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Pettway likely faces Vaden next


NEW YORK -- After his sixth-round knockout of Simon Brown at the USAir Arena in April, International Boxing Federation junior middleweight champion Vincent Pettway of Baltimore has become a star in promoter Don King's boxing orbit.

King announced plans yesterday to match Pettway against unbeaten Paul Vaden (27-0, 11 KOs) of San Diego at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Aug. 12. That is a week before the same hotel will host former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson's comeback bout against Peter McNeeley.

Middleweight champion Julian Jackson and cruiserweight king Orlin Norris are also expected to appear on the Aug. 12 card scheduled for Showtime's cable TV audience.

"We're still working out final details with King," said Dennis Finfrock, MGM's vice president of special events. "We have some concerns. I know we can't get the same customers for both shows. It's just too long a time frame."

The MGM Grand is a welcome site for Pettway, who won the 154-pound title in the hotel's 16,000-seat arena in September 1994 by knocking out Italy's Gianfranco Rosi in the fourth round.

Pettway, 29, gained national recognition by stopping Brown, but Vaden, ranked No. 2 by the IBF, is still relatively unknown.

An unorthodox boxer, Vaden has made several cable television appearances in the past year. Last month, he won a 10-round decision over previously unbeaten Rueben Bell of Washington.

"I don't have to see Vaden fight," said Mack Lewis, Pettway's trainer/manager. "I know what Pettway can do. And right now, I bTC believe he can beat any junior middleweight in the world, including Terry Norris. I think he already faced and whipped his most dangerous foe in Brown."

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