Cleared of David Hookes' manslaughter, Micevic trains with boxers

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Melbourne, Mar 12 (UNI) A ''very polite'' man, who was among several fighters, brought in for sparring with the Australian boxing team in a training camp to prepare for the Commonwealth Games has turned out to be the person cleared of former cricketer David Hookes' manslaughter last year.

Zdravko Micevic was cleared of the charges last year and media reports quoting Australian boxing team officials said they had not known about the man, but had found him ''very polite'' and capable in the ring.

Team manager Phil Goodes said he had not known Zdravko Micevic's background as he was among several fighters who had been brought in to the team's training camp at Monash University in Clayton to help with sparring.

Reports said Micevic had spent time in the ring with light-heavyweight Ben McEachran and heavyweight Brad Pitt .

Goodes said the team had completed its sparring sessions therefore Micevic's help was no longer needed.

He however added that Micevic, who had been a good amateur boxer some years ago, had shown ''very good manners'' during his time with the team but the publicity surrounding his presence at the camp had been unfortunate.

''Perhaps in this case where the media has taken it out of context, maybe it may not have been (the best choice to use him), but the lad obviously has been acquitted and we found him quite polite down in the gym,'' Goodes said.

Asked if officials would consider using Micevic again, Goodes said, ''At this present time, I wouldn't comment on that. I would have to talk to our team coaches on that issue to see if they were comfortable on that.'' According to reports Micevic was acquitted last year of the manslaughter of Hookes, who died near the Beaconsfield Hotel after being punched. Micevic was then a bouncer at the now closed hotel.

UNI HSB PM PM1150

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