International Boxing Federation welterweight champion Simon Brown yesterday learned who his next opponent will be, while Sugar Ray Leonard's attorney took a step closer to naming the date and site of Leonard's next bout.
Brown (32-1), a Germantown resident born in the District, will meet Mexico's Reyes Cruz in a 10-round, non-title bout Dec. 8 at the Atlantic City Convention Center on the undercard of the Mike Tyson-Alex Stewart fight, Brown's adviser, James Cooks, confirmed yesterday. It will be Brown's first bout since he knocked out Tyrone Trice at the D.C. Armory in the eighth round of his IBF title defense April 1.
The December card is being promoted by Don King, but Cooks stressed that Brown has not signed a contract with King. Brown recently broke from promoter Don Elbaum and manager Allen Baboian.
"We're still contemplating whether to sign with King and we're exploring other options," Cooks said. "Don King is extremely interested in signing Simon, but nothing has been finalized."
Meanwhile, Michael Trainer, Leonard's lawyer and manager, said yesterday "there is nothing to report officially yet, but we're getting closer by the day" concerning Leonard's junior middleweight bout against Terry Norris. Trainer said a decision will be announced this week.
Trainer has narrowed the list of possible sites to three: the 4,500-seat Caesars Palace Pavilion in Las Vegas, the 16,000-seat Atlantic City Convention Center, or Madison Square Garden in New York. Trainer, who traveled to New York last week to confer with Garden officials, said Leonard would prefer to fight in New York.
"It's a good place for boxing," Trainer said. "It's something Ray has wanted to do for a long time. He's never fought there."
Bob Gutkowski, president of Madison Square Garden Communications, confirmed that "conversations were ongoing. I'm optimistic, but the deal is certainly not done yet."
The Leonard-Norris bout will take place during one of the first two weekends in February, Trainer said. Acevado vs. Bramble
New York's Aristides Acevado (13-9) will face two-time world champion Livingstone Bramble (34-2, 20 knockouts) as one of the main events Saturday at the Washington Convention Center. Acevado replaces Virginia's Daryl Richardson, who withdrew because of an injury. In the other main event, Washington's Keely Thompson (24-3, 17 KOs) meets Rockville's Wilfredo de la Cruz (14-4) in a 10-round lightweight bout.