Top-flight boxing gym in Glen Burnie is possible

Sidelines

January 28, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

No more than rumor and hope for the last 10 years, a local boxing gym may become reality in the next six months if local businessman Scott Wagner has his way.

Wagner and his father, Mike Wagner, own Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, and they have taken an ambitious approach to making boxing succeed in Anne Arundel County.

"We hope to make a difference with a gym with showers and lockers. A good place to train is something that has been needed for a long time," said Scott. "We're not looking to make money out of it. It might sound hokey, but my dad and I love to help kids.

"A gym would give young boxers a chance to develop and down the road would mean more opportunities for them and more excitement for local fans."

Scott said an ideal site would be in the Glen Burnie Business Park off Eighth Avenue, where Michael's is located.

The Wagners have promoted pro and amateur shows at their banquet facility over the last four years after getting involved with Josh Hall, a former pro boxer and veteran matchmaker. Hall was barely keeping his head above water promoting local shows when he got a shot in the arm from the Wagners.

"When we got involved with Josh and started holding shows, it was exciting and I got hooked," said Scott. "And of course, nobody knows boxing like Josh."

About two years ago, Scott was sanctioned by the state of Maryland Athletic Commission to promote professional boxing. Under the moniker of Ballroom Boxing, Michael's is presenting its next show at 8 p.m. Feb. 15.

Local boxing has become more than just a business venture for the Wagners, particularly, the 27-year-old Scott, a 1986 Andover High grad. For him, it has become a passion.

Recently, he and his father invested 17 percent in the contract of up-and-coming middleweight, Alfonzo "Too Good for You" Daniels of Crofton. Daniels is managed by Arundel grad Jeff Novotny.

Daniels ran his record to 12-1 with a third-round TKO of Justice Carter (6-11-1) Wednesday at Martin's West in Woodlawn. The 25-year-old Daniels will headline the Feb. 15 card with Keith Kemp (8-0) his opponent in a scheduled eight-rounder.

"We love Alfonzo's work ethic and potential to be a champion," said Scott Wagner. "Jeff will make the boxing decisions and we will help with the business end of it and hopefully we can work on a TV deal for him and hold it at Michael's."

Meade High grad Jake "The Snake" Smith (10-4) is also on the Feb. 15 card in a six-round light heavyweight bout against Greg Linver (7-5), and super middleweight Bobby "The Maryland Mauler" Haarhoff (6-0) of Calvert County is slated to go.

Information: (410) 766-7474.

Pigskins

A proposal to increase the eight-team field in the state football playoffs in each of four enrollment classifications to 16 for the 1996 season is gaining momentum and support. It would mean '' one more game with teams having to win four instead of three to claim a state title.

It couldn't come at a better time for the Anne Arundel County 4A League, where Arundel and Meade qualified in '95 and both will be tough again, in addition to 1994 state champion North County and Severna Park, a '94 quarterfinalist.

Free throws

Arundel's Chavonne Hammond scored 16 points in an 86-25 romp over Northeast on Thursday to become the Wildcats' all-time leading scorer.

Hammond, who is headed to Vanderbilt, has 829 career points in the middle of her third and final season to pass '90 grad Alina Smith, who had 828 points in four seasons.

"Chavonne is a once-in-a-lifetime player," said coach Lee Rogers, who has led the No. 2 Wildcats to a 12-2 record.

Bars and beams

Severna Park 11-year-old Tara Lancaster of Top Flight Gymnastics qualified for the states in late March by finishing fourth all-around with a score of 35.05 in the recent Level 6-7 Sectional Meet in Laurel.

Another 11-year-old Severna Park resident, Cathy Schnell, tied for 10th all-around (33.85) in the Level 8 Maryland Classic at Hill's Angels in Gaithersburg.

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