Chew faces Griffin

SLUGGING IT OUT IN GLEN BURNIE

August 28, 1992|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

His dream of becoming a world champion vanished long ago, probably minutes after his first professional fight. But Boyor Chew doesn't see himself leaving the sport of boxing, even after he unlaces the gloves for the last time.

And that shouldn't be much longer.

"I give it maybe a couple more years and I'll probably retire," said Chew, a super middleweight from Annapolis who lists his age as 25 and his nickname as "Sugar Boy."

"I want to be a judge and a referee. Somehow, I'll stay in the game."

He may have a more secure future as a fight promoter. He's done wonders to hype his bout against Pumphrey's Tyrone Griffin, part of the Round One Promotions dinner/boxing show Sept. 17 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.

Chew will bring a 2-2 record into the ring against Griffin, whose 1-6 mark and five-fight losing streak has made him the target of a verbal assault.

"People like Tyrone Griffin, they really shouldn't even be around no more," Chew said last week at the Harding/Lowry gymnasium in Pasadena, where he does most of his training and talking.

"Any man at that age [25] and as strong as he is, and don't execute like he's supposed to, and is 1-6, he should think about quitting, too. Wouldn't you think so?"

Chew flashes a grin, obviously pleased with his latest jab.

It apparently landed.

"Whatever he does, I can match it," Griffin said, before shadow boxing in front of a mirror at the Crofton Boxing Center Tuesday night.

"All he has to do is show up. If he shows up, he's doing me a big favor."

Griffin may have his losing streak -- the result of some poor work habits and last-minute fights against better opponents -- but Chew has come under close scrutiny, as well.

In his last bout against Larry Keys on Feb. 6 at La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie, Chew went down in the second round after a

shot to the midsection. He couldn't continue, and Key won in his professional debut.

"I didn't know going into the fight that I had kidney stones," Chew said.

"When he hit me on my hip, it erupted my kidney and that's when I found out I had the stones. The fight was on a Thursday, and by Saturday I was urinating blood."

He had a brief stay in the hospital -- "I wore the wrist band for a week to prove it," he said, laughing -- but that didn't stop some boxing observers from questioning the severity of the injury. Or from wondering aloud about Chew's desire.

"Someone hits him in the stomach and he quits, right in the middle of the ring," Griffin said.

Griffin was on the same February card. He took a thumb to the eye in the first round and went on to lose a four-round unanimous decision against Joe Blyther.

Chew had gained his first pro victory against Blyther in November 1991 at Michael's Eighth Avenue. The previous month, he lost a four-round majority decision to Aaron Thompson in his debut at La Fontaine Bleu.

In that fight, Chew blamed his fatigue in the last two rounds on having dropped 10 pounds shortly before the fight.

"I just don't want no excuses, all that talking he's been doing," Griffin said.

It was something Chew heard that riled the fighter and set the tone for this match.

Chew claims the Maryland State Athletic Commission had threatened to take away Griffin's boxing license because of the succession of defeats -- a rumor that proved false -- and that Griffin only accepted this fight because he needed a sure victory.

"The only thing I feel is he disrespected me when he felt like they were going to take his license, so he felt like he wanted to fight me," Chew said. "That's saying, 'Well, I know I can't lose against him.' That was the only way he offended me."

On the accusation that he was close to losing his license, Griffin said, "There ain't no such thing. He's just making jokes."

Neither fighter is having a problem making weight. If anything, Griffin could afford to put on a few extra pounds. He tipped the scales at 161 pounds last week, compared to Chew's 170.

"He probably needs more weight on him than anything to keep up with that mouth of his," Griffin said.

Larry Lowry, Griffin's manager, sees the bout as "a good fight for both of them. Tyrone's the

kind of guy that, if he's dedicating himself, he'll go in that ring and win," he said. "If he's running every day and doing what he's supposed to do, he'll beat Chew."

Griffin has been training with Jeff Novotny, owner of the Crofton Boxing Center, for the last two months. Novotny says his fighter is in "the best shape he's ever been in.

"This is the first time I've seen him put forth the discipline and effort into boxing, as far as making sure he's in the gym and doing things right, paying attention, working on a game plan," Novotny said.

"I think Chew should be worried about how confident Tyrone is. Tyrone's more worried about Chew showing up."

The same talk of proper conditioning and mind-set can be heard over in Pasadena.

"I think Sugar Boy's got his head into it right now," said Charlie Hollaway, Chew's co-trainer and manager. "In the gym, he's a world-beater, but out there, it seems like he loses it. Now, he's got his mind to where he's going to do his thing this time."

Griffin's camp wonders about Chew's strategy once inside the ring. Will he run, or will he stand toe-to-toe and slug it out with his lighter, but more muscular foe?

"If he boxes Tyrone, he's going to get out-boxed, and if he comes to fight Tyrone, he's going to look like a bird in a hail storm," Novotny said.

NTC Griffin said, "Soon as he gets in there, he's probably going to try to run. I'll just cut the ring right off and take him out."

The war of words should continue until the opening bell. And it may not stop then.

"I'm going to give him a boxing lesson he'll never forget," Chew said. "I'm going to fight him like he smacked my mother or sister."

Again, he grins. Another jab has landed.

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