Van Kirk to face Camacho on Aug. 1

July 22, 1992|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

On Aug. 1, Baltimore welterweight Eddie Van Kirk will get a chance to spoil Hector Camacho's scheduled $1 million title fight with World Boxing Council super-lightweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez.

Van Kirk (27-7-1) got a call from promoter Don King's adviser, Jon Solberg, last weekend, asking if he could replace ailing Tommy Small, of Sofia, W.Va., as Camacho's opponent on the scheduled Showtime cable television channel's triple-header.

King's card will also feature Mexico's unbeaten Chavez (80-0) in a title defense against Frankie Mitchell (29-1) of Columbus, Ohio, and WBC middleweight champion Julian Jackson (44-1) of the Virgin Islands in a championship match with Thomas Tate (21-1) of Houston, whose only loss was to Baltimore's Percy Harris for the International Boxing Federation Intercontinental crown in Italy in December.

Van Kirk -- who has won four fights and fought a draw with Henry Hughes since being stopped by top-ranked junior middleweight contender Vincent Pettway in March 1991 -- is eager to meet Camacho for the scheduled 10-round bout at the Las Vegas Hilton.

"I thought Camacho was one of the best fighters around when he held the lightweight title six years ago," said Van Kirk, "but I don't think he's been the same since he moved up in weight.

"He's agreed to fight me at 147, and I'm hoping that he'll be overweight and overconfident. But I know I'll have to win big, because Camacho has got this big-money fight [Sept. 12] with Chavez."

Camacho (40-0) abandoned his lightweight title in 1986 after having trouble making the 135-pound limit. He has campaigned the past four years as a junior-welterweight.

After winning the vacant World Boxing Organization crown in 1989 by out-pointing former lightweight champion Ray Mancini, Camacho made successful defenses against Vinny Pazienza and Tony Baltazar before losing in February 1991 to Greg Haugen.

That verdict was ultimately changed to a no-decision when Haugen failed a post-bout drug test. Camacho won the rematch three months later.

Van Kirk, 29, who is being advised by local promoter Stuart Satosky and trained by Tony Longo, will get $15,000 for the bout, his biggest payday to date.

Van Kirk faces a Maryland Athletic Commission hearing on Aug. 11 for violating a 60-day medical suspension after he suffered a cut eye during an April bout against Edwin Curet at the Pikesville Armory, which Van Kirk won.

NOTES: Former welterweight champion Simon Brown (34-2) of Germantown, Md., will also appear on the Aug. 1 card in Las Vegas in a 10-round bout against Anthony Ivory (9-9) of Chicago. Brown has moved up to the junior-middleweight ranks since losing his WBC title to Buddy McGirt in November.

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