Glen Burnie's Cliff McPherson finally is putting the hammer down on a local kick boxing show, and he's going full speed ahead.
A national lightweight kick boxing champion and professional boxer on the side, McPherson, known as "Hammer," has the county's first all-amateur kick-boxing show featuring "Awesome Dave" Floyd set for 8 p.m. on Feb. 25 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.
Hammer Productions is ready to deliver.
McPherson last presented a successful pro/amateur kick boxing show at the Glen Burnie Armory on a snowy night in December 1989. That was the first full-contact karate show held in the county, and sanctioning problems with the Maryland State Athletic Commission followed.
This show will be sanctioned by the Super Kicks Kick Boxing Association, which McPherson runs in Glen Burnie, the U.S. Kick Boxing Alliance of Pennsylvania, the Professional Kick Boxing Federation of New York and the Amateur Kick Boxing Federation in D.C.
"The State Athletic Commission doesn't control this show, but they have accepted my invitation to come out and observe the show," said McPherson, who has been a frequent consultant to the state on kick boxing safety regulations for amateurs.
"I'm excited because I think we're going to have a great show with 12 to 15 bouts, and about 10 of them should be excellent. You know I've worked hard to pull off a kick boxing show here and Sen. [Michael] Wagner and his son, Scott, have made it possible."
Michael's has held pro and amateur shows the past few years and is willing to give kick boxing a shot.
The Hammer has a stable of local kick boxers and standard boxers that he trains at his Super Kicks gym in Glen Burnie, and some of the best will be on this card along with kickers from Canada, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and D.C.
Floyd, from Calvert County, is the headliner. The 6-foot-5, 205-pounder is 7-0 with five knockouts and recently earned his black belt in karate at the Hammer's gym. The 23-year-old heavyweight trains under McPherson's tutelage, making the 45-minute drive three nights a week to the Super Kicks gym.
"Awesome Dave has an unbelievable reach and does a lot of damage at the end of his punches," said McPherson, who expects to line up a kick boxer from New York to face Floyd.
Another kick boxer who should be a crowd pleaser is 30-year-old Mark "The Ice Man" Owens (4-1) of Glen Burnie. Owens' opponent is soon to be announced.
In kick boxing, contestants use their fists and feet, and each contestant must execute a minimum of eight kicking techniques per round. To qualify as a kick, the kicks must be clear attempts to make contact with an opponent above the waist.
Fighters are penalized one point for failing to execute his eight minimum kicking requirements. Kicks not made must be made up the following round. For failing to do so the next round, the fighter is penalized two points.
Ringside tickets, which McPherson says "are going fast," are $10, and general admission is $7. For ticket information, call Hammer Productions at (410) 766-8077 or Michael's at (410) 768-7901.
* How many pro athletes would spend the time talking to kids like pitchers Mike Bielecki of the Cleveland Indians and Denny Neagle of the Pittsburgh Pirates did last week at the Little Orioles baseball clinic at Crownsville Hospital?
"I went up, shook Mike's hand and told him how much I appreciated the time he spent with the kids," said Jim Wolfe of Lake Shore, who attended the clinic with his son, Mike. "These days you don't get pros who would do what he did."
Bielecki, who lives in South County and is from Dundalk in Baltimore County, gave 2 1/2 hours of his time Monday night talking to kids from age 10 through high school.
Bielecki began his big-league career with the Pirates and has pitched for the Cubs and Atlanta Braves. He recently signed a one-year contract with Cleveland.
Neagle, a 1986 grad of Arundel High, was at the clinic Thursday, and thanked his former high school coach, Bernie Walter, for "laying the foundation." The left-hander still lives in Crofton and will be at Saturday's baseball card show at Arundel, in Gambrills.
Neagle will sign autographs with the proceeds ($1 flat item and $2 ball or bat) going to the Wildcats' baseball program.
Former big-league catcher John Stefero, who played with the Orioles and Montreal Expos, also will be at Saturday's card show. Admission is $2, and for more information, call Walter at (410) 674-6500, Ext. 252.
* Did you know that Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda is going to be at the Navy football banquet on Thursday? For ticket information, call (410) 267-6060).
Did you know that Lasorda was once trained by Glen Burnie's Charley Eckman to become a basketball referee?
"Yeah, before he became manager of the Dodgers he was interested in refereeing, but he just didn't get it," said Eckman, who hopes to see Lasorda when he visits Annapolis.
Eckman is a former NBA and NCAA basketball referee and is a member of the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame.
* Finally, aren't the Severna Park Green Hornets going to miss one of the finest men and coaches they ever had in 63-year-old Lynn Sipe, who died last week while working in his garage?
"Lynn not only gave a lot of his time coaching kids in Severna Park, but he was one of the nicest men you will ever meet," said Severna Park coach Steve Keefer. "It was tough. We're really going to miss Lynn."