You Have To Fight To Pull Together A Good Boxing Card


May 12, 1991|By Pat O'Malley

Trying to put together an exciting night of boxing entertainment that would pack the house and satisfy the fans is no easy task.

Just ask local promoter Josh Hall of Point Pleasant.

Despite not getting full cooperation from his supposed partners for Wednesday night's dinner and boxing show at La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie, Hall has put together 38 rounds of boxing with an added treat down for the eight count at the moment.

Hall and his wife, promoter Victoria Savaliski, and their Round One Promotions have five six-round bouts, highlighted by the return of Annapolis native George Pindell in a junior welterweight scrap with Elwyn Kemp of D.C., and two four-rounders.

The maximum number of rounds permitted by the Maryland State Boxing Commission is 40.

If everything comes off as expected (as of Friday afternoon all fights were go), this will be thebiggest card at La Fontaine Bleu since the popular dinner and boxingshows began in August 1987.

To say boxing fans will get their money's worth ($35 ringside and $30 near ringside) Wednesday night is anunderstatement.

What is not a go is a proposed world heavyweight kick boxing title fight and promotion by Hall's partner in all this, La Fontaine Bleu.

Much to Hall's dismay, the Maryland State BoxingCommission as of Friday afternoon had nixed the full-contact karate world championship bout while La Fontaine Bleu has done very little to promote the show.

Hall can't understand why the boxing commission won't allow the kick boxing bout and why La Fontaine Bleu had not bothered until Friday afternoon to put the pertinent details on its marquee.

That's less than a week before the show as Hall hopes to hustle tickets and pack the joint.

Running a show like this is not abig money maker when you consider that the ticket prices have not gone up in more than two years while the fighters' contracts have.

Per fighter, the average four-round fight has gone up $50 to $300; a six-round up $150 to $500, and an eight-rounder up $250 to $1,000.

Main events have soared upward $500 or more.

In addition, Hall's other expenses have increased, but not the price the fan pays.

"AllI'm asking is for La Fontaine Bleu to put it up on their marquee so we can get the word out to people to let them know we've got another show," said Hall. "We're supposed to be partners in this, but they make me wonder."

It's got to be the determination that he showed in the ring some 20 years ago as a light heavyweight and eventual Maryland Hall of Famer that keeps him battling against such odds.

Formerpromoter Max Kisner knows what it feels like to knock your head against the wall while trying to get the key people to cooperate in putting on a good show for the fans.

Kisner had to pack it in about a year ago after a financial knockout, and the Hall-Savaliski duohas brought the pugilistic shows back.

This is their fourth show since last November, and one has to wonder if it is worth it.

The fans think it is because more than 800 showed up for the last show, but most people just don't realize the aggravation a local promoter goes through to put a show together.

It's amazing that Hall has been able topost 38 rounds for this one.

And he had hoped to give the fans a bonus with the kick boxing bout.

"The Maryland Boxing Commission sanctioned that kick boxing show at Crown Plaza in Rockville a couple weeks ago that Cliff (McPherson of Glen Burnie, regional champ) fought on, and Dennis Gring (assistant to Boxing Commissioner Chester O'Sullivan) told me then he didn't see any reason that I couldn't put a bout on my card," said Hall. "Dennis said he didn't have any problem with it, but (Friday) Chester told me no way."

The Rockville show was the first kick boxing event sanctioned by the state commission.

In the past, the state boxing commission has been against kick boxing and has kept various promoters from scheduling shows.

In fact, McPherson, known as "The Hammer," put on a show at the Glen Burnie Armory two years ago without the blessings of the state commission.

He hasn't been able to sanctionone since.

O'Sullivan told me at that time, "it can be very difficult to check the records and backgrounds of kick boxers, not as easy as boxers."

He was unavailable for comment Friday.

Gring, confirming that he had told Hall that he "didn't see any problem with adding the kick boxing bout" to the show, added, "but it's not my opinion that is final.

"Chester has to make that decision, and for now he's saying no, but that might change next week after we get another show we're doing after Josh's all straightened out."

Offering a ray of optimism about O'Sullivan possibly changing his mind, Gring said, "He might. There is a chance. Chester has been known to come around like that."

Gring reiterated what O'Sullivan said about checking the records of kick boxers and said, "It's new to us and right now we

have to depend on others to do the judging and refereeing, and we've got some kinks to work out."

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