Johnny Gant and Roland Pryor will fight in a 12-round bout tonight at the D.C. Armory that is being billed as the District of Columbia welterweight championship.

There will be a "Battle of the Cities," five six-round bouts between teams representing Washington and New York, and also a special six-round fight, which will open the show at 7:30. The main event is scheduled for 10 o'clock.

Promoter nat Williams has designated the program as "a salute to Joe Louis" and says part of the proceeds will be sent to the former heavyweight champion, who will be 64 Saturday. He lives in Las Vegas.

Welterweight Pryor, 34, is making a comback after laying off for about four years. He has a 30-5-0 record, including 15 victories by knockouts. Gant, 29, has a 42-11-3 record, including 23 victories by knockouts.

In the competition between the city teams, it will be heavyweight George Williams of Washington, who has a 2-0 record, against Roberto Castro, 2-2; light heavyweight Don Wilson, Washington, 0-1, vs. Johnny Davis, 1-0; middleweight Keith Broom, Washington, 8-0, vs. Morris Watkins, 3-1; welterweight Richie Jackson, Washington, 4-0, vs. Angel Peralis, 3-1, and lightweight Ditmar Becton, Washington, 2-0, vs. Raymon Ramon, 3-0.

In the special six-rounder, middleweight Odell Leonard (10-1) of Palmer Park, Md., cousin of Sugar Ray Leonard, will oppose Wilbert Crews of Washington, 2-2-1.

Pryor, who recently built up his strength breaking rock and laying track for the Metro system, said, "I doubt Gant will last 12 rounds if he stays and fights with me. I think he'll run. I respect him as a boxe4, but he can't mix it up with me. He don't impress me that he can punch . . . go to war.

"His trainer will tell him to box, run, box; that I'll get tired. I'm not going to tire. We're freinds, but I want to get into the top 10 in our division.