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Pettway-Baptist winner might be in line for IBF title shot


They're talking about a sellout for the boxing show at the Pikesville Armory next Wednesday night, and judging from the ratings just released by the U.S. Boxing Association, the joint should be packed.

When Vincent Pettway (34-4) climbs into the ring to oppose Gilbert Baptist (23-12), the vacant junior-middleweight title will be on the line and the fighters are rated No. 2 and 3, respectively, by that organization.

There's a strong rumor that the winner stands a strong chance of getting a shot at the IBF 154-pound crown held by Gianfranco Rosi of Italy. Pettway and Baptist currently hold down the fourth and fifth spots in the IBF rankings.

Six bouts will accompany the 12-round main event, topped by a pair of eights pitting middleweights Les Johnson (14-1) and Willie Gallawango (15-1) and welterweights Eddie Van Kirk (23-6) and Jose Torres (11-5).

Baptist is the former NABF champ, defeating Ron Amundsen, but he vacated the title in November to oppose Rosi (52-3) for his crown. The San Diego veteran lost a close decision on the road.

Pettway has had three straight impressive wins against improved competition. As a result, his ranking in the other world organizations, the WBC and WBA, has shot up, putting him in line for a possible shot at their junior-middleweight champs.

The card begins at 7:30 p.m. (figure 7:45) with WITH-AM joining the action at 9 with Kenny Albert and Charlie Eckman providing the commentary. The main go will begin at 10 o'clock sharp, promoter and matchmaker Stu Satosky promises.

Tickets for the Merry-Go-Round and Budweiser-sponsored show are $40 (ringside), $30 (reserved) and $25 (general admission) with the latter going for $20 if purchased in advance. The numbers to call are 528-1932 and 727-0885.

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