MEXICO CITY (AP) - The World Boxing Council plans to initiate bankruptcy liquidation proceedings Monday.
The WBC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2003 to keep from paying a US$31 million judgment awarded to German fighter Graciano
Rocchigiani, who had his light heavyweight title taken away from him.
"As much as the WBC would like to satisfy the judgment, it is simply impossible," WBC president Jose Sulaiman said in a statement posted on the
organization's Web site. "It is with great sadness that the World Boxing Council announces ... it will instruct its counsel to file Chapter 7
Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually leads to the liquidation of a company.
Sulaiman and other WBC officials could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday. WBC headquarters in Mexico City were closed Sunday.
Founded in 1963, WBC is generally regarded as the most influential of the three major boxing sanctioning organizations. Its 2003 filing for bankruptcy
protection came after a New York court upheld a verdict and declared Rocchigiani the light heavyweight champion from 1998-2000.
The WBC attempted unsuccessfully to reach a settlement, Sulaiman said in the statement. The WBC president warned that the offer "far exceeds what Mr.
Rocchigiani could hope to recover in WBC liquidation proceedings," without specifying how much money was offered out of court.
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
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
The WBC sent a letter to Rocchigiani saying the official rankings that showed him as champion were a "typographical error."
[Edited on 13-6-2004 by Ocelot]