Van Kirk is suspended for year by state body Welterweight cited on 29 counts

December 23, 1992|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

In yesterday's editions of The Sun, Ronnie Smuck wa identified incorrectly as a co-promoter of an unsanctioned boxing show that had been scheduled at Tiffany East in June. John DiRossi was the sole director of the event, which was enjoined by the Maryland State Athletic Commission. Mr. DiRossi, who said the show would benefit the United Society of the Handicapped, raised $500 for Easter Seals through the advance sale of tickets for the non-sanctioned card.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Baltimore welterweight Eddie Van Kirk has been suspendefor a year by the Maryland State Athletic Commission.

Van Kirk, 30, received written notice from the commission yesterday that his boxing license had been suspended until Dec. 3, 1993, for "violating 29 separate counts of statutory and regulatory provisions."

All the charges stemmed from Van Kirk's involvement as a promoter, boxer and referee in a "bootleg" boxing show staged at Bengie's Democratic Club in Chase on Sept. 27. It was held without the proper sanction and supervision of the athletic commission, officials said.


Van Kirk has the right to appeal the decision in Baltimore Circuit Court.

Technically, he was already under suspension for engaging in a fight against Calvin Moody in Virginia Beach, Va., June 9.

The commission had placed a 60-day medical ban on Van Kirk fighting after he had sustained cuts over both eyes in his bout with Edwin Curet at the Pikesville Armory on April 15.

Maryland boxing secretary Dennis Gring informed Virginia boxing chairman Doug Beavers of the suspension before the Virginia Beach show took place. But according to Maryland Assistant Attorney General Bruce Spizler, Van Kirk "had a confederate or himself tell Beavers that the counsel for the Maryland commission had lifted the medical ban.

"Someone apparently used my name under false pretenses," Spizler said yesterday. "At no time was the ban lifted."

Beavers allowed the Van Kirk-Moody fight to take place. Before the Maryland commission could reprimand Van Kirk for that apparent violation, he appeared on a Don King promotion at the Las Vegas Hilton Aug. 1 and was stopped in four rounds by Hector Camacho.

Ultimately, he was suspended by the Maryland commission for 30 days -- Oct. 22 to Nov. 22, 1992 -- and fined $200, a sum he has yet to pay, the commission said.

A popular club fighter since 1982, Van Kirk (25-8-2) also has fought and been stopped by former junior-middleweight champion Vinny Pazienza and 154-pound title contender Vincent Pettway of Baltimore.

His latest problem with the commission began last June, when he allegedly joined Ronnie Smuck and former professional boxer Lou Barber in attempting to stage a non-sanctioned "charity" boxing show for the handicapped at Tiffany East, a catering hall on Lombard Street.

"We discerned that the only charity benefiting from the event would be Mr. Smuck, himself," said Spizler.

Van Kirk was to have fought on the show against Eddie Sauerhoff, a former preliminary boxer turned promoter. Another exhibition match had been advertised pitting local racing writer Clem Florio against Johnny Gilden, two ex-fighters who ended their boxing careers more than 25 years ago.

The Maryland commission obtained a court injunction against Smuck and Barber.

On Sept. 27, Van Kirk allegedly rented Bengie's Democratic Club for $170 from Joan Bragg, the chairwoman of the club, ostensibly to promote a "Fall Festival" that would include boxing and wrestling events.

Fliers showing Van Kirk in boxing attire had been used to advertise the boxing show, the commission said, and Van Kirk and Sauerhoff engaged in a featured bout.

The commission charged Van Kirk with promoting a show without a license or surety bond, failing to safeguard the fighters and failing to pay state tax on ticket receipts.

A hearing was held Dec. 3. Van Kirk appeared without legal counsel, but agreed to proceed with the hearing that led to his latest suspension.

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