Exciting boxing card promised for State Games semis

SIDELINES

July 15, 1992|By Pat O'Malley

Even the scorching heat can't keep those "Q's and A's" from rolling in.

Because you are probably inside with the air on, let me provide you with some good reading. As you read the big "Q's" and accompanying notes, feel free to give me a call on the 24-Hour Sportsline, 647-2499, with any comments, answers or "Q's" of your own.

* Did you boxing fans know that the Maryland State Games amateur boxing semifinals are going to be tomorrow night at Michael's Eighth Avenue?

Jeff Novotny, who runs the Crofton Gym, is promising an exciting card of 15 bouts. Boxers age 16 and over will compete in the novice and open divisions, with the winners advancing to the Maryland State Games finals on July 24 at the ballroom at University of Maryland Baltimore County.

The Maryland state semis gives local fans a chance to see an outstanding 165-pounder in William Joppy of Rockville. Joppy recently lost a box-off at the Olympic trials in Phoenix, Ariz.

"William is an exciting boxer and just missed making that Olympic team," said Novotny. "His trainer was a pretty good fighter himself in Sgt. Charles Mooney."

How many of you boxing experts remember Mooney who fought in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal on a USA team that included Sugar Ray Leonard?

Mooney took a silver medal in the featherweight division, and while stationed at Fort Meade in the U.S. Army, is honing the skills of Joppy these days.

"Joppy will be fun to watch, and the fans who come out will see a bunch of kids fight like heck," promised Novotny.

"The kids who will be fighting at Michael's have sacrificed a lot. They've given up their summers to work hard in the gym, and that's what it takes."

Tickets are $10 for general admission seats and $15 for ringside. For any last-minute information, you can call Novotny at 793-3816.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the semifinals to commence at 7:30 p.m.

* Have you heard that Josh Hall is planning another pro boxing and dinner show headlining Victor Davis at Michael's for Friday, Sept. 18?

Hall and his wife/promoter, Vickie Savaliski, were about 100 dinners shy of breaking even at the last show featuring the comeback of Chuck Sturm on June 25. Summer dates often are not successful financially. The Hall/Savaliski team is aware of that, but took the chance anyway.

With Sturm heading the card, Hall expected a much larger crowd than the estimated 450, but things should pick up in September. The five-bout June card was exciting, and the fans who showed up were not disappointed.

Will Sturm be on the September card?

"We offered him a fight on that card, but could not get a verbal commitment from [manager/trainer] Frank Gilbert," said Hall.

"Frank gave me the impression that he wants to take Chuck on the road to try and make more money. I think that's a mistake, because I think Chuck ought to stay local for awhile and build up his record."

It's Hall's opinion that Sturm, who is 23-3-1 after taking a unanimous eight-round decision over Tony Ruthledge of Columbus, Ohio, in their lightweight bout on June 25, could enhance his chances of a big purse title fight by ringing up an impressive record at home.

Hall pointed to how the contenders and their promoters look for boxers with great records as a means of selling tickets. You put a champ in the ring against a guy 12-35 as Ruthledge was and the fans consider it a joke.

The Ruthledge record might have turned off the local fans on Sturm's return to the ring after a near two-year layoff. It doesn't matter how good a boxer someone like Ruthledge is, a poor record is a turnoff to the fans and promoters.

Despite his brutal record, Ruthledge might have gained a draw with Sturm had the fight been elsewhere, but it was in Sturm's back yard, and that's the way it is in boxing. The hometown guy always gets the breaks.

"Chuck ought to keep fighting the local eight-rounders, build his record up and wait for a call for a title fight," said Hall, who said the door is open for the Glen Burnie boxer to return to Michael's.

Sturm's purse for his comeback was about $1,750.

* Do you think I was surprised by the number of calls I got on Monday's column on speed and its importance in athletics?

About 30 people had called by yesterday morning, requesting the list of exercise drills to improve your running form, flexibility and strength. You will be receiving the list of drills within a couple of days.

"I think there is too much emphasis on speed today, and if it was so important years ago, Cal Ripken might never have made it," said a caller to the Sportsline.

"We got to figure out how to measure the heart and mind. These scouts have got to get out there and start beating the bushes instead of using stopwatches and radar guns as weak excuses."

* While we are on the subject of baseball, are you players ages 15 to 22 ready for Friday morning's 9:30 Florida Marlins tryout camp at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans?

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