'Pit Bull' Sturm trying to learn some new tricks Junior welterweight faces Commings tonight

October 07, 1997|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

For almost all his 12-year professional boxing career, Baltimore junior welterweight Chuck Sturm has carried the colorful nickname "Pit Bull" to symbolize his crowd-pleasing, brawling style of fighting.

But Sturm, who will meet Roland Commings of Youngstown, Ohio, in the main event at the Pikesville Armory tonight, is looking for a new image.

"I'm 32 now, and I want to get away from fighting nothing but wars," Sturm said. "I'm working harder now on improving my boxing technique and outsmarting my opponent."

The change in style is also a matter of survival. In recent fights, Sturm has suffered severe facial cuts. He left his most recent scuffle with Linwood Walker -- an eight-round draw -- looking as if he had walked into a meat slicer. The damage has kept him sidelined for six months.

Despite a 33-4-2 record, the big paydays and title bouts have eluded Sturm, who works full time as a driver for a waste-management plant, a job that usually has him on the road by 1 a.m.

The $10,000 purse he earned for fighting Tony Boyle in Aspen, Colo., four years ago was by far his most lucrative.

"At this point, I'm only looking to make some decent money and then retire," the former high school wrestling champion said.

"I've got a 2-year-old daughter, and my wife is expecting another child," he said. "Fighting is just not something I plan to do much longer."

If Sturm, who whipped Commings last December, beats the Ohio journeyman again, he can look forward to a more attractive match against former lightweight champion Joey Gamache here in December.

Unbeaten middleweight Joe Hughes (9-0) will meet David Dawson (4-0), Virginia Beach, Va., in the eight-round semifinal tonight. Six other bouts are scheduled.

Pub Date: 10/07/97

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