A Dallas fight manager told The Washington Post yesterday that featherweight Kenny Weldon of Houston paid $2,300 of his $7,500 purse to intermediaries to participate in the U.S. Boxing Championships.
Doug Lord, a manager and acquaintance of Weldon, said he informed an attorney for the American Broadcasting Company in an affidavit that Weldon told him of the payments.
It also was learned that the Federal Bureau of Investigation made inquiries about the Feb. 13 boxing show at the U.S. Naval Academy.
A spokesman for the academy said FBI representative Robert Lanphear visited the federal facility a week or two later and checked with the athletic department about arrangements.
In Washington, a spokesman for the FBI said it would neither confirm nor deny that the bouts were being investigated.
A controversy ensued in connection with the show at Annapolis after heavyweight Scott LeDoux created a disturbance after losing a decision to Johnny Boudreaux.
LeDoux punched and kicked at Boudreaux and others at the ABC microphone and later said on the air that promoter Don King's employes controlled fighters in the tournament and that ring officials were biased.
Featherweight Weldon fought on the next show, at the Marion (Ohio) Correctional Institution, and said Wednesday that he gave an affidavit to ABC detailing a payment to George Kanter, a New York City fight representative and manager, "to get me into the tournament."
Harlan Haass of Houston, who described himself as "mostly a public relations man" in boxing, said he represented Weldon for the bout and made the payment to Kanter.
Haass said Kanter received "a little more than 10 per cent" of Weldon's purse of $7,500 and that he (Haass) received "a little bit less."
Weldon said Kanter received" a lot more than 10 per cent" and Haass "a lot less," but would not specify exactly how much, suggesting that ABC sports chief Roone Arledge be asked for the exact amount inasmuch as Weldon detailed it in his affidavit to ABC.
Weldon said he had told Lord how much he paid to the intermediaries and Lord had gone to ABC with the information.
Lord reported Weldon saying he paid Kanter $1,500 and Haass $800. Kanter said Wednesday that, he manages and represents boxers all over the world. He added that he had no connection with Don King Productions. He would not elaborate.
A spokesman for Don King Proudction said Kanter had no connection with that promotional firm.
Kanter was reported on his way to Paris yesterday and, Haass was on vacation. Weldon was on his way to the next series of U.S. Boxing Championship bouts Sunday at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio. There, Weldon will be managing lightweight Jerry Kornele, who turned pro after developing in Weldon's program for amateurs in Houston.
In addition to the information he said he got from Weldon, Lord reported that he (Lord) also said in his affidavit to an attorney for ABC that he understood his lightweight boxer, Johnny Copeland, would be in the U.S. Boxing Championships but never received a contract.
"The tournament was supposed to be for boxers ranked among the first eight contenders for world titles," Lord said. "Copeland was ranked No. 5 at the time by The Ring magazine (which handled the seedings for the tournament).
"I read announcement by the Associated Press and Ring magazine that Copeland would compete. I called and left messages at King's office in New York when I did not receive a contract for Copeland to participate.
"A Dan Shedrick finally called me in Alaska and said he would try to get things straightened out, but nothing happened. When I called Jeff Ruhe (Arledge's administrative assistant at ABC) I asked him to get Copeland in the tournament. He said he could not promise, but would try.
"After I had told Shedrick that I called everyone I knew (of) at King's office, I later got a call from Paddy Flood, who made a big point of saying I didn't know him, and, of course, I admitted I didn't personally, but knew of him.
"I want to say that no one has approached me for a payoff to get into the tournament. But I thought all ranking fighters were eligible; the promoter said so publicly."
Weldon said previously that although neither Haass nor Kanter were listed as his managers he was not unhappy about paying them, but did think that Kanter "got a little greedy."
Haass said he engaged Kanter because he was closer to tournament headquarters in New York City.
Weldon said he agreed to give an affidavit to ABC with the stipulation that the network would prevent any revenge being taken by dropping his fighter, Kornele, from the tournament.
ABC's Arledge, who reportedly turned over Weldon's and Lord's affidavits to James A. Farley Jr., chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, could not be reached yesterday. Farley was reported to be out of town and unreachable.