Rosi-Pettway bout still needs a date

November 02, 1993|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

Baltimore junior middleweight Vincent Pettway will have to be patient a little longer.

His mandatory title fight with International Boxing Federation champion Gianfranco Rosi has been put on hold after IBF president Bob Lee granted promoter Don King additional time to try to stage the match.

Lee originally set an Oct. 20 deadline for an IBF-approved promoter to sign the fighters and arrange a date. After that, he said, he would open the bout to purse bids. But Lee provided an extension to King, who has options on Rosi and Pettway, after a phone conversation two weeks ago.

"King told me that there were no more television dates available through Dec. 31," Lee said. "He said he would like to promote the Rosi-Pettway match in the first quarter of 1994, and I'm going to give him that latitude until Dec. 1 to firm it up."

If King does not deliver by Dec. 1, Lee said, he then would entertain purse bids, with the champion receiving 75 percent of the money.

"I don't want to force Rosi and Pettway to fight on the street for peanuts," Lee said. "Both fighters want to get it on. This [delay] is not of their doing. Rosi knows this is his mandatory defense. He's never ducked anyone, so I won't penalize him."

But Rosi, 36, who has held the title since 1989, rejected a $150,000 offer from King, demanding twice the amount. Pettway's manager-trainer, Mack Lewis, said Pettway, who will turn 28 next week, was willing to accept $75,000.

There were attempts to hold the fight in Europe, where Rosi has fought all but one of his 60 pro bouts. But Rosi's longtime manager, Renzo Spagnoli, died three months ago, limiting the fighter's negotiating power abroad.

"Pettway will fight for the title one way or another," said King's matchmaker, Al Braverman.

Rosi and Pettway are participants in King's all-middleweight boxing tournament involving champions and contenders at 154, 160 and 168 pounds. Two fights have taken place. World Boxing Council champion Terry Norris needed less than one round to stop Joe Gatti and English super-middleweights Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank battled to a draw. The winner of the Rosi-Pettway match was scheduled to fight Norris.

Pettway, the U. S. Boxing Association champion, has not fought since stopping Dan Sherry at the Baltimore Arena May 12.

NOTES: Baltimore lightweight Chuckie Sturm will have a new opponent and a new title at stake when he appears on an Aspen, Colo., charity show Dec. 28 promoted by Don Elbaum. Sturm was scheduled to fight World Boxing Organization champion Giovanni Parisi of Italy. He now will meet Tony Boyle of Philadelphia for an Intercontinental title.

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