Boxer Herbie Hide denies fight-rigging claims

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Media captionHerbie Hide tells BBC Look East's Susie Fowler Watt that he did not offer to fix a fight for cash, despite apparently being caught on camera.

Boxer Herbie Hide has rejected claims he can rig fights and knows drug dealers, saying a newspaper saw him as a "vulnerable" target.

The Sun alleged the 41-year-old former world heavyweight from Norfolk was prepared to fall in the ring for £1m.

It reported that he rang a drug dealer, from whom reporters were able to buy £400 of cocaine.

Mr Hide said the story was "manufactured". Norfolk Police said it is investigating.

Mr Hide was alleged to have discussed throwing a boxing match in the Middle East for £1m, after being approached by bogus businessmen.

It was claimed that he talked about how the "favourite" in a match could be made to go down in a particular round, and he knew people who could organise it.

The Sun alleged that in another meeting, Mr Hide made contact with a man who later met with reporters to sell them cocaine.

'Not interested in fighting'

The newspaper said it had passed video clips on to Norfolk Police.

Mr Hide told the BBC several men had been at a meeting in which he was asked whether he would like to fight in Dubai.

"I said: 'I'm retired - I'm not interested in fighting no more'," he said.

"[He said] 'If you did fight, would you lose? How much would that cost?'

"They were telling me what they wanted done.

"And I'm saying to them that cannot be done. You have to remember this was a 'stitch-up'.

"I'm not even in boxing. How can I set up a rig? How can that be done? They manufactured it.

"They come out of there telling me things, putting things in my mouth. I don't know how they did it, but they did it."

'Not as smart'

Mr Hide said he did not put the men in touch with a drug dealer and a man who claimed he supplied drugs was "a boy who was just showing off."

When asked if he thought he was vulnerable, he agreed, and said his parents tried to stop him going out "because when I go out people try to stitch me up".

"I'm not as smart as you are, or anyone else," he said, in tears.

A spokesman for The Sun said: "We stand by our investigation and have produced a dossier and video which is being examined by Norfolk Police.

"The force has publicly stated the matter is being thoroughly investigated."

Norfolk Police said they were handed two sections of video concerning "alleged drug activity" on 31 January and were investigating.

Herbie Hide held the World Boxing Organisation version of the heavyweight title twice, including a two-year reign from 1997 to 1999.

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