Eckman is a 'new man' after latest bout vs. cancer

SIDELINES

January 21, 1994|By PAT O'MALLEY

The one-two punch of ice and snow has knocked out high school sports events and a volleyball exhibition featuring Baltimore Colts of yesteryear, but it hasn't KO'd local boxing and ice hockey.

Before I get to what's happening and what's not, let me give you some great news. Word travels fast in sports circles, and I know a lot of you have heard recently that Glen Burnie's Charlie Eckman had another bout with cancer and was back in the hospital.

His wife, Wilma, told me that "he's sick and miserable, but he will bounce back."

That he did after nearly 20 days at North Arundel Hospital.

"Charles M. Eckman reporting. I'm home from the hospital," said the familiar voice on my 24-Hour Sportsline (410) 647-2499 yesterday afternoon.

"It was like 10 years in Sing-Sing, but I beat them again, Pat. I'm back home because I got great support from my family, and it [his ordeal] brought our family closer together," he said.

The feisty former Baltimore sports broadcaster and member of the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame has been battling cancer for three years.

"I refuse to quit," said Eckman. "I feel like a new man."

Schedule changes

On the high school sports scene, Tuesday's postponed games have been moved to Wednesday, the last day of exams, and today's postponed slate jumps to Monday, Jan. 31.

Simply put, most of the high school teams will play Wednesday and Friday next week, and Monday, Tuesday and Friday (Jan. 31, Feb. 1 and Feb. 4) the next week. School teams will not be allowed to practice until Monday when they will be limited to 90-minute sessions because of exams on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A volleyball exhibition pitting former Baltimore Colts, such as Stan White and Bruce Laird, and George "Wacko" Kelch's Maryland Senior Olympic team set for tonight at Northeast High has been postponed.

The volleyball exhibition was to benefit the Buccaneers youth program, and Tony Reina said it will "hopefully be rescheduled in February."

Cures for cabin fever

There's some good news for sports fans suffering from cabin fever. Pro boxing is on tap tonight at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, and college ice hockey at Navy's Dahlgren Hall in Annapolis is set for Sunday.

Barring any further weather problems, Josh Hall's Round One promotions dinner and pro boxing show featuring heavyweight Thomas "Top Dog" Williams will come off this evening at Michael's.

Navy's ice hockey club of coach Jim Barry plays host to the

University of Delaware, 2 p.m. Sunday in a matchup of the top two teams in the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association.

The boxing show appeared to be on thin ice early yesterday.

"The state commission told me to call it off because of the weather, but I'm going through with it," said Hall. "The fighters are going to show up, and we're set to go."

Boxing is Hall's passion and he has been known to go 15 rounds to get it done. Encouraging words from Michael's general manager Scott Wagner have Hall optimistic.

"The main roads are fine. We expect to have the parking lot clear, and we've been getting a lot of phone calls from fans planning to attend," said Wagner of what is Hall's first Friday night show.

"From the response we've gotten [all ringside tables are sold], we are expecting a great crowd."

Dennis Gring, executive director of the State Athletic Commission, suggested postponing the event because of the somewhat uncertain weather conditions and "fear of Josh losing his shirt if nobody shows up."

Gring advised Hall to "call it off and reschedule it, but he [Hall] told me Michael's couldn't give him another Friday night in the near future, and that he was going through with it."

Wagner confirmed that rescheduling "would be near impossible and definitely not on a Friday night."

Unable to change Hall's mind, Gring said yesterday that "we will be there and hope the fans come out."

If they do, they will get to see Williams (7-0) try to extend his unbeaten record on the road to a shot at a title fight.

Williams, who trains in Laurel, is scheduled to go six rounds against Baltimore's Terry Wallace (5-2) in the main event. The powerful 23-year-old Williams is fighting for the third time in his promising career at Michael's.

Under a multi-million dollar contract with Bob Arum's Top Rank Boxing, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Williams has knocked out four of his opponents and is slated for an ESPN telecast this spring.

Two exciting, young local boxers, middleweight Alfonzo Daniels (5-0) and light heavyweight Bobby Haarhoff (3-0), are on the undercard of the seven-bout show.

Daniels, 23, meets D.C.'s Ivory Teague (6-9-1) in a scheduled six-rounder, while the 22-year-old Haarhoff is slated to go four rounds with Laurel's Jessie Brown (1-1-1).

Out of the ring and onto the ice rink Sunday, Navy is primed to take over first place in the ECHA. The Mids (10-2) and Blue Hens (11-3) of Delaware are tied for the top spot with 6-0 records and Navy is defending champion.

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