Jermaine Rouse is eager to represent Mad House Boxing Club when he enters the ring Saturday evening at Carroll County Agriculture Center.
The Westminster resident and owner of the Eldersburg facility is part of a fight night called “Haymakers and Hooks,” which is set to begin at 7:15 p.m. and feature 10 scheduled bouts.
Five heavyweight matches are on the card, which will honor the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from Baltimore Boxing Club. Rouse’s opponent is fellow heavyweight Malik Forrester. Rouse is listed at 6 feet, 3 inches, and 230 pounds, while Forrester comes in at 6-2, 270.
In the main event, Steve Sparks will face Josh Tingler for the East Coast Heavyweight Championship. Sparks is a hard-hitting puncher from Mad House Boxing, and has won most of his fights by knockout. The Maryland Heavyweight Championship is also at stake when Justin Maggi of Mad House faces TJ Monttinger.
Rouse said he’s excited about the opportunity and for people to see Mad House Boxing Gym on display.
“We have so many talented kids in our gym who just didn’t have the opportunity to be in a real boxing gym just because they live in Carroll County. We’re providing that for them,” Rouse said. “Now they can actually come to a boxing gym and spar and go to other boxing gyms ... and actually have an amateur boxing career and work their way up through the rankings and try to make it to the Olympics one day.”
Rouse said he grew up getting into too many street fights, but in a search for more discipline he made a promise to himself to take part in an over-35 boxing division once he reached that age. And with Mad House, Rouse said he hopes to promote the sport to children in a safe environment.
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“I’m more about helping kids that are in the streets get out of the streets with boxing,” Rouse said. “And also helping kids who have to deal with bullies and stuff, learn how to box so they can protect themselves.”
Mad House calls itself the only USA Boxing Club with competitive fighters in Carroll County, and the facility offers full-contact and no-contact classes available for all ages and skill levels.
Five-time world champion Vinny Pazienza is slated to be in attendance at Haymakers and Hooks, according to the release. Pazienza is best known for his matches with Roberto Duran and Hector “Macho” Camacho, and he was the inspiration for the 2016 movie Bleed For This.
VIP tickets are $75 each while general admission is available at $35. Tables of 6 ($210) and 10 ($600) are also available. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The VIP room will be open from 6 to 7 p.m. All attendees must wear a mask.
The Ag Center, which hasn’t hosted a boxing card in several years, is located at 706 Agriculture Center Drive in Westminster.
Rouse said past events have included a DJ and special emcee, such as Kirk McEwen from 98 Rock in Baltimore.
“It’s just a positive activity to do, something for the residents of Carroll County to do,” Rouse said. “And they don’t even have to travel really far to see a boxing event.”