Score a knockout for pro boxing at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie Thursday. More than 1,000 fans jammed into the facility to watch an eight-bout crowd.
The standing-room-only crowd and the card of 46 scheduled rounds were the largest ever for Michael's and maybe the largest in the county in the last 10 years.
"We had the best walk-up sale of tickets we've ever had here," said Scott Wagner, who runs Michael's with his father, Mike. "People were standing all up and down the hall and we had quite a few upstairs on the balconies."
The Wagners and veteran matchmaker Josh Hall are determined to see boxing succeed.
The Wagners signed a lease last week to open a gym in a warehouse adjacent to Michael's and hope to open it in April.
The Wagners also purchased 17 percent of the contract of middleweight Alfonzo "Too Good For You" Daniels (13-1, three knockouts), who took a unanimous decision as one of Thursday's highlights.
Daniels, who trains under Crofton's Jeff Novotny, dealt Keith "Hurricane" Kemp (8-1, 7 knockouts) his first pro loss. Kemp, who is from the Burgess Boxing Gym in Capitol Heights, was the early aggressor in the eight-rounder, but the left-handed Daniels displayed his keen skills and ability to score points over the last five rounds.
Glen Burnie's Bobby "The Maryland Mauler" Haarhoff was also victorious while Meade graduate Jake "The Snake" Smith announced his retirement after 15 pro bouts.
Haarhoff (7-0, three KOs), a power lefty, smoked Baltimore journeyman Horace "The Kid" Watterson (5-27-1, one KO), taking a TKO at 2:24 of round four of their super middleweight bout.
The 30-year-old Smith (9-5-1, four KOs) was TKO'ed in the third round by Berry Butler (4-4, two KOs) of Greenville, S.C.
His right eye practically closed after taking a brutal pounding from Butler, Smith took the ring microphone to tell the fans, "I'm retiring, this was my last fight and I want to thank each and everyone of you for your support."
Hoop shoot winner
Glen Burnie Park 9-year-old Danielle Ziegler hit 19 of 25 free throws at Dundalk Community College last week to win the District Hoop Shoot contest for 8- 9-year-olds and advance to this weekend's state competition in Frederick. Ziegler advanced the district by winning the Glen Burnie Elks Lodge 2266
It's one down and two to go for the Andover Apaches 12- year-old cheerleaders coached by Ann Sparkman and Ann Reiser. The Apaches won their fourth consecutive Junior All-Star Maryland Cheerleading Championship last weekend at Baltimore's Fifth Regiment Armory.
They will return to Temple University and Myrtle Beach, S.C., in March to defend titles they won at those sites last year. The Apaches took the Junior Tri-State Tournament at Temple and were Grand Champions in the Youth All-Star Division of the CANAM International in Myrtle Beach.
Team members, who must maintain a B-plus average to qualify, are: Amy Brocious, Shelly Brooks, Donna Coleman, Marianne Coleman, Tara Dilday, Tiffany Epperson, Kristen Grimm, Stephanie Keefe, Lisa Kloster, Heather Lhamon, Amanda Miller, Mikaela Moury, Samantha Pierce, Kelly Raska, Sara Rollette, Annie Rupert, Sara Saba and Lauren Thompson.
Crusader on a destroyer
Glen Burnie's Mark Ferguson, a 1974 grad of Cardinal Gibbons, is now Commander Ferguson in the U.S. Navy and has been assigned captain of the Navy's newest ship, the 505-foot guided-missile destroyer, Benfold.
The Benfold officially will be commissioned on March 30 in San Diego. Ferguson, who was a standout lacrosse player at Gibbons and the Naval Academy in the mid- to late '70s, will set sail with his crew on March 1 from Pascagoula, Miss., to San Diego for the commissioning.
"I have been very fortunate to have a dream and then get to touch it and live it. I get more excited every day I walk down and see the ship. This is the culmination of 17 years experience. It's a pretty big deal," said Ferguson.