Boxers, historically, learned their craft in their home areas, perhaps were helped along the way by a home town decision or two, and if all went well they wound up fighting in Madison Square Garden.
Light-heavyweight Andrew Maynard, who fights Robert Curry in the 10-round main bout of the Painters Mill card next Thursday, has done the reverse in his successful career.
Maynard, who is from Laurel, began by winning an Olympic gold medal in Korea in 1988. Since then he has fought all 14 of his pro bouts in Atlantic City or Las Vegas, which are the Madison Square Gardens of the current day.
The fight here next week will be Maynard's first in Maryland.
"I don't care where Andrew has been fighting," says the show's promoter, Stu Satosky. "All I know is he has developed into a real good young fighter [13-1, 9 KO's]. He's the North American Boxing Federation champion and in the near future I expect him to be fighting for the world championship.
"It'll be good," says Maynard, who is ranked No. 10 in the world, "to be fighting near home for a change."
Veteran Baltimore fight manager and gym operator Mack Lewis is the co-manager of Willie Galliwango, who will fight an eight-rounder at Painters Mill against Mark Buchanon, from Norfolk, Va. Lewis reports that his fabled gym off Broadway in East Baltimore is still a busy place.
"We have 15 fighters working out there," Mack says. "They range in age from 12 to George Chaplin, who's 38. He works out every night."
Little known even to those of us who have known Mack Lewis for years is that Reggie Lewis, of the Boston Celtics, is his nephew. Reggie, who has become the most successful of all the members of the national champion Dunbar High team of the early '80s, lives in Boston but has just bought a house near Pikesville.
* There's no doubt that Hall of Famer Jim Palmer looks as if he could still pitch, even at 45. There's no doubt he has the necessary knowledge and experience. But how could it be possible that he can pitch now but couldn't when the Orioles let him go in May of 1984?
Simple, explains Palmer. His shoulder hurt then. It doesn't now. That's what you call a slow healer.
* Baltimorean Tom Murray, an Oriole season ticket holder, has two concerns about the new ballpark in Camden Yards after driving by the place. Both concerns are so elemental you wonder if planners have thought of them. One, a foul ball that comes out into Russell Street will cause havoc in traffic. The other: "The place is built so close to the street that I'm afraid somebody is going to drive his car into the stadium."
* There are lots of outstanding basketball players in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The best all-around player in the ACC, as he showed once more at Maryland Wednesday night, is Virginia's Bryant Stith.
* Changing the site or date of a major football game because of a war emergency, such as the upcoming Super Bowl vis-a-vis the war in the Gulf, is nothing new. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the Rose Bowl -- which was the Super Bowl of its time, since the NFL wasn't such a big deal in those days -- was moved from Pasadena, Calif., to Durham, N.C., on Jan. 1, 1942. Oregon State beat host Duke, 20-16. The field judge in the officiating crew was Paul Menton, late sports editor of this newspaper.
* Although the world remembers that the NFL played as usual on the Sunday after the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 (ex-commissioner Pete Rozelle admits now he should have called off the games), not all the college games were played that weekend. Dutch Eyth, athletic director emeritus at McDonogh School, was involved in one that wasn't.
"I was in Pittsburgh with [Baltimorean] Lou Koerber to officiate the Pitt-Penn State game," Eyth recalled yesterday. "At 11 o'clock Friday night they announced that the game was called off. The next morning Lou and I went back to Baltimore."
Dutch still remembers that they were paid their fees anyway.