16.06.04 - Kostya Tszyu has been stripped of his WBA light welterweight title for failing to make a mandatory defence within the stipulated time. The Russian-born boxer, who lives in Australia, refused to face WBA champion Vivian Harris from the United States because he had been scheduled to fight IBF interim champion Sharmba Mitchell next. Tszyu, who also holds the IBF and WBC "champion emeritas" titles, has been idled by injuries since January 2003. IBF had earlier planned to disentitle Tszyu, 34, after his duel with Mitchell in Moscow, scheduled for February, had been cancelled due to Tszyu’s injury. But that time the boxer succeeded in retaining his title, having received a delay for medical treatment and recovery. With Tszyu's title vacated, Vivian Harris, who held the organization's "regular" version of the title, becomes the sole 140lb WBA beltholder. Tszyu can appeal against the decision.
Article posted on 16.06.2004