be able to handle the occasion.

"It's the most important referee in the history of boxing and we need someone with experience to handle the job," said Steward.

"It could be one of the greatest nights ever for boxing and it could be a disaster."

Steward said both camps had agreed on Cotton but there had been some objections from Tennessee officials, who wanted a local man, Bill Clancy, to handle the task of trying to control the two heavyweights.


It's a fight I could have done without to be honest
Emanuel Steward

"I had to fight them," Steward said. "I told them I wouldn't accept him. He doesn't have the experience.

"There aren't that many out there who could do it. But there is just no (selection) system at all."

Cotton has handled troublesome fighters in the past, including Poland's Andrew Golota, known for low blows in two meetings with former champion Riddick Bowe.

"He will disqualify someone," Steward said. "He called low blows on Golota so he is not afraid to call fouls. I think he will be fine."

Steward revealed that he has been made aware of some moves being planned against Lewis by Tyson and said he will warn Cotton of possible indiscretions.

"I know what Tyson is planning," said Steward. "I don't want this to affect Lennox's training.

"If I get this on Lennox's mind, he won't be able to concentrate thinking about Tyson twisting his elbow and such."

A look at the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight

Lewis stuns Tyson

Our man in Memphis

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