Originally created 01/11/00

Hamed gives up WBC title



MEXICO CITY -- Britain's Naseem Hamed gave up the World Boxing Council featherweight title Monday because he wants to keep the title of another boxing organization.

Hamed, 33-0, already held the fringe World Boxing Organization title when he won the WBC belt on Oct. 23 by defeating Cesar Soto in Detroit. He is scheduled to fight American challenger Junior Jones in London on March 11.

The WBC does not recognize the WBO's weight division and had warned Hamed he would not be able to hold both belts. The fighter advised WBC president Jose Sulaiman that he would surrender the WBC belt.

Sulaiman agreed to delay announcement of the action until after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ended over the weekend.

The WBC did not criticize Hamed for his decision to keep the WBO belt, saying instead that it recognized his loyalty to that organization .

To fill the vacant title, the WBC ordered a fight between Luisito Espinosa of the Philippines and Guty Espadas of Mexico for a still-undetermined date.