If you thought last Friday night was a show, "you ain't seen nothingyet," boxing fans.
Halsey Field House is the site of the U.S. Naval Academy Brigade Boxing Championships tonight at 7:30, and you can't beat it for entertainment and price. It doesn't cost a penny.
"Best show in town," said Dr. Thomas Florestano, president of Anne Arundel Community College, who was among the VIPs at last week's semifinals.
Also among the nearly 1,500 who jammed into the cozy arena last Friday was the academy superintendent, Rear Adm. Thomas C. Lynch.
Lynch graduated from the academy in 1964 after winning brigade boxing championships his sophomore and junior years. He thoroughly enjoyed the semis, and tonight's finals -- featuring last week's winners -- should be just as exciting.
Three familiar county names -- Mike Huber, Dan Holsberg and Tom Shanley -- are among tonight's contestants.
The winners advance to the Eastern Collegiate Boxing Association Regional on March 20-21 at a site to be determined. Who it will be is anybody's guess in most of tonight's 11 championship bouts.
Navy head coach Jim McNally and assistants Ron Stutzman and Lt. Dennis Hasson aren't even sure. The field is that competitive for the scheduled three-rounders, which last two minutes each.
Marvin Reed, a polished senior and two-time brigade champion, ranks as the only "lock." Of course, anything can happen, and Reed's opponent, Chris Browning, hopes the unlikely does occur when he jumps into the ring to duke it out for the 165-pound title.
In the 165 semis, Reed literally chased former Navy running back Vinny Smith all over the ring in taking a unanimous decision.
Talk about a relentless chase, that wasReed stalking Smith. Finally, in the final round, Reed landed a lightning-like combo that had Smith reeling. Smith took a standing eight count before the bell saved him.
Browning, a sophomore, took a surprising split decision over freshman Ibrahim "The Nigerian Nightmare"Shehu in the other 165-pound bout.
The announcement of a split decision in Browning's favor resulted in a chorus of boos, but Browning's knockdown of Shehu in the final round may have swayed the judges.
To upset Reed, Browning will have to do his best to stay clear of the Bronx bomber. Even with his speed and quickness, Smith was unableto do that.
The Reed-Browning bout will be the seventh on the card. The night starts off with a 119 bout between junior Kirk Loftus and sophomore Chad Burke. Those two were unopposed last week and advanced by virtue of "walkovers."
A pair of freshmen in Eric Stenzel and left-hander Don Savage will go toe-to-toe for the 125-pound crown. Stenzel came out firing in the first round and went on to take a 2-1 decision over Peter Jensen in the semis.
Savage, an Ocean City native, was impressive with his southpaw reach in taking a unanimous decision over Fritz Nauck.
If the crowd isn't into the Brigade finalsafter the Stenzel-Savage bout, it most certainly will be by the start of the 132-pounder. Sophomore Shane Voudren is defending champion and has quite a following from his Company 14.
A banner reading, "Voo Doo Will Rock You" was waving at the top of the stands last Fridaynight, as Voudren scored repeatedly on junior Mike Cho to take a unanimous decision.
Craig Rogerson took the other 132-pounder, also by unanimous decision, over fellow senior Tony Fabiano, but now faces the curse of the "Voo Doo." It's a curse that got Voudren himself last year when the boxer won the regional, but broke his hand and couldn't box in the national tournament.
At 139 pounds, South River High's Mike Huber will meet Roy "Wicket" Pickett. Huber, a former Seahawkhoopster, is a junior, while his foe is a freshman.
Both won by "referee stops contest" (RSC) decisions, which is your basic TKO. Thisshould be a good one.
Senior Mark Sexton had the night off last week by virtue of a walkover in the 147-pound class, but he should be busy tonight with sophomore Matt Watt. The latter took a 2-1 decisionover senior Lou Palazzo, who many thought won the fight.
Another local, Broadneck's Dan Holsberg, will go after the 156-pound title against Mike Schoffman in a battle of seniors. Holsberg was impressive in the semis, knocking out junior Scott Kraft in the second round.
Schoffman didn't KO Jeff Morosetti in the other semi, but he had hissophomore foe take an eight count in the last round and won by unanimous decision.
Reed and Browning follow, then it's on to the heavier weights with Clint Chlebowski, who was held out last year with a hand injury, vying for the 172-pound title against fellow junior Troy Turner.
Chlebowski is anxious after winning a brigade title as a freshman and missing out last year. He survived a 2-1 decision over a game Chandler Comerford in the semis, while Turner advanced by walkover.
At 180 pounds, lanky senior Dirk Cooper, last year's 165-poundchamp when Reed moved up to 172, will strap on the leather vs. junior Andy Bartle. Cooper won over sophomore Doug Wahl by RSC in the first round.