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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Spotlight

Hold Your Drooling

A look at the day that was and at what lies ahead at the Summer Games

August 03, 1996|TIM KAWAKAMI

Presumably right in line with these cash-and-carry Olympics, professional promoters, trainers and managers have been given full access and are swarming the floor of Alexander Memorial Coliseum to hug, mingle with and otherwise try to lure high-profile boxers to their stables.

The money people have included promoters Bob Arum and Dino Duva, managers Shelly Finkel and Jackie Kallen, and trainer Lou Duva, who punctuated Tongan Paea Wolfgram's momentous victory over Cuban Alexis Rubalcaba with a gigantic hug as Wolfgram left the ring.

American featherweight Floyd Mayweather is considered the prime catch among Americans, even with his loss Friday, and he has been linked to both Arum and the Duvas, who are also battling for light-middleweight David Reid.

Heavyweight Nate Jones has been spending a lot of time with Kallen, who used to represent James Toney. And Finkel has ties to Oxnard welterweight Fernando Vargas and bantamweight Zahir Raheem.

But the real positioning is over Rubalcaba, whom both Arum and Duva believe is considering defecting, although the 23-year-old super-heavyweight has told friends that he isn't.

"That kid could be worth more than the rest of them combined," said one hyperventilating pro scout.

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