Boxing : Prince Mohammed: Once a Challenger, Now a Ruler
Prince Mohammed, who fought for the World Boxing Council light-heavyweight title here last December, is now King Mohammed. Mohammed’s father, King Issah Mohammed, ruler of a Ghanan tribe, died Dec. 4, and when the Prince returned he was made king by the kingmakers, the tribe’s elder statesmen.
“He is very confused,” said his manager, Nmadi Moweta. “But the kingmakers have decided he should not fight, he has to be king in Ghana. He might change his mind but I don’t know.” Moweta hotly disputed a report from the State Athletic Commission that Mohammed had retired because of detached retinas. “No truth,” he said.
In any event, Mohammad’s new line of work would seem to diminish the ranks of African fighters in Los Angeles by one, except that Moweta reports the upcoming debut of Proud Kilimanjaro, a heavyweight from Zimbabwe. He fights Stan Ward April 21 at the Forum.
Meanwhile, J.B. Williamson, the man who beat Mohammed for that vacant WBC title, is scheduled to make his first defense April 30 at London. He’ll fight Britain’s Dennis Andries.
Larry Holmes, preparing for his rematch with International Boxing Federation champion Michael Spinks, has closed his workouts to the public. Holmes, training for Saturday’s fight in Las Vegas, has so far refused to give any interviews and has talked only at press conferences. Spinks, who surprised the boxing world when he stepped up from light-heavyweight to outpoint Holmes last year, thinks he knows why Holmes has been so quiet. “I haunt him,” he said. “He can’t sleep at night, he’s afraid of me. I’m on top of his his list. When he looks up to the ceiling of his house, he sees me.” . . . Winner of the IBF heavyweight fight, one of a bunch of fights that is supposed to unify the title, may get Gerry Cooney later this year. That is if Cooney, inactive since July and whose only loss was to Holmes, gets past Eddie Gregg on May 31. . . . Another Las Vegas card was thrown for a loss when welterweight champion Donald Curry decided he would not challenge Mike McCallum for his World Boxing Assn. junior middleweight title on June 23. Curry, who is being built up as Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s successor at middleweight, evidently wants to slow his climb through the ranks. “It puts Curry behind schedule,” said promoter Bob Arum. The card, in any case, still has WBA featherweight champion Barry McGuigan defending against Fernando Sosa and a middleweight bout between Roberto Duran and Robbie Sims. Also, there is talk that WBC junior middleweight champion Thomas Hearns will replace Curry, possibly defending against Julian Jackson. . . . The WBC junior lightweight fight between champion Lonnie Smith and Rene Arredondo has been reset for May 5 at the Olympic Auditorium, postponement likely to follow. The fight has so far been rescheduled five times. . . . Bobby Chacon, who is appealing a six-month jail sentence for parole violation, was granted a conditional license to box, provided he pass a drug test in Sacramento on Monday. The State Athletic Commission’s vote Friday was 4-2. . . . The commission also ruled on Azumah Nelson, the WBC super-featherweight champion, deciding to take no action on a drug test which revealed an over-the-counter appetite suppressant after his title fight with Marcos Villasana. . . . Former super-bantamweight champion Jaime Garza headlines an April 28 card at the Irvine Marriott. Garza, who has two bouts under his non-title belt since coming back to boxing after a year’s layoff, will fight Jorge Gomez. Also on that card, Robert Folley, the son of former heavyweight contender Zora Folley, fights Glen Kennedy. . . . Bantamweight semifinal bouts in the Stroh’s Forum tournament April 21, with Kenny Mitchell going against Jess Salud. . . . At the Country Club in Reseda April 29, Manny Olivas fights Jerry Rodrigues, and Greg Puentes fights Lamont Baker in eight-rounders. . . . Joey Olivo, who lost his WBC mini-flyweight title in Korea last December, hasn’t been in the gym since. Reportedly he’s been teaching physical education part-time in East Los Angeles.