Baltimore junior middleweight Vincent Pettway will get his first title shot on Feb. 19 when he battles Gilbert Baptist of San Diego for the vacant United States Boxing Association title.
Stuart Satosky, who will promote the 12-round championship match at the Pikesville Armory, received the official sanctioning yesterday from International Boxing Federation president Bob Lee.
The IBF has Pettway (34-4, 25 KOs) ranked eighth in the world and Baptist (23-12, 8 KOs) rated No. 9 behind champion Gianfanco Rosi, of Italy.
Baptist is managed by Billy Moore, the son of former light-heavyweight champion Archie Moore, who waged a number of middleweight fights in Baltimore in the 1950s.
Only two months ago, Baptist challenged Rosi for the 154-pound title and lost a 12-round decision in Perugia, Italy.
Since turning pro in 1985, he has fought tougher competition than Pettway, also losing two verdicts to present World Boxing Council junior middleweight champion Terry Norris. Baptist, 28, holds the North American Boxing Federation title.
Pettway, who works as a model and recreation supervisor for a local clothing firm, most recently has stopped hometown rival Eddie Van Kirk and won a decision over Frank Montgomery of Philadelphia on Dec. 4.
A year ago, but was knocked out by Stephan Johnson of New York in a USA Cable telecast.
Satosky has planned a seven-bout card with Van Kirk meeting Jose Torres of Hartford, Conn., in the semifinal bout. Tickets will go on sale next week.