The World Boxing Council instructed its counsel to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation proceedings yesterday, according to a release on its Web site.
The WBC, one of the three major sanctioning organizations, had financial troubles stemming from a judgment given to German boxer Graciano Rocchigiani, who had his light heavyweight title taken from him. In 2003, the WBC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy when a New York jury awarded Rocchigiani $31 million.
"As much as the WBC would like to satisfy the judgment, it is simply impossible for the WBC -- a not-for-profit organization -- to pay Mr. Rocchigiani the staggering $31 million award," WBC President Jose Sulaiman said in a statement.
Sulaiman said the WBC attempted to reach a settlement with Rocchigiani, and offered more than the boxer will recover in the WBC liquidation proceedings.
The case with Rocchigiani began when the WBC declared its light heavyweight title vacant in 1998 after Roy Jones Jr. considered relinquishing the crown to move to the heavyweight division. Rocchigiani won a split decision with Michael Nunn on March 21, 1998, to win the vacant title, but when Jones returned to the division in June, the WBC gave him his title back. The WBC then told Rocchigiani in a letter that the rankings showing him as champion were "a typographical error."
-- Jake Schaller