The fight will be Pettway-Brown, but Lewis wins talkfest by KO

April 19, 1995|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- The Vincent Pettway-Simon Brown junior middleweight title fight is 10 days away, but a couple of heavy blows before the bell came were landed at yesterday's news conference by an unlikely source.

Shortly after being introduced by Don King, promoter of the 15-fight event April 29 at USAir Arena, Pettway's usually conservative manager and trainer, Mack Lewis, took his place behind the podium. What followed was a series of jabs that upstaged even the gatling-gun chatter of King, who later said of Lewis' comments, "That wasn't a salvo over the bow, but a direct hit."

"I think that Pettway has studied the tapes enough now that Simon's in trouble -- big trouble. I don't think he's got a chance with Pettway," said Lewis, who has a defending world champion for the first time in his 50-year career.

"Simon's an old man from fighting. He has no business still fighting. He's won all these titles, made money, so why is he still fighting? He's not going to beat Pettway. You can take my word for that."

The main event between Baltimore-based Pettway (37-4-1, 30 knockouts) and Brown (43-3, 31 KOs) is for the IBF junior middleweight title Pettway won in September by fourth-round knockout over Italy's Gianfranco Rossi.

Pettway-Brown is billed as the "Beltway Brawl." Brown, a resident of Mount Airy in Frederick County, considers himself a Washington-area fighter, having begun his career under Jose "Pepe" Correa in D.C.'s Latin Connection gym.

"We sparred once a long time ago, but it wasn't like I got the best of him or he got the best of me. I was around 18, and chasing him to be the world champ. Now he's chasing me," said Pettway (7-0-1, five KOs since 1990), whose assessment of the fight was kinder than Lewis'.

"I'll do the dictating that night. I have the style and ability to adjust to anything he's got."

A three-time world champion and a veteran of 14 world title fights, Brown seemed unfazed by the comments. Brown -- in his first fight under trainer Panama Lewis since dropping Adrian Davis -- offered only a faint smile.

"I've heard that all before, but my legs and body are still great because, No. 1, I don't live like a lot of other boxers. I don't drink, I don't smoke and I'm not a street runner," said Brown. "Panama Lewis knows what I can do. He's brought my spirit and motivation back. I'm mean again."

Brown's career appeared to be winding down the first time he fought Terry Norris -- his sixth fight after losing his WBC welterweight title to Buddy McGirt. Brown dispatched Norris in four rounds for the WBC super welterweight title in December 1993.

But Norris finessed his way to the crown five months later on a unanimous decision over Brown, who admits having been troubled by stylish boxers in his losses to Norris, McGirt and in a 1985 split decision setback against technician Marlon Starling.

"All three of my losses were against guys that didn't come and fight. They ran from me. I wanted Norris to stand and fight like a man. He threw me off, I couldn't adapt and I wasn't in the fight," said Brown.

"But this time if Pettway runs from me, I've trained to cut off the ring. If he fights me, I've trained to box him, bob and weave, or walk him down when I have to."

Pettway's four knockout losses have come against unheralded fighters. He was knocked out in a fifth fight declared a no-contest after the winner tested positive for drug use.

The co-feature has Philadelphia's Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins (26-2-1, 19 KOs) in a rematch of a December draw against Ecuador's Segundo Mercado (17-2-1, 10 KOs) for the vacant IBF middleweight crown.

FIGHT FACTS

Who: Vincent Pettway of Baltimore vs. Simon Brown of Mount Airy for Pettway's IBF junior middleweight crown

Site: USAir Arena, Landover

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Tickets: $25, $50 and ringside $100; call (410) 481-7328 or (410) 727-0885.

TV: Showtime (but blacked out in Baltimore-Washington area)

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