It will be Larry Holmes vs. Alfio Righetti in Holmes' first defense of his World Boxing Association heavy-weight title, all right, but Giants Stadium is out - so promoter Don King may not be able to steal the march, or early September, he wanted on Top Rank's Leon Spinks vs. Muhammad Ali Sept. 15 New Orleans WBC jambalaya.
The big ball park in East Rutherford, N.J., will be unavailable for the projected Sept. 8 fight date because of the little matter of the Giants' NFL season starting there Sept. 10. So King - and his new copromoter, Madison Square Garden - are casting about another Greater New York site.
Meantime, the toughest tiff in the joint could be between odd couple King and Garden matchmaker Teddy Brenner. Yesterday's announcement by King and Sonny Werblin, the Garden president, was greeted with anything but enthusiasm by Brenner, who called the proposed quadrupleheader to feature Holmes "only talk . . . no contracts."
King: "Teddy Brenner doesn't like me. He's going to try feverishly to knock me out. He has for five years."
All this while Holmes was saying, "I wish everybody could get together instead of fighting each other all the time. Let the fighters do the fighting and let the WBA and WBC get together, let King, the Garden and Bob Arum (Top Rank) get together. I want to be recognized by everybody as the world champion. Maybe someday it'll happen . . . "
Then there is Tom Heinsohn vs. Irv Levin. The coach fired by Boston Celtic owner Levin in January has been asked by San Diego NBA owner Levin to coach the team he swapped the Celtics for on July 7 and moved to the Coast. Crux of the issue is $100,000 due Heinsohn for a year left on his Celtic contract, and whether he has to coach for Levin next season to collect it. In U.S. District Court, Boston, Judge Andrew Caffrey ruled yesterday on Heinsohn's petition that Smilin' Tom cannot be forced against his will to coach in San Diego - but if he wants the job (he and Levin have been dickering over a long-term contract for same) he'd better decide soon because Levin is free to hire anyone he wants. Calling Mendy Rudolph - or Ruby Goldstein? . . .
Better news for current Celt coaches Satch Sanders and K. C. Jones: a newlywed, settled-down former "Bad News" declares he is ready "to show the American public the real Marvin Barnes and the rest of the NBA better look out." Putting his money right there with it, Barnes asked owner John Y. Brown to remove the guarantee from his three-year, $950,000 contract to intensify the challenge . . .
A big breakthrough for cable television - and for the uncounted thousands shut out of sold-out, 85,000-seat Ohio Stadium for the last 56 home Ohio State football games and the foreseeable future: Buckeye games will be shown live this fall in Columbus to cable subscribers following out-of-court settlement of an antitrust suitfiled against ABC-TV.
State, cable company, network and NCAA officials announced the agreement to let Warner's Qube system telment, about which the network comments: "The decision of the state attorney general and Warner Cable Corp. to dismiss these lawsuits was based upon the agreement by ABC and the NCAA to permit a limited two-year cablecast experiment . . . intended to gather data on the impact of pay cable on free commercial television, and the effect of live pay cablecasts on attendance at local college football games" . . .
George McQuinn tooted his own horn, bless him, when he called last week to say, "What about my 34-game streak in 1938?" but Arlington-Alexandria's own ought to have called the New York Times (collect) too: Its table of the 12 all-time batting streaks omits McQuinn's. And eagle-eyed fan Larry Somer of Q Street NW points out another that's been overlooked: 36 games by Billy Hamilton, phillies, 1894 and you could look it up . . .
Speaking of odds, Harrah's Racebook makes the Redskins seventh Choice to win the NFC.