Bowe manager Newman gets year's suspension in New York Fine also issued in riot

wide honoring of ban likely

August 30, 1996|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

Rock Newman, manager and promoter for former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe, of Fort Washington, Md., yesterday was suspended for a year by the New York State Athletic Commission after being found culpable in the post-fight riot following Bowe's controversial July 11 match with Andrew Golota at Madison Square Garden.

The commission barred Newman from appearing in any boxing event in the state involving Bowe during the period of suspension and also penalized Spencer Promotions -- the umbrella corporation established by Newman to promote Bowe's fights -- the sum of $200,000. In addition, it was ordered to pay another $50,000 that will be awarded to charities designated by the commission.

Bowe had been guaranteed $5 million for the fight in which he was being soundly beaten before Golota was disqualified by referee Wayne Kelly in the seventh round for repeated low blows.

The settlement was reached after three weeks of negotiations by attorneys for Bowe and the state panel. Newman could have been banned for life in New York.

"These penalties are unprecedented in the boxing community," said commission chairman Floyd Patterson. "Clearly, these disciplinary measures send the message that this type of violence and outrageous conduct will not be tolerated in the state of New York."

Newman insisted yesterday that neither he nor Bowe was personally fined or suspended in the final agreement, and that he could not be held responsible since he holds no official title with Spencer Promotions.

Ron Harris, who serves mainly as a camp coordinator, is Spencer Promotion's titular head. But commission spokesperson Gwenn Lee said the panel saw Newman's argument as specious.

"As far as we're concerned," Lee said, "Rock Newman is Spencer Promotions."

But Newman insisted: "Neither Riddick nor I are paying the fines or facing suspension. That strictly concerns Spencer Promotions. And I will continue to act as Bowe's manager and try to further his career."

The harsh penalties imposed on Newman's organization will have far-reaching consequences, with boxing commissions across the country likely to recognize the ban.

It will prove particularly costly to Newman, who will be prevented from staging Bowe's fights in casino-driven Las Vegas and Atlantic City, where most major professional bouts occur.

"We will likely adhere to New York's decision," said Nevada chairman Marc Ratner.

Maryland boxing secretary Pat Pannella said yesterday he would also bar Newman as a promoter.

Newman was already seeking alternatives.

"We've got encouragement from Dr. [Arnold] Knight to hold a Bowe fight in Washington," Newman said. Knight is a member of the D.C. Athletic Commission.

A Bowe-Golota rematch is being negotiated, with November as a target date. But Dino Duva, of Main Events, Inc., would serve as the licensed promoter, thereby gaining more leverage in the fighters' purse distribution.

Pub Date: 8/30/96

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