Don King announced on closed-circuit television tonight that Roberto Duran will defend his welterweight title against Sugar Ray Leonard on Nov. 25 in New Orleans.
Leonard has the right of approval of the site and ruled out Las Vegas unless the outdoor arena where the Larry Holmes-Muhammad Ali bout was held tonight were covered.
The temperature here drops into the 50s in November.
Leonard approved Houston and New Orleans, both of which have covered stadiums. Houston reportedly offered a better deal for Duran-Leonard, but New Orleans rated high because of the crowd of 60,000 drawn in the Ali-Spinks bout Sept. 15, 1978.
The New Orleans Saints will meet the Los Angeles Rams in a Monday night football game in the Superdome on Nov. 24, but that is expected to be a plus for the fight.
The ABC television network, which is expected to pay $1 million or more for a tape of the Duran-Leonard bout to be shown later, will have its equipment in town for the football game and will probably assist in promoting the fight before and during the football game.
The guarantees for Duran and Leonard will come to about $15 million, of which the champion would receive about $8 million. The bout will be carried on closed-circuit television only on the night of the fight.
The World Boxing Council had not approved the bout as of today but President Jose Sulaiman indicated it will sanction the fight.