Danish boxing promoter Mogens Palle vehemently denied Wednesday claims he bribed a fighter in a bid to fix a bout.
Robert Mittleman of Oak Park, Ill., pleaded guilty in a Las Vegas court to two counts of sports bribery and one count of bribing a public official,
according to a plea memo unsealed by court order last week and made public on Monday in Nevada.
Mittleman claimed that Palle had contacted him to set up a fight on March 31, 2000, in Denmark.
Thomas Williams, also known as Top Dog, lost the match in the third round and was paid up to $40,000 by Palle for throwing the fight. Mittleman was
paid $1,000 to arrange the fight, according to the plea memo.
"Whatever Mittleman has been entertaining a judge with in the United States, I can only firmly say that I have never, during my 47 years in the
business, bribed any boxer to come to Denmark and lose on purpose," Palle said.
Palle, who organized a string of bouts in Denmark with boxing greats Sonny Liston, Carlos Monzon, Sugar Ray Leonard, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, among
others, said the rumors about the fixed fight emerged in 2000 and that "Mittleman has managed to comment (on) it in three, four different ways."
Nielsen, one of Denmark's most popular boxers, retired because of a knee injury in October 2003 with a record of 64-2, including 43 knockouts. He won
a silver medal at the 1992 Olympics and lost to Tyson in 2001.
Mittleman, who briefly managed Oscar de la Hoya when he turned pro after the 1992 Olympics, will be sentenced July 26 before U.S. District Judge
Robert C. Jones. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the sports bribery charge, and up to 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000
fine on the bribery of a public official charge.
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