Ken knows how to fuel a rivalry

MURRAY GREIG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

Don't hold your breath waiting for an all-Edmonton heavyweight showdown between Tye Fields and Sheldon Hinton.

Hinton's Oct. 16 KO of German champ Andreas Sidon sent some shockwaves through Canadian boxing, but the newly crowned World Boxing Board titleholder won't be squaring off with Fields any time soon.

"I think it's definitely a fight that could happen down the road and I think it would be big ... but it needs time to build," said two-time Canadian heavyweight champ Ken Lakusta, who trains and promotes Fields.

"That was a real good win for Sheldon, but I'd like to see him have another three or four just like it before getting in there with Tye."

Lakusta is no novice when it comes to promoting a local rivalry into a national event.

After winning the Canadian title for the first time on Jan. 30, 1986, he waited five months before accepting a challenge from Grande Prairie's Willie de Wit.

By the time they met in June, the bad blood stirred up by Lakusta's non-stop baiting resulted in 15,000 spectators jamming Northlands Coliseum (now Rexall Place) and setting the all-time gate record for a Canadian title bout.

"It's been a long time since there was a real heavyweight rivalry in Edmonton; you'd probably have to go all the way back to me and Willie," said Lakusta.

"Both our fights (rematch in '87) showed how much interest can be generated by two guys when they each have their own fan base. I think the same thing could happen for Tye and Sheldon, but that kind of interest doesn't happen overnight."

A more plausible option for Hinton is to challenge current Canadian champ Greg Kielsa (10-0, 5 KOs) of Toronto.

The six-foot-four, 240-pound Kielsa is now being trained by 1988 Olympic silver medallist Egerton Marcus, who last week referred to the ranked Canadian contenders as "minnows."

"It's time to look beyond Canada for opponents for Greg, because there are no real challenges for him here," said Marcus.

"If he really wants to advance himself, he has to set his sights on some real opposition, not the minnows here in Canada."

QUICK JABS: No. 2-ranked Canadian junior middleweight Anthony Lessard of Edmonton was originally slated to be on the Oct. 30 undercard, but Lakusta said Lessard's bout was chopped because of "philosophical differences" with the fighter.


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