Just as at the Naval Academy when he "wuz robbed" against Jonny Boudreaux, the Scott LeDoux fight took the play away from the rest of the card at Madison Square Garden the other night. But in the prelims, possibly a poignant note for Sugar Ray Leonard enthusiasts:
The Sugar Ray of the 1972 Olympics - Ray Seales of Tacoma, Wash., who was the only U.S. gold-medal winner in the Munich boxing - didn't find the money and attention that are being lavished on 1976 gold medalists Leonard, Howard Davis and Leon Spinks as they turn professional. But maybe, before the New York crowd, this might be his chance to win notice, he felt as he went into the ring for his middleweight bout with Ron Harris.
Seales had won 30 of his first 33 profights, then lost on a TKO to Alan Minter in England. And now . . he took a trouncing from Harris.The scoring was 10-0, 10-0, 8-1-1 on the cards.
Said Seales, "I have no excuses. I was out of shape, but that's not an excuse." But why? His face swollen, defeat in his eyes, he never really said, but he concluded: "I don't know where my career is going . . maybe downhill. What can I say? I'll go back to Tacoma and talk it over with myself."
After the fight. Harris - himself an Olympic champ (1963), and unbeaten in 21 pro fights but moving upward at a snail's pace - had grabbed the ring microphone and told the 'crowd to give the loser some applause. It might have been the last for Sugar Ray Seales . . .
In the last LeDoux fight, this time it was the Minnesota heavyweight who got the benefit of an unsavory decision. Veteran judge Artie Aidala scored the 10-rounder 7-3 for Pedro Soto, yet the other judge and referce voted for LeDoux.
Leon Spinks made his second pro start in an eight-rounder vs. England's peter Freeman today on CBS-TV's John Conteh-Len Hutchins light-heavy card in Liverpool. On Sunday in the third set of quarterfinals of ABC-TV's U.S. Boxing Championships, promoter Don King has another mess to go with LeDoux-Boudreaux. Light-heavy-weight Tom Bethea (the Bomb) is supposed to fight Richie Kates on the six-ply program at Marion (Ohio Correctional Institute; Judge Abraham J Gellinoff of the New York State Supreme Court issued an order yesterday that Bethea cannot go through with the bout. Seems he has a contract to appear in a rival tournament. World Television Champions. April 22 vs. Marvin Johnson in Indiannapolis and the contract says no fights beforehand. If he fights Sunday he risks a contempt citation.
You get the sleazy picture, and hope along with us that Sugar Ray Seales, 1977, isn't a preview of Sugar Ray Leonard, c. 1981 - but if worse comes to worse, will Howard Cosell still be patting him on the knee and Frank Gifford telling the world what a great young fellow he is? Fadeout . . .