Mike Trainer, Sugar Ray Leonard's attorney, flew to Panama yesterday to discuss a World Boxing Council welterweight championsip bout with Carlos Eleta, manager of Roberto Duran. Trainer and Eleta are to meet today.
It had been announced that Leonard would fight Jose (Pipino) Cuevas, World Boxing Association titleholder, on May 16, but Cuevas was cut near one eye April 5 while knockingout Harold Volbrecht.
Besides the uncertainty about Cuevas' eye, Leonard is under WBC pressure to fight Duran first or have his title taken away. The Panamanian government also is said to be discouraging the WBA from sanctioning a Leonard-Cuevas bout.
Duran is a native of Panama. The president of the WBA is Rodrigo Sanchez, a Panamanian.
Angelo Dundee said last night he knew nothing of a proposed Leonard-Duran fight. "It's strange that I wouldn't hear anything about a proposed fight," Dundee said from his Miami home. "Not only am I in the Leonard camp, but Duran always trains in my gym (in Miami)."
Earlier yesterday, promotor Bob Arum was reported to be en route from New York City to Panama, but a Panama City television newscaster said last night that Arum was not coming.
Archimedes Fernandez, who works for the television station owned by Eleta's family, said Duran had flown to New York City yesterday. Fernandez insisted that was an indication a Duran-Leonard bout was in the making because the former lightweight champion usually leaves the night life Panama to get ready for big bouts.
Accompanying Duran to New York Fernandez said, was Luis Henriquez, who works for promotor Don King. Duran has fought most of his bouts for King.
Some of Leonard's bouts have been prompted by Arum, but Trainer has arranged most of the former Olympian's fights.