LAS VEGAS (AP) - A federal judge sentenced a boxing promoter Tuesday to 37 months in prison for his role in a fight-fixing scheme that included an
August 2000 bout at the Paris hotel-casino.
Promoter Robert Mitchell, 42, of Irmo, S.C., and boxer Thomas Williams, 35, of Upper Marlboro, Md., were convicted by a federal jury in November on
one count each of conspiracy and of sports bribery.
The jury found Mitchell was involved in paying bribes of more than $70,000.
During Tuesday's hearing, Mitchell's lawyer asked U.S. District Court Judge James C. Mahan for leniency, citing Mitchell's lack of a criminal history,
his strong work ethic and his help in establishing boxing regulations in South Carolina.
"I don't think he represents everything that is wrong with boxing," lawyer Thomas Naylor told Mahan.
Mitchell did not speak during the hearing and declined, through his lawyer, to answer questions outside court.
Mitchell and Williams were found guilty of fixing 11 fights from March 1995 to August 2000. The fights were included in the conspiracy charge.
Boxing manager Robert Mittleman, 61, of Oak Park, Ill., testified against the pair after agreeing to plead guilty in the case.
Mittleman has said Mitchell asked him to arrange for Williams, also known as "Top Dawg," to lose an Aug. 12, 2000, bout at the Paris hotel-casino to
help the career of New York heavyweight Richie Melito, Jr.
Williams lost to Melito in the first round on the undercard of the Evander Holyfield-John Ruiz WBA heavyweight title fight.
Neither Melito, nor his father-manager, Richie Melito Sr., have been charged. They have claimed no knowledge of any fights being fixed.
Mittleman said he received $1,000 and Williams was paid $15,000 to throw the fight.
During the trial, Mittleman said he arranged for Williams to lose a bout with Brian Nielsen in Denmark on March 31, 2000.
Mittleman said he received $1,000 and Williams, who lost the fight in the third round, was paid up to $40,000 by Danish boxing promoter Mogens Palle
to throw the fight.
Palle, who has not been charged, has denied the allegation.
Mitchell, who remains free on bond, must surrender April 19 to begin serving his sentence. He also was ordered to pay a $6,000 fine.
Williams was sentenced to 15 months in prison last week.
Mittleman, who pleaded guilty to two counts of sports bribery and one count of bribery of a public official, received three years probation.
Authorities said Mittleman, who briefly managed Oscar de la Hoya when the boxer turned pro after the 1992 Olympics, had offered an undercover officer
$15,000 to bribe the federal prosecutor and judge in the case in exchange for charges being dropped against Williams.