Featherweight boxer Kenny Weldon of Houston has not been reimbursed the $2,300 he paid an agent to get him into the U.S. Boxing Championships, The Washington Post learned yesterday.
Weldon was assured March 27, by James A. Farley Jr., tournament official and chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, that he would be reimbursed in full for the payment to George Kanter of New York City. Farley has described Kanter as a booking agent who mostly handles American boxers in Europe.
Weldon's purse was $7,500. He said he gave Kanter a $200 check for expenses and $2,300 for getting him into the tournament.
In an affidavit given the American Broadcasting Company, which funded the tournament for Don King Productions, Weldon said he also got fighter owned by his wife into the tournament through an arrangement with Kanter.
The other boxer is Jerry Kornele, whose contract is owned by Mrs. Weldon because one boxer is not allowed to manage another in Texas.
The Washington Post has obtained a copy of the affidavit, in which Weldon says of the arrangement with Kanter, "It was either a package deal, or Kornele did not get in."
Weldon also said in the affidavit that he received a letter from Kanter (dated Feb. 1, 1977) that "stated that I would be in the tournament, would fight in March, and would receive $5,000."
Weldon said on the telephone yesterday that he took Kanter's letter to a Houston bank and used it as the basis for getting a loan.
Weldon said he also agreed to pay $1,000 of his purse to Harlan Haas of Houston to represent him in the tournament. From this money Haas was to take care of such expenses as trainers.
When it became public that Weldon had paid Kanter, Kanter and Farley said Weldon would get him money back.
"I read in Sports Illustrated magazine, which did a big article on Kanter, that Kanter paid me back," Weldon said.
"But when I did not get paid a couple weeks later, I engaged an attorney [Larry Scroggins of Houston] to try to collect the money, Weldon said.
"He has separate taped conversations with Kanter and then with Kanter's attorney in which they agreed to pay me. But they didn't.
"On Monday, my lawyer called Kanter's lawyer [Harvey Krat] and Larry was told they were reluctant to pay me because I was going to exploit the whole situation on a national television program."
Weldon's attorney said yesterday his client was ready to take legal action against Kanter.
Weldon said of a previous remark by Farley, that Kanter did nothing illegal but might have been immoral (in taking a percentage of Weldon's purse)," What does Farley mean - not illegal - when I couldn't get in the tournament without Kanter.
"I've got Kanter's letter with my affidavit.
"The New York State Athletic Commission knew my affidavit was true. He (Farley) should have followed up to see if I was paid back my money."
"We're getting the run-around," Weldon's attorney said of conversations with Kanter and his attorney. "I told them, 'No more phone calls,' that I would take the matter up with the New York Commission's attorney.
"We have a report from the hearing the commission gave Kanter in which (Kanter) promised to pay up."