It took Annapolis middleweight Boyor "Sugar Boy" Chew nearly five years to return to the ring.
In 12 minutes, he was back at the drawing board.
Chew's future plans of advancing to a six-round fight were put onhold by Laurel's Aaron Thompson, who scored a four-round majority decision Wednesday night at La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie.
Both fighters were making their pro debuts. But only Chew, 28, truly looked inexperienced, despite 45 amateur bouts.
He also appeared fatigued, especially in the last two rounds, when he mostly pawed at Thompson, 25, with his left jab. He was warned for holding twice in the last round.
"The first two rounds, my legs felt good, I was moving good, I was sticking to the game plan of my cornermen. But the third and fourth rounds, man, my legs started getting tired," he said.
"Thisisn't an excuse, but (Tuesday) night, about 10 p.m., I was like 171 pounds. I ran twice that night, which was nine miles. When I woke up (Wednesday) morning, I weighed 161."
Needing to get his weight between 164 and 166 pounds, Chew admitted he "over-did it."
"I was too drained," he said. "I didn't eat for two days, I didn't drink any water."
And once in the ring, he didn't throw enough punches to winthe fight.
One judge scored the bout even, while the other two had Thompson ahead, 40-36 and 39-38.
"It comes down to a judgment call, who's counting punches," said Willie Zeigler of Annapolis, one ofChew's cornermen. "We think it was a draw, but we cannot make excuses."
George Pindell, a promising Annapolis junior welterweight who sparred with Chew, said the fighter "looked good, but when he had theguy hurt, he ran. He lost his composure, instead of staying calm andtaking the guy out.
"The potential's there, he just has to keep his composure during the bout, keep his mind focused on the fight itself and what he has to do to win."
Chew was relatively calm at the start of his post-fight talk, accepting the defeat as part of the learning process. But as time went on, and he replayed the bout in his mind, he grew more irritated.
"I've got to win here to move ahead. I can't just jump up (to a six-rounder). I ain't getting my a-- kicked in every bout," he said.
"After a 10-pound loss, (Thompson) couldn't even take me down. If he's got any real guts, he'll give me a rematch."
With that, Chew headed for his opponent's dressing room todo a little promoting of his own. But Thompson already had agreed toa rematch.
Charlie Hollaway, Chew's trainer, said, "With all the work he did down at the gym, he should have gone through this guy like a buzz saw."
Chew's best punch of the fight came in the first round, when he nailed Thompson with a right to the head.
Wearing dark blue trunks and a look of supreme confidence, Chew was off to a marvelous start. But by the third round, his inactivity had a couple of ringside observers shouting, "You're blowing it, Sugar, you're blowing it."
Chew caught a right to the face in the third round, which spun him to a corner, and another right to the head in the fourth.
"Plus, he butted me in my mouth. That one hurt more than the punches," he said. "I was like, 'Keep you head out of my face.' But he kept coming up -- BAM."
The most devastating blow was to Chew's ego, butas he later said, "I don't think I did that bad for as long as I've been out of the ring."
The night's second bout was the quickest, with Baltimore light-heavyweight Cecil Sims stopping Wayne McClanan ofVirginia Beach, Va., in 55 seconds of the first round.
Sims (5-4), who works as a cook at Dino's Restaurant, landed what referee Karl Milligan later said were "17 or 18 unanswered blows" to a crouching McClanan (10-11-1). Though McClanan covered effectively and absorbed most of the punches on his arms, Milligan still stopped the fight.
Sims naturally agreed with the referee's decision, saying, "Boxing isdangerous, and he wasn't throwing any punches back. I don't know what his plan was, but he wasn't throwing any punches."
Two other bouts, involving welterweights Chris Lucas of Rockville and Ray Goddard of Washington, and heavyweights Joe Hamilton of Baltimore and Tom Smith of Sarasota, Fla., ended in a draw.
Welterweight Horace Waterson of Rockville won a four-round split-decision over Robert Taylor of Baltimore, and middleweight Gerry Walker of Baltimore took a split decision over Rodney Byrd of Washington.
In the main event, welterweight Eddie "Speedy" Van Kirk of Baltimore struggled to a unanimous decision over unheralded Anthony "Doc" Ross of Alexandria, Va., in an eight-round bout.
One judge had Van Kirk winning, 80-72, but closerreadings came from the other two at 78-75 and 77-75.