Sugar Ray Leonard's management has lobbed the ball to promoter Don King to try to bring off a rematch with Roberto Duran for the World Boxing Council welterweight championship.
Mike Trainer, Leonard's attorney, said yesterday, "King said he could do it and nobody has changed the figures (the boxers' purses). Ray hopes to fight Duran this year and Duran wants to fight Leonard; he's training in New York."
Trainer said he had investors who put up enough money to guarantee the purses but let the investors go when Duran's management dawdled on a decision, and King said he could put together a deal satisfactory to all concerned.
"I doubt it can be in November now," Trainer went on. "It probably will be in December. I would have favored Houston. It probably will be in Houston or New Orleans because it gets too cold in November or December to hold a bout as big as this one outdoors in Las Vegas."
It has been learned that Duran and Leonard would divide nearly $15 million designated to cover their purses, with Duran probably receiving slightly more than Leonard, or about $8 million, as champion.
The purses will be guaranteed this time, with neither boxer working on a percentage, as Leonard did in their first match.
Trainer said a tape of the closed-circuit telecast has not yet been sold to a network for delayed showing. He estimated that a tape of a rematch would be worth much more than the $500,000 the ABC network paid for the delayed telecast of the June 20 bout.