By Dylan Butler
After two canceled bouts against John Sargeant, Queens boxer Monte Barrett will finally return to the ring. The 30-year-old from South Jamaica is slated to face heavyweight contender Robert Davis in the main event of an all-heavyweight card at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nev. Sept. 28.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Barrett, who is ranked 11th in the world by the International Boxing Federation and 18th by the World Boxing Council. “I’ve been training hard.”
Barrett (25-2, 15 KOs), who hasn’t fought since June 8, when he won a split decision over former heavyweight champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, left Queens last Thursday to continue his training in Las Vegas.
After the Witherspoon fight, Barrett was scheduled to headline a card at the Roseland Ballroom in midtown Manhattan July 26, but because of a low blood platelet count — a genetic condition Barrett said the New York State Athletic Commission had prior knowledge of — he was not cleared to fight.
Barrett said the commission had a letter from his doctor dated 1996 explaining while he has a low blood platelet count — his platelets are larger than average. But when the commission requested a new letter, Barrett could not get one from his doctor in time to save the fight.
Barrett was suppose to take on Sargeant again Aug. 24 at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. but because of a venue conflict, the fight was once again canceled.
“We’re going out there to make a statement,” said Barrett’s manager Nick Garone of Excel Sports. “Witherspoon was a good win, but Monte didn’t look as good as he could look. We’re ready to take care of business and hopefully in 2002 be in line to get a bigger fight.”
Barrett and Davis have a lot in common. Both are 30-year-olds with identical 25-2 records, Barrett with more one knockout (16 KOs) than Davis. They also share a common opponent in Lance “Mount” Whitaker, who now wants to go by the moniker “GOOFi,” and is being trained by Queens native Phil Borgia, who also trained former champions Kevin Kelley and Regilio Tuur. While Barrett lost a tough 12-round split decision Aug. 28, 1999, Davis, a former NABF heavyweight champion, was knocked out in the second round by Whitaker Oct. 7, 2000.
Barrett also said they met as amateurs with Barrett, a two-time Golden Gloves champion and former all-city defensive end for the 1987 undefeated city championship John Adams football team, winning by knockout.
In other local boxing news, Whitestone heavyweight Vinny Maddalone will make a start on Wednesday, Sept. 19, on the undercard of world contender David Telesco at the Yonker’s Raceway. Maddalone was slated to fight Marvin Hill, who has since pulled out of the bout. No opponent has been named for the fight, though Maddalone is still on the card.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.