Pettway shows no rust in KO return Contender drops Smith for 1st time in his 21 bouts


It took 45 minutes to resolve a problem with the gloves for the main event at the Pikesville Armory last night, but nothing could spoil Vincent Pettway's overpowering performance as the IBF junior middleweight title contender from Baltimore handed Aaron Smith, of Gaithersburg, the first knockout loss of his 21-bout career.

Pettway (35-4), looking surprisingly sharp after his seven-month absence from the ring, dominated the fight before dropping Smith with a four-punch combination late in the sixth round.

Smith (10-11), who had used his awkward style and sturdy chi to survive the early battering, made no effort to rise, shaking his head in a show of surrender as referee Chris Wollenson counted him out at 2:48.

Now waiting to challenge the winner of the Oct. 16 IBF titl match between champion Gianfranco Rosi of Italy and Gilbert Dale of France, Pettway, 26, had good reason to be proud of his effort before an estimated crowd of 500.

He seemed to have Smith in serious trouble in the third round when he rocked his slender rival with hooks and overhand rights, but Pettway revealed later that he damaged his left thumb in that round.

Meanwhile, Smith sustained a cut over his left eye and wha appeared to be a broken jaw in the third round.

"The way Smith kept turning his shoulder into me, I couldn' really nail him with a right hand," Pettway said. "So I used my jab to set up the left hook, and that's what did most of the damage.

"After being out for so long, I was surprised by the accuracy o my punches. The gym work really helped me, but I don't want to wait this long before fighting again."

Glen Burnie lightweight Chuck Sturm (24-3-1) continued to sho progress after his 18-month layoff, stopping Horace Waterson (5-8-1) at 1:49 of the fourth round of their scheduled eight-round semifinal.

Sturm, who has won all three of his bouts since returning to action this year, slowed his left-handed rival with several body shots in the third round after Waterson had used light combinations to keep the fight even in the first two rounds.

"After being off so long, I'm not expecting miracles," said Sturm trying to regain a spot in the rankings. "But I'm getting it back slowly but surely."

The scheduled six-round preliminary bout pitting Rockvill middleweight Les Johnson against James Thornton of Kingston, was canceled by the athletic commission yesterday afternoon, reducing the boxing card to five bouts.

No ring record could be found on Thornton, who said his reaname is Bryant, but offered no identification at the pre-fight physical. North Carolina does not have a boxing commission, leading to spotty record-keeping.

Laurel heavyweight Thomas Williams made a successful pr debut, proving too fast and busy for stalking Mike Whitfield (2-2) of Baltimore in the opening four-round bout.

Local junior welterweight Ed Griffin (2-0), a gifted, young pro won all the exchanges and shook Glenn Randolf (3-7) of Laurel several times in their lively four-round bout.

After two rounds of beating a steady retreat against unbeate Wade Duncan of Baltimore, Hyattsville's Elvis DeLoatch quit in his corner before the start of the third round. Duncan, 140, now 6-0-2, began catching DeLoatch with telling body shots in round two.

Barkley vs. DeWitt match in China postponed

A boxing match between super middleweight champion Iran Barkley and challenger Doug DeWitt was postponed because of Barkley's elbow injury and financial disputes, a report said yesterday.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency said no new date had been set for the match billed as "The Brawl at the Great Wall," originally set for Oct. 17.

News reports last month in the United States said one of the Chinese organizers of the event, Xinghua Industries Group, claimed it was cheated out of $3.1 million by American promoters.

William Wheeler, of Seattle-based Wheeler and Associates, was the main U.S. promoter for what would have been the first professional boxing bout in China.

Li Wei, vice president of the organizing committee for Xinghua, cited the financial scandal as one of the reasons for postponing the fight, Xinhua reported. It gave no details of the financial disputes.

Li said the main reason for the postponement was that Barkley had severe tendinitis in his left elbow and was unable to spar for six weeks.

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