Monday, Feb. 10, 1997 | 11:59 a.m.
FORT WORTH -- Former two-time world champion Donald Curry says he is returning to boxing because he loves the sport, but mostly he could use the money.
"I'm broke as a joke. I need money. I owe everybody," said Curry, who is ending a 5 1/2 -year retirement after moving to Las Vegas to try to resurrect his professional career and redeem his character.
Gone is $5 million the Fort Worth native estimates he earned over 11 years.
"I made a lot of mistakes in my life and I'm paying for them," Curry is quoted as saying in Sunday editions of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "There was a whole lot of bad in me. We got to erase that."
Curry is scheduled to fight journeyman Gary Jones in a 10-round junior middleweight (154-pound) bout on Feb. 20 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Curry retired in 1991 with a 33-5 record, including 24 knockouts. Jones' record is reportedly 16-11 with three KOs.
"This comeback is about a lot of things, but the bottom line is money," said Curry, who was acquitted in January 1995 by a Detroit jury on a drug conspiracy charge. "I wouldn't do this if I didn't need the money."
Curry said paying for his legal defense destroyed him financially.
That brush with the law is not the only time Curry has faced legal problems. Last spring he served six weeks of a six-month sentence in a Dallas jail for failing to pay child support. It was after that that Curry said he seriously began to plan his comeback.
Curry reigned as the undisputed welterweight (147-pound) champion beginning in December 1985. He won the WBC super welterweight title in July 1988.
"I had to fall back in love with boxing," said Curry, who has signed a four-year contract with manager Neil Torring of Newport Beach, Calif. "I'm motivated as hell. I'm serious. I'm honest about my life and that is the way I will stay."
Torring, who said he is an independent financial planner dealing insurance, has provided Curry with an apartment and a leased car and the freedom to return to boxing full-bore as a world champion.
"I think Donald totally understands this will be his last chance," Torring said. "He has to do it now."
Curry said he ultimately hopes to return to the 147-pound ranks for a title fight against unbeaten Oscar De La Hoya.
"However good I was, I'm better," he said. "I'm going to shock the world."