A "dream" boxing show featuring the five best welterweights in the world hangs on the quick recovery of Jose (Pipino) Cuevas from a cut eye.
Cuevas of Mexico will put his World Boxing Association title on the line against Sugar Ray Leonard, World Boxing Council champion; Roberto Duran will battle Randy Shields; unbeaten Tommy Hearns will meet Zeferino Gonzalez, and Wilfred Benitez will fight Pete Ranzany on the ABC network, as presently planned.
Because of the eye injury Cuevas suffered on Sunday, it will not be known until Friday whether he will be ready to fight Leonard on Friday night, May 16, or a week later. If Cuevas has to postpone the bout beyond May 23, The show will be called off, according to Leonard's attorney, Mike Trainer.
"The cut was not wide or deep," said Trainer, who saw Cuevas knock out Harold Volbrecht in Houston. "They closed it with a little butterfly bandage.
"The network wants the bout by May 23 at the latest, to be included in the May ratings sweeps. ABC will have budgeted its money for the sweeps by then and we need a lot of money to bring off this show. The TV money is very important."