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Boxing: Boxing: WBC Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

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posted on Apr, 24 2003 @ 10:49 AM
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Associated Press - April 23, 2003

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - The World Boxing Council is seeking bankruptcy protection to keep from paying a $30 million judgment awarded a German fighter who had his light heavyweight title taken away from him.

Attorneys for the WBC filed last week for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to keep Graciano ``Rocky'' Rocchigiani from collecting on the award he won last year.

The WBC is generally regarded as the most influential of the three major boxing sanctioning organizations. It is based in Mexico City.

The filing came after a New York court upheld the verdict earlier this month and declared Rocchigiani light heavyweight champion from 1998 to 2000.

The case began in 1998, when the WBC declared its light heavyweight title vacant after Roy Jones, the titleholder at the time, considered abandoning the crown to become a heavyweight.

Rocchigiani signed to fight American Michael Nunn for the vacated belt. On March 21, 1998, he won a split decision to become the WBC light-heavyweight champion.

But his reign as champion was brief. When Jones decided to return to the light-heavyweight ranks in June, he was restored to his position as WBC champion.

The WBC sent a letter to Rocchigiani saying the official rankings that showed him as champion were a ``typographical error.''

Chapter 11 bankruptcy frees a company from the threat of creditors' lawsuits while it reorganizes its finances. The debtor usually retains control of the business and its assets.

Attorneys for the WBC did not return calls for comment.




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