Glen Burnie gets fistful of big-time boxing atmosphere

SIDELINES

January 17, 1993|By PAT O'MALLEY

A big-time boxing atmosphere unlike any other came to

Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie on Thursday night.

Anne Arundel County boxing fans were treated to a fast-paced seven-bout card that had the trappings of a show in Atlantic City or Las Vegas.

"Josh [Hall] and Vickie [Savaliski] have been trying so hard to make this go here, they deserve to have a good show and I hope this one is," said State Athletic Commission Chairman D. Chester O'Sullivan, who turned 88 last week.

Hall and Savaliski and their Round One Promotions stage the dinner and boxing shows at Michael's.

The corner presence of Lou Duva, one of the nation's premier trainers, the top ring-card girl in the country in Leslie Glass (who got her start in Glen Burnie and has worked world championship bouts in Las Vegas and Atlantic City), and a couple of young promising boxers, not to mention a few feisty old warriors, made it an unforgettable evening.

Duva flew in from Texas along with Main Events, Inc. manager Shelly Finkel to observe heavyweight "Terrible Thomas" Williams, of Laurel.

Williams (4-0), who has been training at Duva's Houston gym, stopped Pasadena's Butch Kelly 58 seconds into round three of their scheduled six-rounder. Kelly (7-10), a 33-year-old graduate of Chesapeake High, was a last-minute replacement who surprised everyone with his early aggression.

Upon learning that Duva and Finkel were flying in to see Williams fight, Hall was faced with the urgency of finding an opponent. Phil Brown of Ohio advised Hall on Monday that he was not posting, and the Point Pleasant matchmaker, who has become a master at filling fights that fall through, coaxed Kelly into the ring.

Kelly, who weighed in at 210 pounds, knew going in against Williams that no one expected him to win. After all, Williams is considered a hot prospect by Duva and Finkel, who honed Evander Holyfield into a world heavyweight champion and Pernell Whitaker into a world lightweight champion.

Kelly put a scare in Williams' corner in the first round by driving Williams into the ropes with a few strong rights. The Pasadena brawler didn't let up and kept flailing away.

Duva, who startled everyone with his presence in Williams' corner, instructed Williams to let Kelly wear himself out, and he appeared to about a minute into round three when Williams backed him into a corner and unloaded. Kelly was defenseless as Williams pounded both his head and body.

Much to Kelly's and the crowd's dismay, referee Ray Klingmeyer stepped in and stopped the fight.

Duva, who had been cheered earlier when he was introduced while standing on the balcony at Michaels, was re-introduced before the official decision was rendered and was roundly booed.

No question that Kelly is a hometown favorite, but there was also no question in my opinion that Kelly would have gone down before the end of that round or surely the next. Kelly showed a lot of guts and was a game opponent, but it was obvious to most he was overmatched by Williams' boxing skills.

Duva said he and Finkel expect to sign Williams to a contract. They saw Williams finish as a runner-up in last year's National Gold Gloves competition.

Williams wasn't the only promising young boxer to strut his stuff Thursday night. Middleweight Alfonzo Daniels (2-0), who trains at Jeff Novotny's Crofton gym, was impressive once again.

Daniels stopped Michael "Himbad" Duncan of D.C. at 2:55 of round two of their scheduled six-rounder. He took the time after the show to go around the ring and thank reporters for their

coverage of his young career.

The big disappointments at the show were the efforts of light heavyweight Boyor "Sugar Boy" Chew of Annapolis in the second bout of the evening and the two out-of-towners in the main event.

Coming off his most impressive pro fight to date back in November at Michael's, Chew (3-3) dropped an uninspired four-round unanimous decision to Willie "Tiger Man" Hugley (1-3) of Columbus, Ohio.

"I've had the flu all week and haven't eaten for two days," said Chew afterward. "I'm very disappointed with my performance. It didn't help either that I slugged it in the gym all week with Butch [Kelly]. I left my fight in the gym."

Chew trains at the Harding/Lowry Gym in Pasadena.

Lyndon Paul "Pit Bull" Walker of D.C. took a unanimous decision over Antonio Ruthledge (9-37) of Columbus, Ohio in the eight-round lightweight main event. Walker (8-3-2) dominated the most boring fight of the entire evening.

Amateur boxing returns to Michael's Tuesday with the South Atlantic Championships. Jeff Novotny and Scott Wagner have put together the 12-bout amateur card that will get under way at 7 p.m.

The feature match is expected to be the 178-pound light-heavyweight open-class bout, pitting Courtney Butler of Champs A.C. in Baltimore and Dana Lucker of Eastside Boxing Club.

Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door. For more information call Wagner at 410-768-7901.

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