Hearn's knockout threat

PROMOTER Barry Hearn has renewed his threat to withdraw his British fighters, including World Boxing Organisation (WBO) heavyweight champion Herbie Hide, from tomorrow's High Noon in Hong Kong extravaganza unless he receives US$1.5 million today.

Hearn said he will pull out Hide and Ireland's Steve Collins if he is not paid up by 5.29 pm - one minute before today's official weigh-in.

Beleaguered John Daly, chairman of Hemdale Corporation, is also being cornered by two other unhappy boxing promoters, who have also threatened to withdraw from High Noon, now looking like a showdown between promoters and Daly.

Promoters Mickey Duff and American Bob Arum are both unhappy that they have not been paid and both have threatened to pull out - or at least not turn up for today's weigh-in.

An angry Hearn said that he was still owed a large sum of money while issuing an ultimatum to Daly.

He said: 'Yes, there is US$1.5 million owed to us and I have to believe that the money will come up. But as far as I'm concerned myself, Herbie Hide and Steve Collins, we will not go to the weigh-in unless we are paid by 5.29 pm - that's the deadline.' Hearn then added: 'I'm very happy to get on the plane a day early.' Arum also took a swipe at Daly and his organisation saying in the 29 years he has been working in boxing promotion he had never encountered such problems.

'After this is all over, I could end up with a nervous breakdown,' said Arum.

Daly tried to cool the increasingly serious implications of the threats saying he was hopeful all the problems would be overcome.

'It's been a traumatic two weeks. We're putting on a big show and we're still expecting a good turnout. Everyone here said they did not travel all the way here to see the scenery,' said Daly.

'Hopefully we'll overcome all our problems and put on a good show.' High Noon has been beset by problems ever since promotion for the fight went ahead a few months ago.

Hearn had threatened to withdraw his fighters because they had not received air tickets and a letter of credit.

Before that the Hong Kong Boxing Association (HKBA) were involved in a money wrangle over sanctioning fees for the fights and more recently, the Regal Hong Kong Hotel complained that a $150,000 deposit for more than 500 rooms had not been paid for the travelling entourage.