Remember the fable Androcles and the Lion? They staged the sequel last night at Painters Mill: Andrew and the Octopus.
It was supposed to be boxing, but there wasn't a whole lot of it in the main event as former Olympic light-heavyweight champion Andrew Maynard was pounding Robert Curry into submission.
After five knockdowns in five rounds, referee Ray Klingmeyer had seen enough, so he called a halt. "Can you believe it? His man was down five times, he hadn't won a round, and the manager wants to know why I stopped it," the ref said afterward.
Pretty it wasn't mainly because of Curry's style: lunging, rolling, bending over, grabbing and, every so often, punching. "I don't know where he comes from," said a frustrated Maynard, "but he had some crazy slips I had never seen before."
The 1988 Olympic champ from Laurel, whose record improved to 14-1 with 11 KOs, landed punches at will. But singly. "I'd try to get a combination going, but after the first one he'd grab onto me. That's what was frustrating me," he said.
Curry (23-14), billed as the West Virginia 175-pound champion, was expert when it came to survival. His style, however, is to upset his opponent with a series of unorthodox shenanigans, then take advantage in the late going.
Maynard saw to it there was no late going by putting together a series of left hooks to the head to put Curry down for the last time.
A turnout of about 1,800 will attest to the fact that the best fight of the night occurred in the co-feature when junior-middleweight Mark Buchanon of Norfolk, Va., handed Willie Galliwango of Baltimore his first pro loss.
The fight was stopped at 2:56 of the seventh round after Galliwango had been flattened for the second time in the heat. The setback did not sit well with trainer/manager Ray Brown, who praised Buchanon before lighting into his fighter.
"Modern-day fighter," Brown said of Galliwango, who is ranked No. 4 among welterweights by the International Boxing Federation. "He's doing what he wants to do, running, working out. He's doing my job. Think he forgot how he got to be 14-0."
"I watched four tapes of him," said Buchanon, who registered his ninth knockout while improving to 11-2. "I knew what to do against him. He knew how I fight, but he fought the same way he always does. I was sure I was going to win."
Every time Galliwango threw a right hand, his left would drop, and there would be Buchanon's right counter bouncing off his jaw.
"Better man won," Brown said. "Maybe we needed this."