The basic consideration in the boxing business is "the southeastern corner of the balance sheet" - "the bottom line,"
Bob Arum, head of the Top Rank, Inc. promotional firm, will meet with Leon Spinks today in Detroit," to find out from him what he wants to do after we lay out his options."
Spinks' next fight will be in September and, as Arum sees it, it is a question of whether Spinks wants to give Ali a rematch in about that figures to have a $10 million to $14 million pot or fight No. 1 contender Ken Norton in a $2 million promotion. Spinks has said Ali will be his first opponent.
Arum was not at all faced by the World Boxing Council stripping Spinks of his heavyweight title because he did not meet the deadline to sign for a bout with Norton.
The World Boxing Association has approved a Spinks-Ali title fight.
Norton is now the champion of the WBC version of the title but he cannot draw with anyone else as much as he could with Spinks or Ali.
Although he lost to Spinks, Ali is the key ingredient to a multimillion dollar promotion. Few boxing fans will pay attention to the WBC edict that Spinks no longer is champion.
As if the jockeying already is all over, Arum said, "Now that this thing (WBC vs. WBA) is out of the way I am going to meet with Spinks, his wife, and his attorney. It was cruelty by the WBC to do this to an unsophisticated fellow like Spinks. What was the hurry?
"I am going to meet with Sonny Werblin of Madison Square Garden about considering the bout in the New York area (believed to be Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., which Werblin supervised for the state).
CBS, which has been accused of trying to arrange a Spinks-Ali match over Spinks-Norton, is preparing a statement to counter the charge Arum said of that, "Why doesn't CBS tell the world?"
CBS televised Arum's promotion of Ali's upset of Spinks and Barry Frank, head of CBS sports, said yesterday, "The press has totally misread our role. We made a commitment to carry the bout.
"We got an option which said that if Spinks won over Ali we would have his next bout for a relatively favorable price - $1,555,000 for both fighters combined.
"If you believe reports that an Ali-Spinks rematch will bring $10 million to $14 million, then our option with Spinks would not be practical for a bout against Ali.
"So, for the press to suggest we want an Ali-Spinks bout is unreasonable. We want somebody else, even Norton. We lost $1 million on the Ali-Spinks bout. We are not in the business of losing money."