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Khan cleared over cyclist collision

PREPARATIONS for Amir Khan's first world title fight were disrupted after the English boxer was questioned by police over a collision with a cyclist while driving.

Police yesterday cleared Khan of responsibility for the accident, which happened on Sunday night in his home town of Bolton, near Manchester.

The 22-year-old cyclist suffered a head injury and was taken to hospital, although police don't believe his injuries are serious. "Several witnesses at the scene have been interviewed," Greater Manchester Police said. "The driver was not at fault in the collision, and no further action will be taken on this matter."

The incident is an unwelcome distraction for the 22-year-old Khan ahead of Saturday's WBA world welterweight title bout with Andreas Kotelnik. On Monday, Khan described his first world title fight as a career-defining moment.

"I've got a big fight in front of me now - this is a fight that is going to catapult me to the bigger fights," Khan said. "I need to win this fight to take me to the next level."

In Kobe, Japan, WBC bantamweight champion Hozumi Hasegawa of Japan defended his title for the ninth time yesterday, stopping Nestor Rocha of the US with a technical knockout in the first round.

Hasegawa, 28, sent Rocha to the canvas twice before the referee stopped the bout after 2 minutes, 28 seconds.

Hasegawa improved to 27-2, 11 by knockout. The 26-year-old Rocha, who was bidding for his first world title, dropped to 21-2 (7 KOs).

In Tokyo, challenger Elio Rojas of the Dominican Republic defeated Takahiro Aoh of Japan in a unanimous decision to become the new WBC featherweight champion.

The 26-year-old Rojas improved to 21-1-0 with 13 KOs, while Aoh, 25, fell to 17-2-1.

It was Aoh's first defense of the title he won from Oscar Larios of Mexico in March.


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