Boxing fans want feast with fists

SIDELINES

August 27, 1993|By PAT O'MALLEY

One thing you have to say about boxing promoters Josh Hall and Victoria Savaliski is that they try to please.

And because local boxing fans want a feast with their fists, that's what are going to get Thursday at Michael's Eighth Avenue.

Hall and Savaliski have worked hard to make pro boxing go in Anne Arundel County. But their dinner and boxing shows have experienced as many lows as highs in terms of attendance.

So, when Hall attempted to stage an arena-style show in July, the response was rather surprising.

"A lot of the regulars weren't going to come without the meal," said Hall.

"The people objected to us not offering the dinner and that's why we had to scrap the arena show in July and reschedule a dinner show for Sept. 2. It amazes me that there is not enough interest in our county for boxing only."

Hall frequently goes to arena boxing shows around the state and nearby and sees big turnouts that he wishes he could get here.

"I went to a show in Prince George's County recently and they had 2,000 fans sitting on steel chairs and bleachers," said Hall. "Another show in Falls Church [Va.] drew 650.

"We struggle to draw 500 and that's what we have to have to break even with the dinners at Michael's. Ring Magazine pointed out in a recent issue that our matchmaking and shows are very good, but that the crowds at Michael's in Glen Burnie are dwindling."

Hall hopes that his eight-bout card featuring a pair of exciting, young Crofton Boxing and Fitness Center fighters in middleweight Alfonzo Daniels and light heavyweight Bobby Haarhoff will bring in fans.

Daniels (3-0) has become a crowd favorite at Michael's and will take on Alfonso Dyer (6-3-1) of Washington in a four-rounder.

Coming off an impressive May 6 pro debut at Michael's, the 21-year-old Haarhoff will duke it out with Joe "Zap" Blyther (2-2-1) of Laurel in a scheduled four-rounder.

Haarhoff, a left-hander, wasted little time in capturing the attention of local boxing fans when he TKO'd journeyman Cecil Sims (5-14-1) at 2:40 of round two in May.

"The fans love to see knockouts, and Bobby appears to be a knockout artist who has charisma and is tall and good looking," said Hall of the Glen Burnie resident.

NB Two other local boxers on the card are super-middleweight Jake

"The Snake" Smith, a Meade High grad, and light heavyweight Boyor "Sugar Boy" Chew, who graduated from Annapolis. Smith and Chew have scheduled six-rounders.

Smith (8-2-1) is in for a tough time against Richmond's Napoleon Pitt (6-1).

"Jake is worried about this guy, should be a great fight," said Hall.

Chew (4-3-1) will fight with Andre Sherrod (5-0) of Laurel. Chew last fought at Michael's in March, taking a unanimous decision over Doug Gillory (3-5) of Virginia Beach.

"I was disappointed they didn't have an opponent for me the last show and I'm anxious to get back in there," said Chew.

Pigtown's Eddie Sauerhoff (3-3-1), who spoiled (1-7) Michael "Himbad" Duncan's 25th birthday by taking a unanimous decision in May, will meet Derrick Johnson (2-1) of Laurel at welterweight.

Other bouts are James Furr (1-3) of Laurel against Marcus Jackson of Baltimore, who is making his pro debut, and Rising Sun's Roland Jones (1-1) against Ponny Yusef (3-0) of Richmond.

"William Joppi of Prince George's would be in the eighth bout if we set up an opponent for him," said Hall.

For tickets to the pro boxing show call Michael's at (410) 768-7901 or stop by Joy's Sub Shop on Quarterfield Road in Glen Burnie, the 4100 Club in Brooklyn or Riviera Bowl in Riviera Beach.

* One thing about the Board of Education -- it is consistently illogical. How do you figure the Harry Lentz/Roger Stitt reassignments?

Lentz and Stitt have been moved out of Northeast High while allegations of sexual harassment are pending against them.

Lentz, the Eagles' head baseball coach for the last 26 years, has been named an assistant in the social studies department while athletic director Stitt has been named an assistant to Rick Wiles, the county coordinator of physical education.

Is the Lentz assignment a demotion and the Stitt assignment a promotion? Is the county saying they don't want Stitt to run the Eagles' athletic program, but it's OK to have a role in the entire county's athletic program?

Does it make sense that in the school system a person seems to be guilty until proven innocent?

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