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Weaver Still Has What It Takes, Wins by Knockout

February 01, 1989|STEVE SPRINGER | Times Staff Writer

Cus D'Amato, mentor of Mike Tyson, died before his fighter became heavyweight champion. But he left Tyson with some advice: Don't ever fight Mike Weaver.

At least that's the story Weaver, a former World Boxing Assn. heavyweight champion, tells when people ask why he is making a comeback at 37 with the hope of eventually facing Tyson.

One thing is certain. If D'Amato had been at the Reseda Country Club Tuesday night, he would have had the same advice for Bobby Crabtree.

Crabtree, a 208-pounder from Fort Smith, Ark., was Weaver's opponent in Weaver's first appearance in the ring since last April.

It was a brief appearance. Weaver knocked Crabtree out at 2:58 of the third round of Tuesday's scheduled 10-round main event.

Weaver first hurt Crabtree (36-16-2, 28 knockouts) with a body blow off the left hand, then followed with a flurry that caused Crabtree to crumple to the canvas.

Crabtree tried to stumble to his feet, but he fell partly through the ropes. He did manage to finally get to his feet, but, by that point, his manager, Beau Williford, signaled to referee Rudy Jordan that Crabtree had had enough.

Crabtree has been in the ring with another heavyweight of note, former champion George Foreman. Crabtree lasted seven rounds with Foreman in 1987, the longest of anyone during Foreman's comeback.

"Weaver showed me some punching power tonight," Crabtree said, "but not as much as Foreman. Ain't nobody hits like that old man."

Weaver, a Diamond Bar resident, plans to continue his comeback with a fight a month if possible.

"If Foreman can do it at 41," Weaver said, "I can do it at 37."

Weaver, who weighed 218, improved his record to 43-13 with 36 knockouts.

The sellout crowd of around 900 saw what was billed as a first--four brothers on the same card. Mike was joined by the Weaver triplets. Middleweight Lloyd and junior middleweight Floyd were both winners. The only loser in the family Tuesday was super middleweight Troy.

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