LAS VEGAS, OCT. 21 -- A court has ruled that International Boxing Federation welterweight champion Simon Brown is free to seek a new manager, a move that Brown hopes will give him a higher profile and, consequently, let him fight for larger purses.

Brown, who was raised in Washington and lives in Germantown, had been managed by Allen Baboian and his fights had been promoted by Don Elbaum. Brown has told friends that he's been unhappy with the arrangement for some time.

The ruling made late last week by New York State Supreme Court Judge Beverly S. Cohen means that Brown will be able to sign a contract with a manager he believes will be able to deliver the big-money fights he hasn't gotten.

"I feel my career is going to pick up now," Brown said today from his home. "I've been talking to quite a few people about my future. I feel very optimistic."

The court has yet to rule whether Baboian can attach any portion of Brown's earnings from future fights. According to Brown, he has gotten 80 percent and Baboian 20 percent of recent fights.

Brown's attorney will argue that Baboian "failed to deal in good faith" thereby breaking Baboian's management contract with Brown. Brown said he believes he will win that argument as well, but even if he doesn't he remains confident he is advancing his career through the court action.

"I will still be happy and satisfied to be free," Brown said. "No problem."

Elbaum said the contract in dispute is to expire in August 1992. The promoter expressed disappointment in Brown's action and said he believed that the court would attach a part of Brown's future purses for Baboian.

Seeing his major legal hurdle cleared, Brown began focusing on picking a manager and getting back into the ring. The manager is expected to be "well-known," but Brown said he hasn't decided who it will be.

He wants to reach a new agreement soon because he hasn't fought since April, when he knocked out Tyrone Trice in a bruising battle at the Starplex/D.C. Armory.

"I'm looking to step into the ring very soon," said Brown, who continues working out regularly.

If he gets his way, he would fight a "tuneup" before the end of the year and a major opponent early next year.