Harold Weston, a former welterweight contender who served as a matchmaker for both Madison Square Garden and Don King, is the latest promoter to test the Baltimore-Washington fight market.
Weston, who lost titles in the late 1970s against both Jose "Pipino" Cuevas and Wilfred Benitez, will work in cooperation with local promoter Stuart Satosky in staging the Feb. 5 card at the Pikesville Armory.
The ESPN2 show will match Washington junior middleweights Andrew Council and Michael Ward, with Maryland junior welterweight contender Reggie Green defending his North American Boxing Federation belt against Jesus Rodriguez, of Mexico.
"There are a lot of outstanding fighters in Baltimore and Washington, and I see it as an untapped market," said Weston, who could promote as many as 20 fights in this area in 1999.
He has television ties to both the Sky Network in England, the USSB Satellite Network and also is working on closing a 12-show deal with Home Team Sports.
"I don't believe in knocking local promoters out of business," said Weston. "That's why I plan to continue to work with Satosky in Baltimore and Tony Cole in Washington. They know the territory."
Weston has a working agreement with Ward (24-3), a one-time protege of Sugar Ray Leonard, and hopes to form promotional ties with other area fighters. He also has a partnership with Las Vegas Promotions, a group that controls a large stable of boxers in the southwest and Mexico.
"I'm from the old school," Weston said. "I want to find out if a guy can fight. I won't coddle them or build their record against tomato cans."
Joppy on the mend
World Boxing Association middleweight champion William Joppy, who suffered neck and facial injuries in an auto accident, Jan. 19, showed he was making a rapid recovery by attending a news conference at the ESPN Zone Wednesday.
Wearing only a light neck brace, Joppy, who had been scheduled to defend his title against mandatory challenger Darren Obah, of Australia, in Washington on Feb. 6, said he is already doing roadwork. Doctors predict he will be able to resume training in two months.
"This is just a short rest period for me," he said. "I'll come back better and stronger than ever."
Pub Date: 1/29/99