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Friday, March 1, 2024 | Back issues
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Boxer Claims WBO|Defrauded Him

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (CN) - A ranking boxer claims the World Boxing Organization defrauded him of a title fight by mysteriously losing him from its rankings just long enough to give the fight to lower-ranked fighters.

Austin Trout sued the Organizacion Mundial de Boxeo/World Boxing Organization on Monday in Dona Ana County Court.

Trout claims that in July this year he was ranked fourth in the WBO junior middleweight division. When the junior middleweight title was vacated, two of the three fighters ahead of him in the rankings were ineligible for a title fight, which should have made him a contender for the title. But his name vanished from the WBO rankings and the title fight was given to two English fighters who were not in the top four rankings, Trout says in the complaint.

He says the WBO called his disappearance from the rankings "an oversight." Trout claims the organization violated its own rules and succumbed to pressure from English promoter Frank Warren, who is not a party to the complaint.

Trout claims "the WBO disregarded its rules and regulations in exchange for financial payments from English promoter Frank Warren, whose financial clout was such that the WBO fraudulently showed no regard whatsoever for its own rules, regulations, or any form of ethics to prevent Mr. Trout from obtaining a deserved title fight."

Trout, whose record is 30-2, says he lost a shot for "at a minimum a purse of over $80,000."

He is represented by David Lutz with Martin, Lutz, Roggow & Eubanks, who was out of town Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

The WBO did not answer its telephone after Puerto Rico business hours.

Professional boxing has never been accused of being a cleanly run sport. The WBO was founded in 1988 "by certain disaffected members of the World Boxing Association," according to Trout's complaint. There's also a World Boxing Council (1963), International Boxing Federation (1983), an International Boxing Council (1990), an International Boxing Association (1996) and numerous national bodies. Critics attribute the proliferation to a desire to be able to stage more "title" fights, and demand the higher fees associated with them.

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