Originally created 02/08/00

Judge agrees: Lewis doesn't have to fight Akinwande



PHILADELPHIA -- A federal judge Monday reiterated an earlier order that boxer Lennox Lewis does not have to fight Henry Akinwande, a lawyer for Lewis said.

Patrick English, a New Jersey lawyer who represents Lewis, said the brief hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Norma Shapiro was to clarify an order she had issued in 1997. Lewis was in New York and did not attend the hearing.

The original order was issued in a case brought by boxer Orlin Norris Jr., who had claimed that boxing promoter Don King had conspired with the World Boxing Association to manipulate the rankings, English said. The court entered an order protecting Norris, who was later defeated by Akinwande.

King had argued that the same rights should be transferred to Akinwande, including that he next fight Lewis.

Shapiro disagreed in her interpretation of her order.

"It is what we wanted to hear," English said.

Greg Fritz, a spokesman for Florida-based Don King Productions, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.