Vincent Pettway's easiest fight last night was in the ring, where the world-ranked Baltimore junior middleweight outclassed Frank Montgomery of Philadelphia in the main event at Pikesville Armory.
The 10-round fight, which did not start until midnight, came close to being canceled when Pettway's manager-trainer Mack Lewis threatened a walkout in dispute over a draw involving one of his preliminary fighters on the undercard.
Pettway was dressed and ready to leave the arena as Lewis argued for more than 30 minutes with Maryland State Athletic Commission officials over the competence of judge Karl Milligan.
It took the intervention of friends and promoter Stuart Satosky to calm Lewis and persuade him to allow Pettway to fight and salvage the nine-bout card for the 1,200 fans.
All the waiting and the jab-and-clutch style of Montgomery gave Pettway same early problems. But he scored a flash knockdown with a right in the sixth and never was threatened by his light-punching rival, who had gone nine rounds earlier this year with newly crowned World Boxing Council welterweight champion Buddy McGirt.
Pettway, ranked ninth by the International Boxing Federation, raised his record to 33-4, but could not add to his record of 27 knockouts. Montgomery, who left the ring limping, is 14-7-1.
Lewis would have no quarrel with the three judges who voted for Pettway by 100-89, 99-91 and 99-91 margins.
"There were some distractions tonight," said Pettway, eyeing a title match with Italy's Gianfranco Rosi. "I wasn't worried about not fighting. My main concern was for Mr. Mack [Lewis]. I saw him get sick up in Philadelphia two years ago when I lost to Victor Davis.
"But I prayed real hard and everything worked out great," Pettway added.
Both corners protested vehemently when the four-round junior welterweight match between Scott Frederick of Washington (2-3-1) and Wade Duncan of Baltimore ended in a draw. Duncan (4-0-1) was the aggressor, but he tired badly in the final round while Frederick (2-2-1) piled up points with an effective jab and light combinations.