Whitaker pushes for spring bout with De La Hoya

November 29, 1996|By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE

One more turkey awaits Pernell "Sweetpea" Whitaker, then it may be on to the feast.

Whitaker will fight in January against an opponent yet to be determined, but after that it appears the World Boxing Council welterweight (147 pounds) champion may meet Oscar De La Hoya in late spring.

De La Hoya is the WBC super lightweight (140 pounds) champion. The fight would be for Whitaker's title.

Whitaker co-manager Shelly Finkel said he is "75 to 80 percent sure, after a combination of meetings and negotiations with Arum," that Whitaker-De La Hoya will be made.

Top Rank president Bob Arum, De La Hoya's promoter, could not be reached for comment, but Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler said De La Hoya will fight either Whitaker or a rematch with Julio Cesar Chavez in May.

De La Hoya has a bout with Miguel Gonzalez on Jan.18 in Las Vegas. Whitaker, meanwhile, will fight Jan. 24 in Atlantic City, possibly against Ralph "Tiger" Jones (29-1). Jones is the No. 9-ranked contender according to the WBC.

Pub Date: 11/29/96

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