Better luck to Sugar Ray Leonard tonight in Hartford, Conn., when he fights New England lightweight campion Vinnie DeBarros than befell the last guy to test the Waterbury, Conn., battler.
While Leonard prepared to go six rounds tonight beyond the live eye of network TV for a change, Ruby (Angel) Ortiz, who in March whipped DeBarros (18-4) in Don King's U.S. Boxing Championships at Marion, Ohio, was being charged with homicide in New York. The 5-foot-7, 135-pound Ortiz called police, authorities said, and had them come to his Brooklyn apartment. There he allegedly told them about a quarrel and the fatal shooting of the woman with whom he was living, Miriam Olmo Quiles, 30, mother of four children ages 10-15.
Who knows if this would have happened had King's tournament not been suspended, but Ortiz remained a contender in it after adding a win over Johnny Sullivan on April 2 . . .
The Leonare bout will be in 12,000-seat Hartford Civic Center, and the Palmer Park Kid has been holding public workouts there under Angelo Dundee's tutelage. On the undercard there will be middleweight cousin Odell Leonard vs. Pete Seward of Kalamazoo, Mich., six rounds, and Washington D.C. heavyweight Matt (Feet) Robinson vs. Johnny Ward, New York, six. Only the 10th bout of the year for the willing Robinson, Sloppy Rocky Coleman's pride (next to wife Patricia Coleman, who keeps getting those national writeups and TV exposure as one of the few women working ring corners) - Robinson beat Al Byrd in the opener of the Virginia Beach Civic Center summer season cards the other night. . .
And coming up in Capital Center Saturday, June 21, at 8 p.m., second in the series of clubfight-type cards Abe Polin and matchmaker Eddie Hrica instituted early this year. Featuring a pair of bouts sanctioned by the North American Boxin Federation as championship 12-rounders: Lanham's venerable Ralph Palladin vs. Irish Gene Wells, Orlando Fla., junior middle-weights, and Adelphi's Ronnic McGarvey vs. Miguel Meza, Los Angeles, featherweights. If that doesn't insure plenty of heavy hitting, there are Leo Saenz, the ready mixer from Potomac, vs. Bob Payton, Camden, N.J., and Philadelphia's Jimmy Savage va. New York's Tyrone Phelps in a pair of middleweight 10-rounders.
The Met's Tom Seaver, if he's still of a mind to be traded to the likes of Cincinnati, must have his ear cocked at the word from Rawly Eastwick, the Red's two-time National League fireman of the year or close to it. Eastwick, 11-5 with 26 saves and 2.03 ERA in 1976 after leading the NL with 22 saves in '75, says he has been informed by the Cincy management that active efforts are being made to trade him by the June 15 deadline. Eastwick is the only unsigned Red.
Baseball concluded its June draft yesterday, but not before the Atlanta Braves made Tom LaGrave, American West J.C. pitcher from McLean, Va., one of the 832 amateur players selected over three days . . . What, young fella, you weren't picked? Don't despair. Supervison joe Consoli and his Alexandria aide, Mickey Bowers, invite you to one of the Major League Scouting Bureau tyrout camps and instructional clinics hereabouts: Saturday at the Naval Academy; Wednesday, June 15, Hagerstown Municipal Stadium; Thursday, June 16, McCurdy Field, Federick, Md.; June 23, Wheaton Regional Park, Waldorf (June Land, College Park (June 28, rain 26, rain date); June 27, of Marydate,) each runs 10 a.m. 2 p.m. American Legion players must have coach or commander's permission . . .