Boxing promoter Don King has called a news conference today in New York City to announce a match for Muhammad Ali in the near future, probably at Capital Centre.
The opponent, the Associated Press in New York said it had learned, will be Alfredo Evangelista of Spain.
If the bout materializes, it is expected to be televised live by ABC. If it is to be staged a Landover, that presumably would mean a local blackout unless the arean was sold out.
King had plotted Alfio Righetti of Italy as Ali's tuneup for Ken Norton, or whomever he might meet in the first serious defense of the heavyweight championship since he edged Norton in Yankee Stadium Sept. 28, then announced his retirement. Since then Ali has swung between declarations he is or is not retired after all.
A rival promoter, Paul Corvino, had been trying to match Lorenzo Zanon of Italy and Ali, World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council want to match Zanon against Righetti to determine an opponent for Ali - so, said King, "I got somebody else."
Evangelista has a 13-11 record - the loss an eight-round decision to Zanon Feb. 4 in the Spaniard's hometown of Balboa. Evangelista is ranked No. 8 contender by the WBA and 10th by WBC.
Meanwhile, Madison Square Garden has a $4 million suit against Ali awaiting a federal court ruling expected next week. The Garden, in New York, claims the champion breached a contract to fight Duane Bobick there and seeks, besides damages, an injunction against his fighting anyone else first.
Meanwhile, the Easter card for King's U.S. Boxing Championships on ABC-TV was announced for Miami Beach Convention Center, with top-ranked middleweight Mike Colbert to fight Rocky Mosley in a tournament semifinal. The following Saturday, undefeated heavyweight Stan Ward and sixth-ranked Larry Holmes will meet, also in Miami Beach. Unlike the quarterfinals, the semifinals will be contested before paying audiences.