by Pedro Fernandez

Main Events promoter Dino Duva confirmed Sunday night that WBA welterweight champion Ike Quartey does have Malaria. The story that Ike had tested positive in his native Ghana this week was yet another exclusive for

While appearing on Ring Talk, a syndicated talk show on boxing, Duva said this when the Malaria question was thrown his way. "There was some traces of Malaria in a blood test he took on Tuesday. It's possible that he was born with it. It can surface by way of a respiratory virus.

"The doctors have this under control. I'm told Ike can begin to train again in two weeks." Duva said plans were going full steam ahead with his November 14, unification match between Quartey and his equally unbeaten IBF counterpart Felix Trinidad.

"The fight is a go. Don King's contract with Tito expired on June 11. That's it. We expect Trinidad to win in court. The two year clause King has been talking about only applied if Tito had won another title. He didn't."

When I asked Lou Duva's youngest son if Main Events had committed "Torturous Interference" by negotiating with Felix before his contract with King had expired, he replied.

"No. Felix Trinidad was a free agent. He was shopping himself around to all the major promoters. We were fortunate enough to sign him."

I then asked him if the fact that Oscar De La Hoya issued a challenge to both Quartey and Trinidad, after they had signed a contract to fight eachother, if he thought that was suspicious?

"Yeah, it it is a little suspicious. But I hear Oscar is tired of all the criticism he's getting for the guys he's fighting. And that he's now telling his promoter Bob Arum that he wants the big fights.

Oscar's next three foes are supposed to be Oba Carr, Yory Boy Campas, and Frankie Randall. Felix knocked out Carr and Yory Boy four years ago. And now Oscar is fighting them. That stinks.

"I agree. I look at the welterweights right now as boxing's most talented division. Besides, Quartey, Trinidad, and De La Hoya, there's the dark horse of the bunch Jose Luis Lopez. He destroyed Yory Boy in two rounds!

"Hey, and if for some reason we can't do Trinidad-Quartey, we'll see how real legitimate that challenge from Oscar was."

Duva then unveiled his 147 lb plan. "I want to make Trinidad-Quartey in November. Then in February, I'd like to match the winner with Pernell Whitaker. Pedro, I know he's had some problems in the last year, but he deserves another shot at Oscar. And if he can beat the winner, he gets it."

"The winner of that match would then meet Oscar in May or June. If Oscar is willing to step up" Responding to another question, Duva rolled on. "Yes, Arturo Gatti is ready for Ivan Robinson this Saturday night on HBO's Boxing After Dark.

"We're excited about that. But we're equally enthused about the co-feature that has Fernando Vargas in action. Fernando is one of the hottest fighters in the game today.

"I think he's moving along at a good pace. As for an eventual fight with De La Hoya, that's a good possibility. I don't know if Fernando loathes Oscar, but I know he wants to fight him. Right now, it's one step at a time for Fernando with the short term goal being (IBF champ) Yory Boy Campas."

In closing, I asked Duva about the heavyweight fight most people want to see, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. Will it happen? "There are certain people who don't want it to happen. Don King for one."

Pedro Fernandez

The writer has his own web site at and can be reached at

Note: If you are a "real" boxing fan and you missed Ring Talk, which airs Saturday and Sunday on the Talk America Radio Network(s) at 11:06 PM ET with LIVE Internet audio at you might want to consult a pugilistic analyst.

The guests you missed out on were IBF and world flyweight champion Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson announced his September 4, fight on ESPN. Undefeated prospects and former amateur stars Willie Jorrin, and Travis Simms, both in action this week. And in the second hour of the two hour Saturday show, unbeaten #1 ranked IBF 154 lb. contender Fernando Vargas took phone calls and answered e mail.

On the one hour Sunday edition of Ring Talk which airs on Talk America "2" aka "The Deuce" Ring Talk talked with promoters Dino Duva of Main Events, and Dan Goossen of AMERICA PRESENTS.

There is a difference between Talk "1" and Talk "2. " Both networks have LIVE Internet audio available at

Join the fastest growing group on the radio airwaves and in cyberspace. I'm talking about the Ring Talk family of listeners. Ring Talk, the "insider's look into the world of boxing" is now in it's 12th year! Where have you been?

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