UMBC vetoes fight card site shifted to Showplace

August 18, 1994|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Sun Staff Writer

Professional boxing in Baltimore failed its initial college entrance exam when University of Maryland-Baltimore County officials barred promoter Stuart Satosky from holding a televised (ESPN) show at the campus field house Sept. 23, featuring unbeaten middleweights Dana Rosenblatt and Frank Savannah.

After considering "throwing in the towel" on promoting future bouts, Satosky gained the support of William A. Fogle Jr., Maryland secretary of licensing and regulations, Mark Wasserman, Secretary of Economic Development, and Josh Waldorf, of the Maryland Bureau of Promotion, in shifting the card to the Prince George's County-run Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro.

Satosky had begun negotiations with UMBC more than a month ago. He said he believed he had reached an agreement after several meetings with athletic director Charles Brown and facilities coordinator Barry Riley.

On Aug. 10, while touring the field house to arrange his seating plan, Satosky was told there might be a problem with selling beer. The issue became more complicated, and last Friday Brian Winiesdorffer, UMBC's assistant director of conferences and scheduling, informed Satosky the school had rejected his bid.

Yesterday, UMBC spokeswoman Lisa Akchin explained the school's position. "The UMBC staff had engaged in discussions with the event promoter [Satosky], but this never resulted in a signed contract," she said.

"Our primary commitment must be to our students and campus community. Use of our facilities for the exclusive benefit of private profit-making individuals or groups requires special approval.

"In receiving this request, UMBC management concluded that the boxing event would prohibit student access to the facility during the first few weeks of school, one of the busiest periods of campus activity."

Facing a 48-hour deadline from ESPN to find another location, Satosky said he investigated the Fifth Regiment Armory, Pikesville Armory and Baltimore Arena, but found scheduling conflicts.

"I'm elated that we were able to save the show by going to Upper Marlboro," he said. "This is a beautiful facility with 6,200 seats in a 'theater-in-the-round' configuration."

As for the fight, Rosenblatt (21-0), from Malden, Mass., and Savannah (17-0), from Long Branch, N.J., will be battling for the World Boxing Association Intercontinental title. Last week, Rosenblatt won a 10-round decision over Jacques LeBlanc.

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