Baltimore welterweight Eddie Van Kirk is his own worst critic.
After fighting an eight-round draw with Henry Hughes of Cleveland, the inaugural boxing show at Michael's in Glen DTC Burnie, Van Kirk said: "I thought I stunk tonight. If I hadn't trained so hard and been in such good condition, after a performance like this I would have said, 'Give it up. Quit!' "
But Van Kirk (23-7-2), who has not looked impressive since being stopped by world-ranked Vincent Pettway in April, still harbors title ambitions.
By February he hopes to challenge Tommy Small of West Virginia for the World Boxing Federation welterweight crown, the latest of professional boxing's sanctioning groups.
Neither fighter landed many clean punches during the fight, and neither was in serious trouble. When the final bell rang, there was only silence from the estimated crowd of 550.
Hughes (12-3-1), who has fought only twice in the past three years because of two rotator cuff injuries, said he felt cheated.
Judge Terry Moore favored the Cleveland boxer, 77-76. Fellow judges Larry Barrett and Milton Green both called it a 77-77 draw.
"I thought I won, but you can't expect much help fighting in the other guy's hometown," said Hughes, who suffered a deep gash across the bridge of his nose as a result of a first-round collision of heads.
"I wanted to box and move and beat him with my jab," said Hughes, "but after I got cut, I had to go to his strength and fight him inside."
Van Kirk, 29, who was cut over the left eye in the fourth round, forced the action throughout.
"I trained for this fight with [preliminary boxer] Mark Padelletti," said Van Kirk. "He's a stand-up fighter, and that made me one dimensional. Hughes showed me a lot of movement, and it threw my timing off. Hey, I've got to get better or it's not worth fighting anymore."
Rockville welterweight Horace Waterson (3-4-1) fought a rematch with Robert Taylor of Baltimore in the opening four-rounder. Waterson, who won the first bout on a split decision, had to settle for a draw this time.
Annapolis middleweight Boyor "Sugar Boy" Chew (1-1) won a rough-and-tumble four-round bout with Joe Blyther of Laurel, spoiling Blyther's pro debut.
Padelletti, a Baltimore welterweight with a 3-1-1 record, scored the heavier punches to gain a four-round split decision over John Stewart (2-7) of Washington. Padelletti injured his right shoulder in the first round.
Somehow, Stewart was allowed to fight although he was stopped two weeks ago by James Furr on the under card of the Riddick Bowe-Elijah Tillery heavyweight bout in Washington.
Rockville welterweight Chris Lucas (3-6-3) gave away 10 pounds to Lorenzo Whitehead of Oxon Hill, but won on a second-round disqualification after referee Frank Kelly charged Whitehead twice for holding Lucas around the ankle. Whitehead (0-4-1) had dominated the first round.
In a strange twist, middleweight David Woods of Stafford, Va., pulled out of his his four-round fight with Mike Duncan of Washington after twisting his ankle shadow-boxing in his dressing room.