WASHINGTON -- Early in last night's NABF light-heavyweight title bout, Andrew Maynard missed about a dozen roundhouse punches designed to deposit Eddie Mack into the third row of Convention Center seats. "Notice it took me a long time to get back to my corner afterward," he said later. "I knew I was going to get yelled at."
So much for the only strategy discernible by the victor Maynard as he successfully defended his crown by rendering the Philadelphian Mack helpless on the ropes at 2:41 of the 10th round.
"Andrew gets in trouble when he gets to wondering in the ring," explained manager-trainer Junious Hinton, "so we don't want him doing a lot of it in there. I tell him, 'If something don't work, don't worry about it, try something else.' "
This is the style -- damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead -- that served Maynard well as an amateur, winning him an Olympic
gold medal, and he's glad to be away from that
pipedream about becoming a fancy-dan boxer.
"I'm not going to go out [and attempt to box] like I did in the [Bobby] Czyz fight," he said, alluding to his only loss in 18 bouts. "I'm out there to do what I have to do."
Which last night meant rough-housing it and hitting Mack with everything but the ring stools. And Mack, for one, wasn't too sure about that. "Good fight, tough fight," said the vanquished, "but I have to ask, where did they get that referee? It wasn't what he [Carl Milligan] did, it's what he didn't do. He didn't say anything about all that was going on."
The fight could have been staged in the front seat of a compact car with enough room left over for a large dog. While Maynard was pushing Mack's head down with his left while swinging away with his right, Eddie used his head like a glove, clutched and fired off a couple of shots well south of Andrew's belly button.
Maynard got off to a flying start, dominating the first few rounds, but Hinton didn't like what he was seeing. "Andrew was going for the head, which we didn't want to do, and all his missing was taking quite a bit out of him."
The cornerman's constant pleas to "go to the body, go to the body" finally hit home when Mack's rally in rounds 6-7-8-9 got him to the point where he trailed just 86-85 and 87-84 on the cards of two of the judges.
The challenger's rally was halted when Maynard launched a three-punch combination. "The first two missed," he said, "but he was ducking and a left hook intended for the body ended up hitting him on the head." Ah, the best-laid plans.
While Maynard rejoiced in his success, Hinton took a more realistic view. "I think we'll take another tuneup before we go looking for a world championship shot," said the trainer. "I think ultimately Thomas Hearns would be a good fight for us."
The undercard witnessed by 1,850 featured USBA lightweight champ Fred Pendleton, in a non-title scrap, stopping Eric Podolak at 2:59 of the fifth round. The toughest part of Pendleton's night occurred during his exit from the ring when he and unbeaten Sharmba Mitchell got in one of those typical ringside shouting matches: "Oh yeah . . . Yeah."
Michael Ward scored a unanimous decision over Aaron Smith; Tony Suggs posted a TKO victory over Luke Cooper in 2:47 of the second round; Tony Pressley, "after a recount," according to ring announcer Discombobulating Jones, took a decision from Steve Frederick; and, what was announced as a victory for Andrew Council over Mpush Mapule will actually turn out to be a majority draw as soon as someone on the D.C. Boxing Commission acquaints him or herself with the rules.