BOXING : Forum Fight Team Looks Toward the East

BULLETIN: The Forum is moving to Chicago.

Well, not altogether. And make that Rosemont, Ill., a Chicago suburb.

Seems the Forum boxing staff is moving to the Rosemont Horizon to stage a fight card Dec. 13. If successful, the Forum may promote monthly fight shows there through 1991.

The Forum's Illinois venture will have no impact on its bi-monthly Forum boxing shows. In fact, it's expected the move will free up more dates for aspiring Southland and Mexican pugilists who aspire to fight on Forum cards.

"Our Chicago move is the result of two things," said John Jackson, Jerry Buss' Forum vice president in charge of boxing.

"One, the Rosemont Horizon people came to us. They want to put on regular boxing shows, and since we have some expertise in that area, plus a lot of boxers, we talked. Second, we will now have access to another venue where we can provide exposure in the Midwest for boxers we already have."

Jackson said that if all parties are happy with the Dec. 13 show--featuring unbeaten Chicago lightweight Louie Lomeli (21-0) and Forum junior-middleweight tournament champion Quincy Taylor (15-2)--the Forum will sign a six-month or one-year deal calling for the Forum to provide monthly Horizon fight cards.

The 17,000-seat arena was built 10 years ago by the city of Rosemont, near O'Hare International Airport.

The Horizon is a busy place, used for DePaul and Chicago Loyola basketball games, circuses, concerts, pro wrestling and ice shows. It had 200 dates on its 1990 calendar but has not had regular boxing shows.

One of the early impacts of the Forum foray into the Midwest will no doubt be a buildup of overtime requests by Jackson's staff. His boxing people are now looking at the following schedule: Genaro Hernandez vs. Rodolfo Gomez at the Forum Dec. 6, the Dec. 13 Rosemont Horizon show and the light-flyweight title fight between Humberto Gonzalez and Rolando Pascua at the Forum Dec. 19.

Arturo (Cuyo) Hernandez, one of the busiest Mexican boxing managers, died recently in Mexico City at 82.

Hernandez, who at one time had more than 200 fighters in his Mexico City stable, handled many Mexican world champions, among them Ruben Olivares, Carlos Zarate and Alfonso Zamora.

"At one time, Hernandez was such a powerful figure in Mexican boxing he was called 'Don Cuyo,' " recalls Bill Caplan, who knew Hernandez well from his late 1960s boxing publicity work for George Parnasus at the Forum.

The second operation on Ten Goose Boxing's Gabriel Ruelas' elbow was a blow for both the young lightweight and his manager-promoter, Dan Goossen.

Ruelas was 21-0 last April 14 in Las Vegas and handily beating up his toughest foe to date, Jeff Franklin, when he broke his right elbow in the sixth round. Ruelas was stopped by the injury in the next round.

His elbow was surgically repaired that night, or so everyone hoped. But during rehabilitation, Ruelas found he couldn't straighten his arm. During a second operation Nov. 8, it was discovered that screws holding the elbow together had broken loose and that the elbow had not healed.

Ruelas, 20, now faces at least three more months of healing and rehabilitation.

The injury dates to Ruelas' boyhood. It's believed he broke his arm in a fall and was never treated by a doctor.

His brother, Rafael, 19, rolls along at 21-0. On Tuesday, he will try to win the California featherweight title against Richard Abila at the Country Club in Reseda.

On the Reseda undercard will be an eight-round exhibition featuring Sugar Ray Leonard's next opponent, Terry Norris, against Tony Montgomery.

Boxing Notes

Sugar Ray Leonard's long-talked about fight with junior-middleweight contender Terry Norris is all but set for Feb. 9 at New York's Madison Square Garden. . . . Just wondering: Why is it that the boxing public seems to love George Foreman, yet seemed ready to lynch Buster Douglas when he showed up 15 pounds overweight and was knocked out by Evander Holyfield last month?

It's puzzling, because indications are that Foreman will show up for his title fight with Holyfield April 19 at roughly the same level of conditioning. Foreman weighed 284 pounds for a public sparring session in Seattle last week. Is it OK, then, for Foreman to fight fat, but not Douglas?

Says longtime Foreman aide Bill Caplan: "George is going to train down to 235 and see how he feels. If he feels strong, he'll stay there. If he doesn't, he'll go back up to . . . whatever."

And did anyone notice? Holyfield became the sixth--and most likely the last--member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team to win a pro title when he won the heavyweight championship. Half the members of the team that won nine gold medals in Los Angeles have now won pro titles: Holyfield, Virgil Hill, Frank Tate, Mark Breland, Pernell Whitaker and Meldrick Taylor.

Hill, the most successful pro champion of the group, will defend his World Boxing Assn. light-heavyweight title, for the 10th time, Jan. 6 in Fargo, N.D., against Mike Peak. If successful, it's said, he may get Michael Moorer, who is also unbeaten, in a pay-per-view show at Caesars Palace.

In case you're wondering how embattled Donald Trump can afford to pay a $10-million site fee for Holyfield-Foreman: Turns out the site, Trump Plaza, is the only one of his three Atlantic City properties to turn a profit in the third quarter of this year. Financial statements released last week show his Taj Mahal lost $11 million in the quarter and that Trump Castle lost $7.7 million. Trump Plaza posted a $5.4 million profit.

A boxing preview of this summer's Pan American Games in Havana: Light-flyweight Eric Griffin of Houston was the only 1990 U.S. winner of a World Cup title. But here's the kicker: Cubans won titles in all of the remaining 11 weight classes. The World Cup tournament this year was held in three stages: In Havana last February, Dublin in September and Bombay last week.

Add amateurs: The U.S. lost one of its best amateurs to the pros recently when Colorado Springs welterweight Skipper Kelp signed with Bob Arum's Top Rank group. Kelp is a hard banger and figures to be more successful as a pro than as an amateur. Because amateur scoring rewards all-around boxing skills more than punching ability, Kelp didn't loom as a 1992 Olympic medal favorite.

Angelo Dundee, middleweight champion Michael Nunn's trainer, says Nunn may become a regular headliner in Europe. Nunn, who stopped Donald Curry in Paris last month, is entertaining offers to fight again in both Paris and London, Dundee said.

Jerry Nathanson, chairman of the California Athletic Commission, recently wrote a letter of protest to doctors Al Capanna and Joe LaMancusa, complaining about their report to the Nevada Athletic Commission which purported to show that California's controversial required neurological exams for boxers were "not valid." Nathanson called their study "inconclusive and unscientific."

Add Foreman: Big George recently told writer Jack Welsh: "I'm more experienced in championship situations (than Holyfield)." Huh? Better look at the record, George. Foreman fought in four heavyweight championship fights and lost one. Holyfield has appeared in five cruiserweight championship fights and one heavyweight title fight, winning them all.

The Southern California Amateur Invitational Boxing Tournament will be held Monday through Friday at the Lincoln Park Gym, 3501 Valley Blvd., Los Angeles, beginning at 7:30 p.m. each night. . . . An ESPN show worth watching: Vince Phillips (16-0) vs. Victorio Belcher (33-3-1) Thursday.

High-ranked heavyweight Razor Ruddock has been added to the Dec. 8 Mike Tyson-Alex Stewart, Julio Cesar Chavez-Ahn Kyung-Duk card in Atlantic City. Ruddock (24-1-1) meets journeyman Mike Rouse (12-5-1).


Tuesday: Rafael Ruelas vs. Richard Abila, California featherweight championship, 12 rounds. Alex Ramos vs. Robert Rosiles, middleweights, 10 rounds. Terry Norris vs. Tony Montgomery (exhibition), eight rounds, junior-middleweights. Reseda Country Club, 7:30 p.m.

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