Mayor Marion Barry, who had lobbied hard to bring Washington its first title fight since 1959, said yesterday it was too early to say whether he would continue efforts to hold a championship fight here.
"I haven't had time to assess it," said Barry of the collapse of last Friday's bout between light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks and challenger Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.
Asked if he was embarrassed by what happened, Barry said he was "disappointed," but not embarrassed.
"I didn't do anything wrong," said Barry, who was reluctant to discuss the incident during a brief interview.
Barry had put the prestige of his office behind an effort to assure a good turnout. But the day before the fight, fewer than 4,000 seats had been sold in the D.C. Armory, which had 10,000 seats for the event.
Two D.C. Council members interviewed yesterday praised Barry for his efforts to improve boxing here. John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2) and Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) both said championship boxing would help boost the city's image and the local economy.
But Wilson said boxing offficials erred when they agreed to allow Home Box Office, which planned a live broadcast of the fight, to televise it in the Washington area. "If they were not going to black out this area, they were not going to do well" in ticket sales, Wilson said. Jarvis said Barry made "an admirable attempt to bring boxing to the District" and "I think we ought to not give up."
A third council member, Betty Ann Kane (D-at large), said she dislikes boxing as a sport and is not interested in promoting it here.
The fight was canceled when Muhammad failed to make the weight limit by 2 1/2 pounds and when Sprinks subsequently refused to participate in a 10-round nontitle match.